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Keywords:

  • cell collagen;
  • hydration;
  • protein;
  • sorption;
  • water

Abstract

This report describes and documents the presence of multiple water-of-hydration fractions on proteins and in cells. Initial studies of hydration fractions in g of water/g of DM (dry mass) for tendon/collagen led to the development of the molecular SHM (stoichiometric hydration model) and the development of methods for calculating the size of hydration fractions on a number of different proteins of known amino acid composition. The water fractions have differences in molecular motion and other physical properties due to electrostatic interactions of polar water molecules with electric fields generated by covalently bound pairs of opposite partial charge on the protein backbone. The methods allow calculation of the size of four hydration fractions: single water bridges, double water bridges, dielectric water clusters over polar-hydrophilic surfaces and water clusters over hydrophobic surfaces. These four fractions provide monolayer water coverage. The predicted SHM hydration fractions match closely measured hydration fraction values for collagen and for globular proteins. This report also presents water sorption findings that support the SHM. The SHM is applicable for cell systems where it has been studied. In seven cell systems studied, more than half of all of the cell water had properties unlike those of bulk water. The SHM predicts and explains the commonly cited and measured bound water fraction of 0.2–0.4 g of water/g of DM on proteins. The commonly accepted concept that water beyond this bound water fraction can be considered bulk-like water in its physical properties is unwarranted.