Effect of real-world sounds on protein crystallization

作者:Zhang, Chen-Yan; Liu, Yue; Tian, Xu-Hua; Liu, Wen-Ling; Li, Xiao-Yu; Yang, Li-Xue; Jiang, Han Jun; Han, Chong; Chen, Ke-An*; Yin, Da-Chuan*
来源:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2018, 112: 841-851.


Protein crystallization is sensitive to the environment, while audible sound, as a physical and environmental factor during the entire process, is always ignored. We have previously reported that protein crystallization can be affected by a computer-generated monotonous sound with fixed frequency and amplitude. However, real-world sounds are not so simple but are complicated by parameters (frequency, amplitude, timbre, etc.) that vary over time. In this work, from three sound categories (music, speech, and environmental sound), we selected 26 different sounds and evaluated their effects on protein crystallization. The correlation between the sound parameters and the crystallization success rate was studied mathematically. The results showed that the real-world sounds, similar to the artificial monotonous sounds, could not only affect protein crystallization, but also improve crystal quality. Crystallization was dependent not only on the frequency, amplitude, volume, irradiation time, and overall energy of the sounds but also on their spectral characteristics. Based on these results, we suggest that intentionally applying environmental sound may be a simple and useful tool to promote protein crystallization.