A quantum theory on conformation-electron system is presented. Protein folding is regarded as the quantum transition between torsion states on polypeptide chain, and the folding rate is calculated by nonadiabatic operator method. The theory is used to study the temperature dependences of folding rate of 15 proteins and their non-Arrhenius behavior can all be deduced in a natural way. A general formula on the rate-temperature dependence has been deduced which is in good accordance with experimental data. These temperature dependences are further analyzed in terms of torsion potential parameters. Our results show it is necessary to move outside the realm of classical physics when the temperature dependence of protein folding is studied quantitatively
MIT Technology Review - f quantum mechanics plays a key role in protein folding, then there can be little question of its importance in the workings of other cellular machines. It can only be a matter of time before the floodgates open for quantum biologists.
To conclude, the temperature dependence is a key point for understanding the protein folding mechanism since the temperature dependence gives relatively abundant and comparable data on the folding of the same protein and therefore it provides a clue to search for the general law underlying folding. As we know, the problem has not yet been solved in current literatures. However, we found it can be solved satisfactorily from the point of quantum transition theory. The fact itself shows the necessity to move outside the realm of classical physics. Ten years before David Baker said that the fundamental physics underlying protein folding may be much simpler than the extremely complexity inherent in the protein structure. Here, our analysis indicates that a key point on the surprising simplicity may be in: the numerous types of protein folding obey the same universal kinetics of quantum transition between conformational states. The view of quantum transition among torsion states gives deeper insights into the folding event of polypeptide chain.
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