Publications associated with Condensed Matter Theory

Cooperatively enhanced reactivity and "stabilitaxis" of dissociating oligomeric proteins.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117 (2020) 11894-11900

J Agudo-Canalejo, P Illien, R Golestanian

Many functional units in biology, such as enzymes or molecular motors, are composed of several subunits that can reversibly assemble and disassemble. This includes oligomeric proteins composed of several smaller monomers, as well as protein complexes assembled from a few proteins. By studying the generic spatial transport properties of such proteins, we investigate here whether their ability to reversibly associate and dissociate may confer on them a functional advantage with respect to nondissociating proteins. In uniform environments with position-independent association-dissociation, we find that enhanced diffusion in the monomeric state coupled to reassociation into the functional oligomeric form leads to enhanced reactivity with localized targets. In nonuniform environments with position-dependent association-dissociation, caused by, for example, spatial gradients of an inhibiting chemical, we find that dissociating proteins generically tend to accumulate in regions where they are most stable, a process that we term "stabilitaxis."

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