The analysis of the structure-function relationship is extremely important in the study of proteins. The importance of function-related motions of large parts or subglobules of protein molecules stimulates the spectroscopic study in the low-frequency (terahertz) domain. However, only tentative assignments are available and the spectroscopic data are insufficiently discussed in terms of structural changes. This work is aimed at the analysis of regularities of changes in the low-frequency (100 to 600 cm(-1)) FTIR and Raman spectra of proteins related to their structural modifications. We study the spectra of two proteins with substantially different structures (albumin and chymotrypsin) and the spectra of samples in which the structures of protein molecules are modified using inhibition, thermal denaturation, and cleavage of disulfide bonds. The results indicate that the low-frequency spectral interval can be used to characterize protein conformations. Correlated variations in the intensities of several low-frequency bands are revealed in the spectra of the modified proteins. The strongest spectral changes are caused by thermal denaturation of proteins, and the effect of cleavage of disulfide bonds is generally weaker. It is demonstrated that the inhibitor binding in the active site causes spectral changes that can be compared to the changes induced by thermal denaturation.
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