Session J35: Protein Water Interactions

11:15 AM–2:03 PM, Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Colorado Convention Center Room: 405

Sponsoring Units: DBP DCP DCOMP
Chair: Andrea Markelz, University of Buffalo

Abstract ID: BAPS.2007.MAR.J35.8

Abstract: J35.00008 : Basal Plane Affinity of an Insect Antifreeze Protein

12:39 PM–12:51 PM

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  N. Pertaya
    (Ohio University)

  S.Y. Gauthier
    (Queen's University)

  P.L. Davies
    (Queen's University)

  I. Braslavsky
    (Ohio University)

sbwAFP is a powerful antifreeze protein (AFP) with high thermal hysteresis activity that protects spruce budworm (sbw) from freezing during harsh winters in the spruce and fir forests of USA and Canada. Different types of antifreeze proteins have been found in many other species and have potential applications in cryomedicine and cryopreservation. When an ice crystal is cooled in the presence of AFP below the non-equilibrium freezing point the crystal will suddenly and rapidly grow in specific directions. Hyperactive antifreezes like sbwAFP expand perpendicular to the c-axis (in the plane of the a-axes), whereas moderately active AFPs, like type III from fish, grow in the direction parallel to the c-axis. It has been proposed that the basis for hyperactivity of certain AFPs is that they bind and accumulate on the basal plane to inhibit c-axial growth. By putting fluorescent tags on these two types of AFPs we have been able to directly visualize the binding of different types of AFPs to ice surfaces. We do indeed find that the insect AFP accumulates on the basal plane of an ice crystal while type III AFP does not. Supported by CIHR and BNTI.

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