R. Peter Rand
My research interests are to understand the forces and energies that control the assembly and the conformation of biological molecules. This is motivated by the phenomena of membrane assembly, the fusion of membranes, molecular recognition and activity. The systems interogated, through the development of an osmotic stress method, are lipid bilayers and other selected molecular assemblies and single functioning molecules. The solvent, water, has been shown to contribute far more to the forces and energies of these molecular processes than heretofore recognized. The contribution of water binding reactions to the energetics of functioning enzyme activity through conformational change is being measured.
And Osmotic Pressure Measurements
Osmotic stress (OS) is an EXPERIMENTAL STRATEGY originally developed to measure hydration and other forces between phospholipid bilayers. It is now being used to study the energetics of other macromolecular assemblies and of single macromolecular conformational changes.
Some REFERENCES here describe the application of OS to membrane and macromolecular interactions, to membrane channel gating, and to small molecule binding and enzyme function.
An 'ART GALLERY' provides conceptual views of how it works in several specific applications. Here we are looking specifically at hexokinase and actin.
We provide here a DATA BASE of MEASURED OSMOTIC PRESSURES, seen below, of several solutes or osmolytes which can be used by those interested in doing osmotic stress experiments.
For more news on osmotic stress, and macromolecular forces
check out the
Structural Biology page at NIH in Washington