The effects of pressure on the energy landscape of proteins

Antonio Cupane, Rita Carrotta, Fabio Librizzi, Judith Peters, Fabio Librizzi, Rita Carrotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Protein dynamics is characterized by fluctuations among different conformational substates, i.e. the different minima of their energy landscape. At temperatures above ~200 K, these fluctuations lead to a steep increase in the thermal dependence of all dynamical properties, phenomenon known as Protein Dynamical Transition. In spite of the intense studies, little is known about the effects of pressure on these processes, investigated mostly near room temperature. We studied by neutron scattering the dynamics of myoglobin in a wide temperature and pressure range. Our results show that high pressure reduces protein motions, but does not affect the onset temperature for the Protein Dynamical Transition, indicating that the energy differences and barriers among conformational substates do not change with pressure. Instead, high pressure values strongly reduce the average structural differences between the accessible conformational substates, thus increasing the roughness of the free energy landscape of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2037-
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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