Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Enzymes surf the heat wave


Molecular diffusion of some enzymes is enhanced when they catalyse reactions, but the reason for this was obscure. Dissipation of heat generated by catalysis through the protein is now thought to propel the molecules. See Letter p.227

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The chemoacoustic model of anomalous enzyme diffusion.


  1. Fischer, E. Ber. Dt. Chem. Ges. 27, 2985–2993 (1894).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Riedel, C. et al. Nature 517, 227–230 (2015).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Muddana, H. S., Sengupta, S., Mallouk, T. E., Sen, A. & Butler, P. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 2110–2111 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Sengupta, S. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 1406–1414 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Paxton, W. F., Sundararajan, S., Mallouk, T. E. & Sen, A. Angew. Chem. Int. Edn 45, 5420–5429 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Purcell, E. M. Am. J. Phys. 45, 3–11 (1977).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Golestanian, R. Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 188305 (2009).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Sharp, K. & Skinner, J. J. Proteins 65, 347–361 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Igumenova, T. I., Frederick, K. K. & Wand, A. J. Chem. Rev. 106, 1672–1699 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Fu, Y. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 8543–8550 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Englander, S. W. & Mayne, L. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111, 15873–15880 (2014).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Sharp, K. A., Nicholls, A., Fine, R. F. & Honig, B. Science 252, 106–109 (1991).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Chandler, D. Nature 437, 640–647 (2005).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Heyden, M. & Tobias, D. J. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 218101 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Nucci, N. V., Pometun, M. S. & Wand, A. J. Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 18, 245–249 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Grossman, M. et al. Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 18, 1102–1108 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Joshua Wand.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wand, A. Enzymes surf the heat wave. Nature 517, 149–150 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing