Inhibition of Bacterial Ice Nucleators Is Not an Intrinsic Property of Antifreeze Proteins

Ralph Schwidetzky, Anna T. Kunert, Mischa Bonn, Ulrich Pöschl, Hans Ramløv, Arthur L. Devries, Janine Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Konrad Meister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cold-adapted organisms use antifreeze proteins (AFPs) or ice-nucleating proteins (INPs) for the survival in freezing habitats. AFPs have been reported to be able to inhibit the activity of INPs, a property that would be of great physiological relevance. The generality of this effect is not understood, and for the few known examples of INP inhibition by AFPs, the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of five different AFPs on the activity of bacterial ice nucleators using a high-throughput ice nucleation assay. We find that bacterial INPs are inhibited by certain AFPs, while others show no effect. Thus, the ability to inhibit the activity of INPs is not an intrinsic property of AFPs, and the interactions of INPs and different AFPs proceed through protein-specific rather than universal molecular mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4889-4895
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 18 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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