Biophysical Reviews

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 283–293 | Cite as

A new theoretical approach to biological self-assembly

  • Masahiro Kinoshita


Upon biological self-assembly, the number of accessible translational configurations of water in the system increases considerably, leading to a large gain in water entropy. It is important to calculate the solvation entropy of a biomolecule with a prescribed structure by accounting for the change in water–water correlations caused by solute insertion. Modeling water as a dielectric continuum is not capable of capturing the physical essence of the water entropy effect. As a reliable tool, we propose a hybrid of the angle-dependent integral equation theory combined with a multipolar water model and a morphometric approach. Using our methods wherein the water entropy effect is treated as the key factor, we can elucidate a variety of processes such as protein folding, cold, pressure, and heat denaturating of a protein, molecular recognition, ordered association of proteins such as amyloid fibril formation, and functioning of ATP-driven proteins.


Solvation entropy Biological self-assembly Protein folding Protein denaturation Molecular recognition ATP-driven protein Integral equation theory Morphometric approach 



The author thanks all the collaborators. Sincere appreciation should be expressed to Prof. Kuniaki Nagayama for his continuous encouragement. This work was supported mainly by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (No. 20118004) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Advanced EnergyKyoto UniversityUjiJapan

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