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J. Phys.: Cond. Matt. 17, S1515-S1522 (2005)

ISSN: 0953-8984, SCI

What determines the structures of native folds of proteins?

A. Trovato, T. X. Hoang, J. R. Banavar, A. Maritan and F. Seno

We review a simple physical model (Hoang et al 2004 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101 7960, Banavar et al 2004 Phys. Rev. E at press) which captures the essential physico-chemical ingredients that determine protein structure, such as the inherent anisotropy of a chain molecule, the geometrical and energetic constraints placed by hydrogen bonds, sterics, and hydrophobicity. Within this framework, marginally compact conformations resembling the native state folds of proteins emerge as competing minima in the free energy landscape. Here we demonstrate that a hydrophobic-polar (HP) sequence composed of regularly repeated patterns has as its ground state a β-helical structure remarkably similar to a known architecture in the Protein Data Bank.


DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/17/18/009

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