Charge density-dependent modifications of hydration shell waters by hofmeister ions

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35 Scopus citations


Gadolinium (Gd3+) vibronic sideband luminescence spectroscopy (GSBLS) is used to probe, as a function of added Hofmeister series salts, changes in the OH stretching frequency derived from first-shell waters of aqueous Gd3+ and of Gd3+ coordinated to three different types of molecules: (i) a chelate (EDTA), (ii) structured peptides (mSE3/SE2) of the lanthanide-binding tags (LBTs) family with a single high-affinity binding site, and (iii) a calcium-binding protein (calmodulin) with four binding sites. The vibronic sideband (SB) corresponding to the OH stretching mode of waters coordinated to Gd3+, whose frequency is inversely correlated with the strength of the hydrogen bonding to neighboring waters, exhibits an increase in frequency when Gd3+ becomes coordinated to either EDTA, calmodulin, or mSE3 peptide. In all of these cases, the addition of cation chloride or acetate salts to the solution increases the frequency of the vibronic band originating from the OH stretching mode of the coordinated waters in a cation- and concentration-dependent fashion. The cation dependence of the frequency increase scales with charge density of the cations, giving rise to an ordering consistent with the Hofmeister ordering. On the other hand, water Raman spectroscopy shows no significant change upon addition of these salts. Additionally, it is shown that the cation effect is modulated by the specific anion used. The results indicate a mechanism of action for Hofmeister series ions in which hydrogen bonding among hydration shell waters is modulated by several factors. High charge density cations sequester waters in a configuration that precludes strong hydrogen bonding to neighboring waters. Under such conditions, anion effects emerge as anions compete for hydrogen-bonding sites with the remaining free waters on the surface of the hydration shell. The magnitude of the anion effect is both cation and Gd3+-binding site specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11010-11018
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 12 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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