Vibrations-determined properties of green fluorescent protein

Veera Krasnenko, Alan H. Tkaczyk, Eric R. Tkaczyk, Ödön Farkas, Koit Mauring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The physicochemical characteristics of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), including the thermodynamic properties (entropy, enthalpy, Gibbs' free energy, heat capacity), normal mode vibrations, and atomic fluctuations, were investigated. The Gaussian 03 computational chemistry program was employed for normal mode analysis using the AMBER force field. The thermodynamic parameters and atomic fluctuations were then calculated from the vibrational eigenvalues (frequencies) and eigenvectors. The regions of highest rigidity were shown to be the β-sheet barrel with the central α-helix, which bears the chromophore. The most flexible parts of the GFP molecule were the outlying loops that cover the top and bottom of the β-barrel. This way, the balance between rigidity and flexibility is maintained, which is the optimal relationship for protein stability in terms of Gibbs' free energy. This dual-schemed structure satisfies the requirements for GFP function. In this sense, the structure of GFP resembles a nanoscale drum: a stiff cylinder with flexible vibrating end(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2005


  • AMBER force field
  • Density of vibrational states
  • Green fluorescent protein
  • Molecular mechanics calculation
  • Normal modes
  • Thermal fluctuations
  • Thermodynamic parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry

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  • Cite this

    Krasnenko, V., Tkaczyk, A. H., Tkaczyk, E. R., Farkas, Ö., & Mauring, K. (2005). Vibrations-determined properties of green fluorescent protein. Biopolymers, 78(3), 140-146.