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Interface Propagation in Coiled-Coil Macromolecules

Ritwik Raj, Prashant K. Purohit, Paulo E. Arratia

GOAL: Determine the mechanical properties and kinetics of unfolding of coiled-coils.

MOTIVATION: Defects in the mechanics of coiled-coil type filaments, such as, vimentin and desmin, cause diseases like muscular dystrophy and premature ageing.

HYPOTHESIS: Unfolding of coiled-coils proceeds through interface propagation.

RESULTS: A two-state continuum model with propagating interfaces can predict the structural transitions in DNA as well as myosin coiled-coils.

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FUTURE WORK: Model the kinetics using Kramer’s rate theory. Predict how protein will unfold in a fluid velocity gradient produced in a microfluidic device.

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