Do we underestimate the importance of water in cell biology?

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Nov;7(11):861-6. doi: 10.1038/nrm2021. Epub 2006 Sep 6.


Liquid water is a highly versatile material. Although it is formed from the tiniest of molecules, it can shape and control biomolecules. The hydrogen-bonding properties of water are crucial to this versatility, as they allow water to execute an intricate three-dimensional 'ballet', exchanging partners while retaining complex order and enduring effects. Water can generate small active clusters and macroscopic assemblies, which can both transmit information on different scales.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Communication
  • Cells / metabolism
  • Electron Transport
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleic Acids / chemistry
  • Protein Folding
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Protons*
  • Water / physiology*


  • Nucleic Acids
  • Proteins
  • Protons
  • Water