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Globular bundles and entangled network of proteins (CorA) by a coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulation

1 Center of Excellence in Computational Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2 Faculty of Science at Sriracha, Kasetsart University Sriracha Campus, Chonburi 20230, Thailand
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, USA

Topical Section: Protein folding or molecular self-assembly

Using a coarse-grained model, self-organized assembly of proteins (e.g., CorA and its inner segment iCorA) is studied by examining quantities such as contact profile, radius of gyration, and structure factor as a function of protein concentration at a range of low (native phase) to high (denature phase) temperatures. Visual inspections show distinct structures, i.e., isolated globular bundles to entangled network on multiple length scales in dilute to crowded protein concentrations. In native phase, the radius of gyration of the protein does not vary much with the protein concentration while that of its inner segment increases systematically. In contrast, the radius of gyration of the protein shows enormous growth with the concentration due to entanglement while that of the inner segment remains almost constant in denatured phase. The multi-scale morphology of the collective assembly is quantified by estimating the effective dimension D of protein from scaling of the structure factor: collective assembly from inner segments remains globular (D~3) at almost all length scales in its native phase while that from protein chains shows sparsely distributed morphology with D ≤ 2 in entire temperature range due to entanglement except in crowded environment at low temperature where D~2.6. Higher morphological response of chains with only the inner-segments due to selective interactions in its native phase may be more conducive to self-organizing mechanism than that of the remaining segments of the protein chains.
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