Directed transport as a mechanism for protein folding in vivo

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Gonzalez-Candela, Ernesto
Romero-Rochin, Victor
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Abstract
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We propose a model for protein folding in vivo based on a Brownian-ratchet mechanism in the multidimensional energy landscape space. The device is able to produce directed transport taking advantage of the assumed intrinsic asymmetric properties of the proteins and employing the consumption of energy provided by an external source. Through such a directed transport phenomenon, the polypeptide finds the native state starting from any initial state in the energy landscape with great efficacy and robustness, even in the presence of different type of obstacles. This model solves Levinthal's paradox without requiring biased transition probabilities but at the expense of opening the system to an external field.
Comment: 16 pages, 7 figures
Keywords
Physics - Biological Physics, Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
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