Distances between centers of gravity of individual residues are compared among the minimum energy conformations derived from the recordof the Monte Carlo simulation of conformational fluctuations in the native state of a globular protein, bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor. It is found that local deformations originating from the multiplicity of localconformations cause deformations of the whole structure of the molecule in various ways, which can be classified into two types. Type 1:When a local deformation occurs in a region consisting of a few residues near the surfaceof the molecule, the whole shape of the molecule responds by deforming elastically. The magnitude of this deformation is in the range of thermalfluctuations calculated by the harmonic approximation around a singleminimum. Type 2: We have observed one case belonging to the second type in which local deformations occur cooperatively in an extended region. This regiongoes across the whole molecule and divide the remaining parts into two. Atom packing changes in and around the extended region of local deformations. For this reason deformation in this region is plastic. Relative locationand orientation between the divided two parts change very much. Deformationof the whole shape in this case, associated with the plastic deformationin an extended region, demonstrates that protein molecules have a flexibility beyond the harmonic limit.
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