Phonon forces and cold denaturatio

Jakob Bohr

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Protein unfolds upon temperature reduction as Well as upon In increase in temperature, These phenomena are called cold denaturation and hot denaturation, respectively. The contribution from quantum mode forces to denaturation is estimated using a simple phenomenological model describing the molecule Is a continuum. The frequencies of the vibrational modes depend on the molecular dimensionality; hence, the zero-point energies for the folded and the denatured protein are estimated to differ by several electron volts. For a biomolecule such an energy is significant and may contribute to cold denaturing. This is consistent with the empirical observation that cold denaturation is exothermic anti hot denaturation endothermic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Quantum Chemistry
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)118-122
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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