Rocha, L. F. O.
Silva, I. R.
Total Authors: 3
 Univ Sao Paulo, FCFRP, Dept Quim & Fis, BR-14040903 Ribeirao Preto, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 1
PHYSICA A-STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS;
OCT 1 2009.
Web of Science Citations:
In the protein folding problem, solvent-mediated forces are commonly represented by intra-chain pairwise contact energy. Although this approximation has proven to be useful in several circumstances, it is limited in some other aspects of the problem. Here we show that it is possible to achieve two models to represent the chain-solvent system. one of them with implicit and other with explicit solvent, such that both reproduce the same thermodynamic results. Firstly, lattice models treated by analytical methods, were used to show that the implicit and explicitly representation of solvent effects can be energetically equivalent only if local solvent properties are time and spatially invariant. Following, applying the same reasoning Used for the lattice models, two inter-consistent Monte Carlo off-lattice models for implicit and explicit solvent are constructed, being that now in the latter the solvent properties are allowed to fluctuate. Then, it is shown that the chain configurational evolution as well as the globule equilibrium conformation are significantly distinct for implicit and explicit solvent systems. Actually, strongly contrasting with the implicit solvent version, the explicit solvent model predicts: (i) a malleable globule, in agreement with the estimated large protein-volume fluctuations; (ii) thermal conformational stability, resembling the conformational hear resistance of globular proteins, in which radii of gyration are practically insensitive to thermal effects over a relatively wide range of temperatures; and (iii) smaller radii of gyration at higher temperatures, indicating that the chain conformational entropy in the unfolded state is significantly smaller than that estimated from random coil configurations. Finally, we comment on the meaning of these results with respect to the understanding of the folding process. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (AU)