Volume 68, Number 4, November 2004
|Page(s)||589 - 595|
|Section||Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology|
|Published online||20 October 2004|
A model for the accidental catalysis of protein unfolding in vivo
Department of Physics, University of Surrey - Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 28 September 2004
Activated processes such as protein unfolding are highly sensitive to heterogeneity in the environment. We study a highly simplified model of a protein in a random heterogeneous environment, a model of the in vivo environment. It is found that if the heterogeneity is sufficiently large, the total rate of the process is essentially a random variable; this may be the cause of the species-to-species variability in the rate of prion protein conversion found by Deleault et al. (Nature 425 (2003) 717).
PACS: 87.15.Nn – Properties of solutions; aggregation and crystallization of macromolecules / 87.14.Ee – Proteins / 87.15.He – Dynamics and conformational changes
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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