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Physics and Astronomy


In a coarse-grained description of a protein chain, all of the 20 amino acid residues can be broadly divided into three groups: Hydrophobic (H), polar (P), and electrostatic (E). A protein can be described by nodes tethered in a chain with a node representing an amino acid group. Aspartic acid protease consists of 99 residues in a well-defined sequence of H, P, and E nodes tethered together by fluctuating bonds. The protein chain is placed on a cubic lattice where empty lattice sites constitute an effective solvent medium. The amino groups (nodes) interact with the solvent (S) sites with appropriate attractive (PS) and repulsive (HS) interactions with the solvent and execute their stochastic movement with the Metropolis algorithm. Variations of the root mean square displacements of the center of mass and that of its center node of the protease chain and its gyration radius with the time steps are examined for different solvent strength. The structure of the protease swells on increasing the solvent interaction strength which tends to enhance the relaxation time to reach the diffusive behavior of the chain. Equilibrium radius of gyration increases linearly on increasing the solvent strength: A slow rate of increase in weak solvent regime is followed by a faster swelling in stronger solvent. Variation of the gyration radius with the time steps suggests that the protein chain moves via contraction and expansion in a somewhat quasiperiodic pattern particularly in strong solvent.


©Physical Review E

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Physical Review E





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