A look into the crowded bacterial cytoplasm at high temperatures

In a paper just published in ACS Central Science, we combine extensive molecular simulations with neutron scattering measurements to characterize the dynamical state of the E. coli cytoplasm in a wide range of temperatures. We show that the thermal cell death is accompanied by a slowdown in protein motions. At the same time, our work reveals that this rather drastic slowdown is caused by the unfolding of just a small fraction of proteins found in the bacterium.