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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Estimating hydration changes upon biomolecular reactions from osmotic stress, high pressure, and preferential hydration experiments.

How do we estimate, from thermodynamic measurements, the number of water molecules adsorbed or released from biomolecules as a result of a biochemical process such as binding and allosteric effects? Volumetric and osmotic stress analyses are established methods for estimating water numbers; however, these techniques often yield conflicting results. In contrast, Kirkwood-Buff theory offers a novel way to calculate excess hydration number from volumetric data, provides a quantitative condition to gauge the accuracy of osmotic stress analysis, and clarifies the relationship between osmotic and volumetric analyses. I have applied Kirkwood-Buff theory to calculate water numbers for two processes: (i) the allosteric transition of hemoglobin and (ii) the binding of camphor to cytochrome P450. I show that osmotic stress analysis may overestimate hydration number changes for these processes.[1]


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