John S. Schreck, Jian-Min Yuan. A Statistical Mechanical Approach to Protein Aggregation

Natural Sciences / Physics / Biophysics

Submitted on: Aug 18, 2012, 20:23:56

Description: We develop a theory of aggregation using statistical mechanical methods. An example of a complicated aggregation system with several levels of structures is peptide/protein self-assembly. The problem of protein aggregation is important for the understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and also for the development of bio-macromolecules as new materials. We write the effective Hamiltonian in terms of interaction energies between protein monomers, protein and solvent, as well as between protein filaments. The grand partition function can be expressed in terms of a Zimm-Bragg-like transfer matrix, which is calculated exactly and all thermodynamic properties can be obtained. We start with two-state and three-state descriptions of protein monomers using Potts models that can be generalized to include q-states, for which the exactly solvable feature of the model remains.

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