Search and Recognition: Spin Glass Engineering as an Approach to Protein Structure Prediction
Protein folding is perhaps the most complex process that can be usefully described in purely atomistic terms.1, 2 In order to function, a protein generally must take on a specific three-dimensional structure. It is, at present, unknown how this process occurs in the living cell. It is possible and, indeed, likely, that for many proteins, special biological machinery and catalysts are necessary for this process. However, it is also known that for some smaller proteins, this process of folding into a well defined structure can occur spontaneously in the absence of special biological machinery. In principle, this in vitro folding process can be studied using the ideas of physics and chemistry alone. A huge diversity of states of varying stabilities can occur in the folding process. It is important then to attack the problem of understanding protein folding by seeking a language that can reconcile diversity and stability.
KeywordsSpin Glass Associative Memory Protein Structure Prediction Folding Process Free Energy Function
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