Multidisciplinary Research Journal

Properties and Size of Multiple Non-bulk Water Fractions on Proteins and in Cells

Cameron I1* and Fullerton G21

Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, 78229 USA

2Department of Radiology, University of Colorado, 12700 East 19th Avenue, Aurora, Colorado, 80045 USA

*Correspondence E-mail:

Key Words: Water, Proteins, Cells, Water-of-hydration, Non-bulk-water, Water properties

Received May 9th, 2014; Revised Sept 24th, 2014; Accepted Oct 5th, 2014; Published Oct 25th, 2014; Available online Nov 30th, 2014

doi: 10.14294/WATER.2014.5

Abbreviations: g/g grams water per gram dry mass, SHM stoichiometric hydration model, SASA solvent accessible surface area, QENS quasi-elastic neutron scattering spectroscopy, NMR nuclear magnetic resonance, CD circular dichroism spectroscopy, VW vicinal water, EZ exclusion zone water, PML polarized multilayered water, OUR osmotically unresponsize water, TEM transmission electron microscopy.


This report reviews evidence on the physical properties and size, in g water per g dry mass (g/g) of multiple non-bulk water of hydration fractions on proteins and in cells. A molecular stoichiometric hydration model (SHM) is presented that explains the four observed and measured monolayer water of hydration fractions on tendon collagen (Fullerton et al. 2006a, Fullerton and Cameron 2007). This SHM has been shown applicable to globular proteins and to cells (Cameron et al. 2011). The extent of non-bulk water has been found to increase during protein unfolding and decrease during protein aggregation (Fullerton et al. 2006). This review also presents evidence that multilayers of water, with non-bulk water properties, extend out from the surface of proteins and biomacromolecules in cells. These facts have been largely overlooked or ignored by most protein chemists and cell biologists. In the conclusion it is recalled that a major fraction of cell water has physical and physiological properties that differ from those of bulk water. Thus studies that do not take the physical properties and size of non-bulk water fractions into account must be judged incomplete.

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