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Subnanoscale hydrophobic modulation of salt bridges in aqueous media

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 555-559
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa7532

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Ions' response to hydrophobic surfaces

The strength of interactions between ions depends on their solvation environment. Schellman postulated in the 1950s that when aqueous solvated ions approached a hydrophobic surface (such as a parts of a protein surface), interactions between ions would be enhanced. Chen et al. experimentally tested this theory by studying the dissociation of organic ions bonded by salt bridges after the addition of acid. The ion pairs were held by tethers at different distances from hydrophobic surfaces. The salt bridge was stronger when it was closer to the hydrophobic surface.

Science, this issue p. 555

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