Photoinactivation related dynamics of ctenophore photoproteins: Insights from molecular dynamics simulation under electric-field.
Nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of hen egg white lysozyme have been performed in the canonical ensemble at 298 K in the presence of external electromagnetic fields of varying intensity in the microwave to far-infrared frequency range. Significant nonthermal field effects were noted, such as marked changes in the protein's secondary structure which led to accelerated incipient local denaturation relative to zero-field conditions. This occurred primarily as a consequence of alignment of the protein's total dipole moment with the external field, although the enhanced molecular mobility and dipolar alignment of water molecules is influential on sidechain motion in solvent-exposed regions. The applied field intensity was found to be highly influential on the extent of denaturation in the frequency range studied, and 0.25-0.5 V Arms-1 fields were found to induce initial denaturation to a comparable extent to thermal denaturation in the 400 to 500 K range. In subsequent zero-field simulations following exposure to the e/m field, the extent of perturbation from the native fold and the degree of residual dipolar alignment were found to be influential on incipient folding.