Theoretical Studies of Protein Folding
This paper summarizes some fundamental statistical mechanical aspects of protein folding and the prediction of protein structure. In order to predict the native structure of a protein, it is necessary to understand the physical conditions that determine its unique and thermodynamically-stable native structure, and to surmount the numerous local energy minima to arrive at the native structure. A statistical mechanical approach has been used to address the problem of foldability of polypeptides, and global minimization techniques have been developed to solve the multiple-minima problem. Some recent progress in these areas, made in our laboratory, is described.
KeywordsGlobal Minimum Diffusion Equation Conformational Energy Folding Transition Statistical Mechanical Approach
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