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J. Chem. Phys. 112, 234910 (2005)

ISSN: 0021-9606, SCI

Protein and polymers

J. R. Banavar, T. X. Hoang and A. Maritan

Proteins, chain molecules of amino acids, behave in ways which are similar to each other yet quite distinct from standard compact polymers. We demonstrate that the Flory theorem, derived for polymer melts, holds for compact protein native state structures and is not incompatible with the existence of structured building blocks such as a helices and b strands. We present a discussion on how the notion of the thickness of a polymer chain, besides being useful in describing a chain molecule in the continuum limit, plays a vital role in interpolating between conventional polymer physics and the phase of matter associated with protein structures.


DOI: 10.1063/1.1940059

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