Probing structural and dynamical transitions in polymer globules by force

TitleProbing structural and dynamical transitions in polymer globules by force
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSing, CE, Einert, TR, Netz, RR, Alexander-Katz, A
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume83
Issue4
Date Published2011/04/11/
Abstract

The dynamics of proteins and biopolymers play a crucial role in their function. By using Brownian dynamics we show that polymer globules, which serve as a model system for proteins, undergo a size-dependent dynamical transition from a liquid-like state at high T to a frozen state at low T with a relaxation time that diverges at the transition point. Furthermore, a stretch-induced melting transition is shown to be readily controlled by external forces that exploit the polymer connectivity to modify the size of the globule. This pathway could be a general route to enhance the rate of conformational changes in naturally occurring biopolymers.