Significance: Temperature is one of the most important drivers in shaping protein adaptations. Many biochemical and physiological processes are influenced by temperature. Proteins and enzymes from organisms living at low temperature are less stable in comparison to high-temperature adapted proteins. The lower stability is generally due to greater conformational flexibility. Recent Advances: Adaptive changes in the structure of cold-adapted proteins may occur at subunit interfaces, distant from the active site, thus producing energy changes associated with conformational transitions transmitted to the active site by allosteric modulation, valid also for monomeric proteins in which tertiary structural changes may play an essential role. Critical Issues: Despite efforts, the current experimental and computational methods still fail to produce general principles on protein evolution, since many changes are protein and species dependent. Environmental constraints or other biological cellular signals may override the ancestral information included in the structure of the protein, thus introducing inaccuracy in estimates and predictions on the evolutionary adaptations of proteins in response to cold adaptation. Future Directions: In this review, we describe the studies and approaches used to investigate stability and flexibility in the cold-adapted globins of the Antarctic marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TAC125. In fact, future research directions will be prescient on more detailed investigation of cold-adapted proteins and the role of fluctuations between different conformational states.
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