Protein elasticity determined by pressure tuning of the tyrosine residue of ubiquitin

Mark M. Somoza, Johannes Wiedersich, Josef Friedrich

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We determined the isotropic, isothermal compressibility of ubiquitin by pressure tuning spectral holes burnt into the red edge of the absorption spectrum of the single tyrosine residue. The pressure shift is perfectly linear with burn frequency. From these data, a compressibility of 0.086 GPa-1 in the local environment of the tyrosine residue could be determined. This value fits nicely into the range known for proteins. Although the elastic behavior at low temperatures does not show any unusual features, the pressure tuning behavior at room temperature is quite surprising: the pressure-induced spectral shift is close to zero, even up to very high pressure levels of 0.88 GPa, well beyond the denaturation point. The reason for this behavior is attributed to equally strong blue as well as red spectral pressure shifts resulting in an average pressure-induced solvent shift that is close to zero.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095102
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2007


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