Protein Folding as a Quantum Transition Between Conformational States

Luo, Liaofu
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The importance of torsion vibration in the transmission of life information is indicated. The localization of quantum torsion state is proved. Following these analyses a formalism on the quantum theory of conformation-electron system is proposed. The conformational-electronic transition is calculated by non-adiabatic operator method. The protein folding is viewed from conformational quantum transition and the folding rate is calculated. The time-scale of microsecond to millisecond for the fundamental folding event (nucleation, collapse, etc) is deduced. The dependence of transition rate W on N inertial moments is given. It indicates how W increases with the number N of torsion angles and decreases with the inertial moment I of atomic group in cooperative transition. The temperature dependence is also deduced which is different from chemical reaction in high-temperature region. It is demonstrated that the conformational dynamics gives deep insights into the folding mechanism and provides a useful tool for analyzing and explaining experimental facts on the rate of protein folding.
Comment: 18 pages
Quantitative Biology - Biomolecules, Quantitative Biology - Quantitative Methods