Hydrogen exchange and the dynamic structure of proteins

C. Woodward, I. Simon, E. Tüchsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

309 Citations (Scopus)


In native proteins, buried, labile protons undergo isotope exchange with solvent hydrogens, but the kinetics of exchange are markedly slower than in unfolded polypeptides. This indicates that, whereas buried protein atoms are shielded from solvent, the protein fluctuates around the time average structure and occasionally exposes buried sites to solvent. Generally, hydrogen exchange studies are designed to characterize the nature of the fluctuations between conformational substates, to monitor the shift in conformational equilibria among protein substates due to ligand binding or other factors, or to monitor the major cooperative denaturation transition. In this article, we review the recent reports of hydrogen exchange in proteins, focusing on recent advances in methodology, especially with regard to the implications of the results for the mechanism of hydrogen exchange in folded proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-160
Number of pages26
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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