Author(s): Honig B, Ray A, Levinthal C
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Abstract Conformational energy calculations are used to analyze the interactions of structural substructures in subtilisin BPN. These substructures are kept fixed or "rigid" so that the only variables in the calculations are the backbone segments that separate them. The flexible segments are assumed to be free turns. Using this representation of the protein it is possible to predict both a likely order of events along a folding pathway and preferred modes of conformational changes of the native protein. Moreover, when the native structure has been perturbed by moving the substructures apart, it is possible to assess the range of interactions that return the protein, upon energy minimization, to its original conformation. These results suggest an approach to the folding problem based on the piecemeal formation of tertiary structure from smaller prefolded fragments.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology