▪ Abstract 

Is it by design or by default that water molecules are observed at the interfaces of some protein-DNA complexes? Both experimental and theoretical studies on the thermodynamics of protein-DNA binding overwhelmingly support the extended hydrophobic view that water release from interfaces favors binding. Structural and energy analyses indicate that the waters that remain at the interfaces of protein-DNA complexes ensure liquid-state packing densities, screen the electrostatic repulsions between like charges (which seems to be by design), and in a few cases act as linkers between complementary charges on the biomolecules (which may well be by default). This review presents a survey of the current literature on water in protein-DNA complexes and a critique of various interpretations of the data in the context of the role of water in protein-DNA binding and principles of protein-DNA recognition in general.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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