The biological activity of proteins depends on their three-dimensional structure, known as the native state. The main force driving the correct folding mechanism is the hydrophobic effect and when this folding kinetics is altered, aggregation phenomena intervene causing the occurrence of illnesses such as Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases. The other important effect is performed by water molecules and by their ability to form a complex network of hydrogen bonds whose dynamics influence the mobility of protein amino acids. In this work, we review the recent results obtained by means of spectroscopic techniques, such as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopies, on hydrated lysozyme. In particular, we explore the Energy Landscape from the thermal region of configurational stability up to that of the irreversible denaturation. The importance of the coupling between the solute and the solvent will be highlighted as well as the different behaviors of hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties of protein amino acid residues.
Keywords: FTIR; NMR; energy landscape; hydration water; hydrogen bonding; protein denaturation.