Volume 47, Number 4, August II 1999
|522 - 527
|Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
|01 September 2002
Toy model studies of soliton-mediated protein folding and conformation changes
School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University - 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
Accepted: 10 June 1999
We suggest that folding and conformation changes of proteins may be mediated via interaction with solitons which propagate along the molecular chain. A simple toy model is presented in which a Sine-Gordon field interact with another field ϕ corresponding to the conformation angles of the protein. We demonstrate how a soliton carries this field over energy barriers and consequently enhances the rate of the folding process. The soliton compensate for its energy loss by pumping the energy gained by the folded field. This scenario does not change significantly even in the presence of dissipation and imposed disorder. Our results of the toy model hint that a similar role might be played by solitons in real protein chains.
PACS: 87.15.By – Structure and bonding / 41.20.Jb – Electromagnetic wave propagation; radiowave propagation
© EDP Sciences, 1999
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