Article

Levinthal's paradox.

Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/1992; 89(1):20-2. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.89.1.20
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Levinthal's paradox is that finding the native folded state of a protein by a random search among all possible configurations can take an enormously long time. Yet proteins can fold in seconds or less. Mathematical analysis of a simple model shows that a small and physically reasonable energy bias against locally unfavorable configurations, of the order of a few kT, can reduce Levinthal's time to a biologically significant size.

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