Amino Acids

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 1685–1694 | Cite as

Proline hydration at low temperatures: its role in the protection of cell from freeze-induced stress

  • Marina V. FedotovaEmail author
  • Olga A. Dmitrieva
Original Article


The natural amino acid l-α-proline (Pro) is a compatible osmolyte which accumulates in the cell cytoplasm to protect structure and function of various proteins and enzymes under abiotic stress, like for instance, freezing. It is assumed that the interactions of Pro with intracellular water play an important role in the protection mechanism. However, until now the details of these interactions are far from being fully understood. We present results of a theoretical study of the hydration of Pro zwitterion (Pro-ZW) in water in the temperature range of 298–248 K. The data were obtained by the integral equation method in the framework of the 1D- and 3D-RISM approaches. The structural data were analyzed in terms of radial and spatial distribution functions. The observed features of Pro-ZW hydration are discussed from the position of the biological role of Pro as a cryoprotectant. In particular, it was found that under cooling conditions this protectant is able to bind a significant amount of water molecules and, thus, is helping to keep water inside the cell.


Amino acid Proline Hydration Low temperatures 1D- and 3D-RISM integral equation method 



This work was partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research with Grant 15-43-03004-r_centre_a.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.G.A. Krestov Institute of Solution ChemistryRussian Academy of SciencesIvanovoRussia

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