The Journal of chemical physics

Destruction of hydrogen bonds of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) aqueous solution by trimethylamine N-oxide.

PMID 22779616


Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a compatible or protective osmolyte that stabilizes the protein native structure through non-bonding mechanism between TMAO and hydration surface of protein. However, we have shown here first time the direct binding mechanism for naturally occurring osmolyte TMAO with hydration structure of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), an isomer of polyleucine, and subsequent aggregation of PNIPAM. The influence of TMAO on lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of PNIPAM was investigated as a function of TMAO concentration at different temperatures by fluorescence spectroscopy, viscosity (η), multi angle dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy measurements. To address some of the basis for further analysis of FTIR spectra of PNIPAM, we have also measured FTIR spectra for the monomer of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) in deuterium oxide (D(2)O) as a function of TMAO concentration. Our experimental results purportedly elucidate that the LCST values decrease with increasing TMAO concentration, which is mainly contributing to the direct hydrogen bonding of TMAO with the water molecules that are bound to the amide (-CONH) functional groups of the PNIPAM. We believed that the present work may act as a ladder to reach the heights of understanding of molecular mechanism between TMAO and macromolecule.