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Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Water Structure, Protein Solution, Hydrogen Bond

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This work presents the first evidence that dissolved globular proteins change the arrangement of hydrogen bonds in water, with different proteins showing quantitatively different effects. Using ATR-FTIR (attenuated total reflection—Fourier transform infrared) spectroscopic analysis of OH-stretch bands, we obtain quantitative estimates of the relative amounts of the previously reported four subpopulations of water structures coexisting in a variety of aqueous solutions. Where solvatochromic dyes can measure the properties of solutions of non-ionic polymers, the results correlate well with ATR-FTIR measurements. In protein solutions to which solvatochromic dye probes cannot be applied, NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy was used for the first time to estimate the hydrogen bond donor acidity of water. We found strong correlations between the solvent acidity and arrangement of hydrogen bonds in aqueous solutions for several globular proteins. Even quite similar proteins are found to change water properties in dramatically different ways.

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International Journal of Molecular Sciences, v. 23, issue 19, art. 11381