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Physics and Astronomy


Mathematics and Natural Sciences


The effect of temperature on the conformation of a histone (H3.1) is studied by a coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulation based on three knowledge-based contact potentials (MJ, BT, BFKV). Despite unique energy and mobility profiles of its residues, the histone H3.1 undergoes a systematic (possibly continuous) structural transition from a random coil to a globular conformation on reducing the temperature. The range over which such a systematic response in variation of the radius of gyration (Rg) with the temperature (T) occurs, however, depends on the potential, i.e. ΔTMJ ≈ 0.013–0.020, ΔTBT ≈ 0.018–0.026, and ΔTBFKV ≈ 0.006–0.013 (in reduced unit). Unlike MJ and BT potentials, results from the BFKV potential show an anomaly where the magnitude of Rg decreases on raising the temperature in a range ΔTA ≈ 0.015–0.018 before reaching its steady-state random coil configuration. Scaling of the structure factor, S(q) ∝ q−1/ν, with the wave vector, q = 2π/λ, and the wavelength, λ, reveals a systematic change in the effective dimension (De∼1/ν) of the histone with all potentials (MJ, BT, BFKV): De∼3 in the globular structure with De∼2 for the random coil. Reproducibility of the general yet unique (monotonic) structural transition of the protein H3.1 with the temperature (in contrast to non-monotonic structural response of a similar but different protein H2AX) with three interaction sets shows that the knowledge-based contact potential is viable tool to investigate structural response of proteins. Caution should be exercise with the quantitative comparisons due to differences in transition regimes with these interactions.

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PLoS One





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