In this review, we give a brief overview on how the interaction of proteins with ionic liquids, alcohols and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) influences the stability, conformational dynamics and function of proteins/enzymes. We present experimental results obtained from fluorescence correlation spectroscopy on the effect of ionic liquid or alcohol or DMSO on the size (more precisely, the diffusion constant) and conformational dynamics of lysozyme, cytochrome c and human serum albumin in aqueous solution. The interaction of ionic liquid with biomolecules (e.g. protein, DNA etc.) has emerged as a current frontier. We demonstrate that ionic liquids are excellent stabilizers of protein and DNA and, in some cases, cause refolding of a protein already denatured by chemical denaturing agents. We show that in ethanol–water binary mixture, proteins undergo non-monotonic changes in size and dynamics with increasing ethanol content. We also discuss the effect of water–DMSO mixture on the stability of proteins. We demonstrate how large-scale molecular dynamics simulations have revealed the molecular origin of this observed phenomenon and provide a microscopic picture of the immediate environment of the biomolecules. Finally, we describe how favorable interactions of ionic liquids may be utilized for in situ generation of fluorescent gold nano-clusters for imaging a live cell.
Biophysical Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 16, 2017
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