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Keywords:

  • protein conformation;
  • dynamics;
  • Monte Carlo simulation;
  • conformational energy;
  • minimization;
  • plastic deformation;
  • conformational heterogeneity;
  • hierarchy in dynamics;
  • trypsin inhibitor

Abstract

Differences in atom packing are studied in the minimum energy conformations derived from the record of the Monte Carlo simulation of conformational fluctuation in the native state of a globular protein, bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor. It is found that local deformations observed among the minima which are found in the previous paper are accompanied by rearrangement of atom packing. Spatial locations of the local deformations in the three-dimensional folded structure are also studied. It is foundthat the local deformations are distributed in space in several clusters inthe folded structure. The size and location of the clusters characterize the respective fluctuations of the first and the second levels observed in the simulation. In the fluctuations of the first level local deformations, each of which usually involves a few side chains and one main chain local segment, are thermally exited independently of each other near thesurface of the molecule. The observed fluctuation of the second level involves a cooperative deformation involving many side chains and local main chain segments all in one cluster, which goes though the core of the molecule. The collective local deformations observed both in the first and second levels are plastic in the sense that they are accompanied with rearrangement of atom packing.