Ice-binding proteins that accumulate on different ice crystal planes produce distinct thermal hysteresis dynamics.
ABSTRACT: Ice-binding proteins that aid the survival of freeze-avoiding, cold-adapted organisms by inhibiting the growth of endogenous ice crystals are called antifreeze proteins (AFPs). The binding of AFPs to ice causes a separation between the melting point and the freezing point of the ice crystal (thermal hysteresis, TH). TH produced by hyperactive AFPs is an order of magnitude higher than that produced by a typical fish AFP. The basis for this difference in activity remains unclear. Here, we have compared the time dependence of TH activity for both hyperactive and moderately active AFPs using a custom-made nanolitre osmometer and a novel microfluidics system. We found that the TH activities of hyperactive AFPs were time-dependent, and that the TH activity of a moderate AFP was almost insensitive to time. Fluorescence microscopy measurement revealed that despite their higher TH activity, hyperactive AFPs from two insects (moth and beetle) took far longer to accumulate on the ice surface than did a moderately active fish AFP. An ice-binding protein from a bacterium that functions as an ice adhesin rather than as an antifreeze had intermediate TH properties. Nevertheless, the accumulation of this ice adhesion protein and the two hyperactive AFPs on the basal plane of ice is distinct and extensive, but not detectable for moderately active AFPs. Basal ice plane binding is the distinguishing feature of antifreeze hyperactivity, which is not strictly needed in fish that require only approximately 1°C of TH. Here, we found a correlation between the accumulation kinetics of the hyperactive AFP at the basal plane and the time sensitivity of the measured TH.
Project description:It has been argued that for antifreeze proteins (AFPs) to stop ice crystal growth, they must irreversibly bind to the ice surface. Surface-adsorbed AFPs should also prevent ice from melting, but to date this has been demonstrated only in a qualitative manner. Here we present the first quantitative measurements of superheating of ice in AFP solutions. Superheated ice crystals were stable for hours above their equilibrium melting point, and the maximum superheating obtained was 0.44 degrees C. When melting commenced in this superheated regime, rapid melting of the crystals from a point on the surface was observed. This increase in melting temperature was more appreciable for hyperactive AFPs compared to the AFPs with moderate antifreeze activity. For each of the AFP solutions that exhibited superheating, the enhancement of the melting temperature was far smaller than the depression of the freezing temperature. The present findings clearly show that AFPs adsorb to ice surfaces as part of their mechanism of action, and this absorption leads to protection of ice against melting as well as freezing.
Project description:Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are a unique class of proteins that bind to growing ice crystal surfaces and arrest further ice growth. AFPs have gained a large interest for their use in antifreeze formulations for water-based materials, such as foods, waterborne paints, and organ transplants. Instead of commonly used colligative antifreezes such as salts and alcohols, the advantage of using AFPs as an additive is that they do not alter the physicochemical properties of the water-based material. Here, we report the first comprehensive evaluation of thermal hysteresis (TH) and ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) activity of all major classes of AFPs using cryoscopy, sonocrystallization, and recrystallization assays. The results show that TH activities determined by cryoscopy and sonocrystallization differ markedly, and that TH and IRI activities are not correlated. The absence of a distinct correlation in antifreeze activity points to a mechanistic difference in ice growth inhibition by the different classes of AFPs: blocking fast ice growth requires rapid nonbasal plane adsorption, whereas basal plane adsorption is only relevant at long annealing times and at small undercooling. These findings clearly demonstrate that biomimetic analogs of antifreeze (glyco)proteins should be tailored to the specific requirements of the targeted application.
Project description:A supersoluble 40-residue type I antifreeze protein (AFP) was discovered in a righteye flounder, the barfin plaice (bp). Unlike all other AFPs characterized to date, bpAFP transitions from moderately-active to hyperactive with increasing concentration. At sub-mM concentrations, bpAFP bound to pyramidal planes of ice to shape it into a bi-pyramidal hexagonal trapezohedron, similarly to the other moderately-active AFPs. At mM concentrations, bpAFP uniquely underwent further binding to the whole ice crystal surface including the basal planes. The latter caused a bursting ice crystal growth normal to c-axis, 3?°C of high thermal hysteresis, and alteration of an ice crystal into a smaller lemon-shaped morphology, all of which are well-known properties of hyperactive AFPs. Analytical ultracentrifugation showed this activity transition is associated with oligomerization to form tetramer, which might be the forerunner of a naturally occurring four-helix-bundle AFP in other flounders.
Project description:Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) are found in many organisms, such as fish and hexapods, plants, and bacteria that need to cope with low temperatures. Ice nucleation and thermal hysteresis are two attributes of IBPs. While ice nucleation is promoted by large proteins, known as ice nucleating proteins, the smaller IBPs, referred to as antifreeze proteins (AFPs), inhibit the growth of ice crystals by up to several degrees below the melting point, resulting in a thermal hysteresis (TH) gap between melting and ice growth. Recently, we showed that the nucleation capacity of two types of IBPs corresponds to their size, in agreement with classical nucleation theory. Here, we expand this finding to additional IBPs that we isolated from snow fleas (the arthropod Collembola), collected in northern Israel. Chemical analyses using circular dichroism and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy data suggest that these IBPs have a similar structure to a previously reported snow flea antifreeze protein. Further experiments reveal that the ice-shell purified proteins have hyperactive antifreeze properties, as determined by nanoliter osmometry, and also exhibit low ice-nucleation activity in accordance with their size.
Project description:The antifreeze protein (AFP) reduces the growth rates of the ice crystal facets. In that process the ice morphology undergoes a modification. An AFP-induced surface pinning mechanism, through matching of periodic bond chains in two dimensions, enables two-dimensional regular ice-binding surfaces (IBSs) of the insect AFPs to engage a certain class of ice surfaces, called primary surfaces. They are kinetically stable surfaces with unambiguous and predetermined orientations. In this work, the orientations and molecular compositions of the primary ice surfaces that undergo growth rate reduction by the insect AFPs are obtained from first principles. Besides the basal face and primary prism, the ice surfaces engaged by insect AFPs include the specific ice pyramids produced by the insect AFP Tenebrio molitor (TmAFP). TmAFP-induced pyramids differ fundamentally from the ice pyramids produced by fish AFPs and antifreeze protein glycoproteins (AFPGs) as regards the ice surface configurations and the mode of interaction with the protein IBS. The molecular compositions of the TmAFP-induced pyramids are strongly bonded in two dimensions and have the constant face indices (101). In contrast, the molecular composition of the ice pyramids produced by fish AFPs and AFPGs are strongly bonded in only one direction and have variable face indices (h 0 l), none of which equal (101). The thus far puzzling behavior of the TmAFP in producing pyramidal crystallites is fully explained in agreement with experiment.
Project description:Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are a subset of ice-binding proteins that control ice crystal growth. They have potential for the cryopreservation of cells, tissues, and organs, as well as for production and storage of food and protection of crops from frost. However, the detailed mechanism of action of AFPs is still unclear. Specifically, there is controversy regarding reversibility of binding of AFPs to crystal surfaces. The experimentally observed dependence of activity of AFPs on their concentration in solution appears to indicate that the binding is reversible. Here, by a series of experiments in temperature-controlled microfluidic devices, where the medium surrounding ice crystals can be exchanged, we show that the binding of hyperactive Tenebrio molitor AFP to ice crystals is practically irreversible and that surface-bound AFPs are sufficient to inhibit ice crystal growth even in solutions depleted of AFPs. These findings rule out theories of AFP activity relying on the presence of unbound protein molecules.
Project description:The concentration of a protein is highly related to its biochemical properties, and is a key determinant for its biotechnological applications. Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) are structurally diverse macromolecules that are capable of binding to embryonic ice crystals below 0 °C, making them useful as protectants of ice-block formation. In this study, we examined the maximal solubility of native AFP I-III and AFGP with distilled water, and evaluated concentration dependence of their ice-binding property. Approximately 400 mg/mL (AFP I), 200 mg/mL (AFP II), 100 mg/mL (AFP III), and >1800 mg/mL (AFGP) of the maximal solubility were estimated, and among them AFGP's solubility is much higher compared with that of ordinary proteins, such as serum albumin (~500 mg/mL). The samples also exhibited unexpectedly high thermal hysteresis values (2-3 °C) at 50-200 mg/mL. Furthermore, the analysis of fluorescence-based ice plane affinity showed that AFP II binds to multiple ice planes in a concentration-dependent manner, for which an oligomerization mechanism was hypothesized. The difference of concentration dependence between AFPs and AFGPs may provide a new clue to help us understand the ice-binding function of these proteins.
Project description:Ice recrystallization is a phenomenon observed as the increase in ice crystal size within an already frozen material. Antifreeze proteins (AFPs), a class of proteins capable of arresting ice crystal growth, are known to inhibit this phenomenon even at sub milli-molar concentrations. A tremendous range in the possible applications of AFPs is hence expected in both medical and industrial fields, while a key determinant of the ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) is hardly understood. Here, IRI efficiency and ice plane affinity were examined for the wild-type AFPI-III, a defective AFPIII isoform, and a fungal AFP isoform. To simplify the IRI analysis using the formal representation of Ostwald-ripening (r3 = r03 + kt), we monitored specific ice grains exhibiting only uniform growth, for which maximum Feret diameter was measured. The cube of an ice grain's radius (r3) increased proportionately with time (t), and its slope gave the recrystallization rate (k). There was a significant difference in the IRI efficiency between the samples, and the fungal AFP possessing the activity with the smallest amount (0.27 μM) exhibited an affinity to multiple ice planes. These results suggest that the IRI efficiency is maximized when AFPs bind to a whole set of ice planes.
Project description:Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are found in organisms ranging from fish to bacteria, where they serve different functions to facilitate survival of their host. AFPs that protect freeze-intolerant fish and insects from internal ice growth bind to ice using a regular array of well-conserved residues/motifs. Less is known about the role of AFPs in freeze-tolerant species, which might be to beneficially alter the structure of ice in or around the host. Here we report the 0.95-Å high-resolution crystal structure of a 223-residue secreted AFP from the snow mold fungus Typhula ishikariensis. Its main structural element is an irregular ?-helix with six loops of 18 or more residues that lies alongside an ?-helix. ?-Helices have independently evolved as AFPs on several occasions and seem ideally structured to bind to several planes of ice, including the basal plane. A novelty of the ?-helical fold is the nonsequential arrangement of loops that places the N- and C termini inside the solenoid of ?-helical coils. The ice-binding site (IBS), which could not be predicted from sequence or structure, was located by site-directed mutagenesis to the flattest surface of the protein. It is remarkable for its lack of regularity and its poor conservation in homologs from psychrophilic diatoms and bacteria and other fungi.
Project description:In order to survive under extremely cold environments, many organisms produce antifreeze proteins (AFPs). AFPs inhibit the growth of ice crystals and protect organisms from freezing damage. Fish AFPs can be classified into five distinct types based on their structures. Here we report the structure of herring AFP (hAFP), a Ca(2+)-dependent fish type II AFP. It exhibits a fold similar to the C-type (Ca(2+)-dependent) lectins with unique ice-binding features. The 1.7 A crystal structure of hAFP with bound Ca(2+) and site-directed mutagenesis reveal an ice-binding site consisting of Thr96, Thr98 and Ca(2+)-coordinating residues Asp94 and Glu99, which initiate hAFP adsorption onto the [10-10] prism plane of the ice lattice. The hAFP-ice interaction is further strengthened by the bound Ca(2+) through the coordination with a water molecule of the ice lattice. This Ca(2+)-coordinated ice-binding mechanism is distinct from previously proposed mechanisms for other AFPs. However, phylogenetic analysis suggests that all type II AFPs evolved from the common ancestor and developed different ice-binding modes. We clarify the evolutionary relationship of type II AFPs to sugar-binding lectins.