Hydration of non-polar anti-parallel β-sheets

Tomaz Urbic, Cristiano L. Dias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this work we focus on anti-parallel β-sheets to study hydration of side chains and polar groups of the backbone using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. We show that: (i) water distribution around the backbone does not depend significantly on amino acid sequence, (ii) more water molecules are found around oxygen than nitrogen atoms of the backbone, and (iii) water molecules around nitrogen are highly localized in the planed formed by peptide backbones. To study hydration around side chains we note that anti-parallel β-sheets exhibit two types of cross-strand pairing: Hydrogen-Bond (HB) and Non-Hydrogen-Bond (NHB) pairing. We show that distributions of water around alanine, leucine, and valine side chains are very different at HB compared to NHB faces. For alanine pairs, the space between side chains has a higher concentration of water if residues are located in the NHB face of the β-sheet as opposed to the HB face. For leucine residues, the HB face is found to be dry while the space between side chains at the NHB face alternates between being occupied and non-occupied by water. Surprisingly, for valine residues the NHB face is dry, whereas the HB face is occupied by water. We postulate that these differences in water distribution are related to context dependent propensities observed for β-sheets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165101
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 28 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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