European Journal of Biochemistry vol:236 issue:1 pages:254-262
A hydrostatic pressure of 1.5 GPa induces changes in the secondary structure of bovine pancreatic tryspin inhibitor (BPTI) as revealed by the analysis of the amide I' band with Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in the diamond anvil cell. The features of the secondary structure remain distinct at high pressure suggesting that the protein does not unfold. The fitted percentages of the secondary structure elements during compression and decompression strongly suggest that the pressure-induced changes are reversible. The pressure-induced changes in the tyrosine side chain band an also reversible. The results demonstrate that the infrared technique explores different aspects of the behaviour of proteins in comparison with two published molecular dynamics studies performed up to 1 GPa [Kitchen, D. B., Reed, L. H. & Levy, R. M. (1992) Biochemistry 31, 10083-10093] and 500 MPa [Brunne, R. M. & van Gunsteren, W. F. (1993) FEBS Lett. 323, 215-217]. A possible explanation for the difference is the time scale of the experiments.