A thermodynamic analysis of high-temperature and low-pressure unfolding of proteins using a coarse-grained multiscale simulation combined with a liquid-state density-functional theory is presented. In this study, a hydrophobic polymer chain is employed as a probe molecule for investigating qualitative changes in a hydration free energy surface acting on proteins with changes in temperature and pressure. When water is heated so that its vapor pressure is equal to the atmospheric pressure, it boils. Long-ranged dewetting or drying caused by a hydrophobic planar wall and a large hydrophobic solute surface is significantly enhanced as it approaches the liquid-vapor coexistence curve of water. In this study, we demonstrate that high-temperature and low-pressure unfolding of the polymer chain is interpreted as dewetting-induced unfolding that occurs as it approaches the liquid-vapor coexistence. The unfolding of proteins due to high-temperature and low-pressure denaturation enhances the long-ranged dewetting or drying around them. The long-ranged dewetting phenomenon is considered to be originating from positive changes in both volume and entropy due to the high-temperature and low-pressure denaturation of the proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry