Secondary globular structure of copolymers containing amphiphilic and hydrophilic units: Computer simulation analysis
The coil-globule transition in copolymers composed of amphiphilic and hydrophilic monomer units has been studied by the computer simulation technique. It has been shown that the structure of globules formed in such systems substantially depends on the rate at which the solvent quality worsens. The globule resulting from slow cooling is cylindrical, and its core contains a large amount of hydrophilic groups. The globule formed upon rapid cooling takes the helical conformation, in which all hydrophilic groups are displaced to the periphery. One helix turn of such globules contains 3–5 units. In both cases, the backbone of the polymer chain forms a typical zigzag-shaped structure with an average angle between neighboring bond vectors of about 60°. This fact implies that globules of copolymers consisting of amphiphilic and hydrophilic units comprise secondary structure components.
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