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Evolution, energy landscapes and the paradoxes of protein folding.


ABSTRACT: Protein folding has been viewed as a difficult problem of molecular self-organization. The search problem involved in folding however has been simplified through the evolution of folding energy landscapes that are funneled. The funnel hypothesis can be quantified using energy landscape theory based on the minimal frustration principle. Strong quantitative predictions that follow from energy landscape theory have been widely confirmed both through laboratory folding experiments and from detailed simulations. Energy landscape ideas also have allowed successful protein structure prediction algorithms to be developed. The selection constraint of having funneled folding landscapes has left its imprint on the sequences of existing protein structural families. Quantitative analysis of co-evolution patterns allows us to infer the statistical characteristics of the folding landscape. These turn out to be consistent with what has been obtained from laboratory physicochemical folding experiments signaling a beautiful confluence of genomics and chemical physics.

SUBMITTER: Wolynes PG 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4472606 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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