The temperature dependence of the internal dynamics of an isolated protein, bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, is examined using normal mode analysis and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. It is found that the protein exhibits marked anharmonic dynamics at temperatures of ∼100-120 K, as evidenced by departure of the MD-derived average mean square displacement from that of the harmonic model. This activation of anharmonic dynamics is at lower temperatures than previously detected in proteins and is found in the absence of solvent molecules. The simulation data are also used to investigate neutron scattering properties. The effects are determined of instrumental energy resolution and of approximations commonly used to extract mean square displacement data from elastic scattering experiments. Both the presence of a distribution of mean square displacements in the protein and the use of the Gaussian approximation to the dynamic structure factor lead to quantified underestimation of the mean square displacement obtained.
Hayward, J. A., & Smith, J. C. (2002). Temperature dependence of protein dynamics: Computer simulation analysis of neutron scattering properties. Biophysical Journal, 82(3), 1216–1225. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(02)75478-7