Protein dynamical transition does not require protein structure

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Oct 24;101(17):178103. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.178103. Epub 2008 Oct 23.


Terahertz time domain spectroscopy shows that the protein dynamical transition, the rapid increase in protein dynamics occurring at approximately 200 K, needs neither tertiary nor secondary structure. Further, short chain alanine studies find a dynamical transition down to penta-alanine, with no transition observed for di-alanine or tri-alanine. These results reveal the temperature dependence arises strictly from the side-chain interaction with the solvent. The lack of a transition for shorter chain peptides may indicate a qualitative change in this interaction occurs at a specific peptide chain length.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Egg Proteins / chemistry
  • Muramidase / chemistry
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Polylysine / chemistry
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thermodynamics


  • Egg Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Polylysine
  • polyalanine
  • Muramidase