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Open Access Nano Express

Alpha-helical regions of the protein molecule as organic nanotubes

Anatol D Suprun and Liudmyla V Shmeleva*

Author Affiliations

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Volodymyrska Street, 64/13, Kyiv 01601, Ukraine

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:200  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-200

Published: 1 May 2014


An α-helical region of protein molecule was considered in a model of nanotube. The molecule is in conditions of quantum excitations. Such model corresponds to a one-dimensional molecular nanocrystal with three molecules in an elementary cell at the presence of excitation. For the analysis of different types of conformational response of the α-helical area of the protein molecule on excitation, the nonlinear response of this area to the intramolecular quantum excitation caused by hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is taken into account. It has been established that in the simplest case, three types of excitation are realized. As estimates show, each of them ‘serves’ different kinds of protein. The symmetrical type of excitation, most likely, is realized in the reduction of traversal-striped skeletal muscles. It has the highest excitation energy. This well protects from casual actions. Antisymmetric excitations have intermediate energy (between symmetrical and asymmetrical). They, most likely, are realized in membranous and nucleic proteins. It is shown that the conformational response of the α-helical region of the protein is (in angstroms) a quantity of order Nc/5, where Nc is the number of spiral turns. For the number of turns typical in this case: Nc ~ 10, displacement compounds are a quantity of order 2 Å. It qualitatively corresponds to observable values. Asymmetrical excitations have the lowest energy. Therefore, most likely, they are realized in enzymatic proteins. It was shown that at this type of excitation, the bending of the α-helix is formally directed to the opposite side with respect to the antisymmetric excitations. Also, it has a greater value than the antisymmetric case for Nc ≤ 14 and smaller for Nc > 14.





Alpha-helix; Protein; Nanotube