Free energy and information contents of Conformons in proteins and DNA

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Abstract

Sequence-specific conformational strains (SSCS) of biopolymers that carry free energy and genetic information have been called conformons, a term coined independently by two groups over two and a half decades ago [Green, D.E., Ji, S., 1972. The electromechanochemical model of mitochondrial structure and function. In: Schultz, J., Cameron, B.F. (Eds.), Molecular Basis of Electron Transport. Academic Press, New York, pp. 1-44; Volkenstein, M.V., 1972. The Conformon. J. Theor. Biol. 34, 193-195]. Conformons provide the molecular mechanisms necessary and sufficient to account for all biological processes in the living cell on the molecular level in principle - including the origin of life, enzymic catalysis, control of gene expression, oxidative phosphorylation, active transport, and muscle contraction. A clear example of SSCS is provided by SIDD (strain-induced duplex destabilization) in DNA recently reported by Benham [Benham, C.J., 1996a. Duplex destabilization in superhelical DNA is predicted to occur at specific transcriptional regulatory regions. J. Mol. Biol. 255, 425-434; Benham, C.J., 1996b. Computation of DNA structural variability - a new predictor of DNA regulatory regions. CABIOS 12(5), 375-381]. Experimental as well as theoretical evidence indicates that conformons in proteins carry 8-16 kcal/mol of free energy and 40-200 bits of information, while those in DNA contain 500-2500 kcal/mol of free energy and 200-600 bits of information. The similarities and differences between conformons and solitons have been analyzed on the basis of the generalized Franck-Condon principle [Ji, S., 1974a. A general theory of ATP synthesis and utilization. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 227, 211-226; Ji, S., 1974b. Energy and negentropy in enzymic catalysis. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 227, 419-437]. To illustrate a practical application, the conformon theory was applied to the molecular-clamp model of DNA gyrase proposed by Berger and Wang [Berger, J.M., Wang, J.C., 1996. Recent developments in DNA topoisomerases II structure and mechanism. Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 6(1), 84-90], leading to the proposal of an eight-step molecular mechanism for the action of the enzyme. Finally, a set of experimentally testable predictions has been formulated on the basis of the conformon theory. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-130
Number of pages24
JournalBioSystems
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Fingerprint

Information Content
Free energy
Free Energy
DNA
Catalysis
Nucleic Acid Regulatory Sequences
Proteins
Protein
Molecular Computers
Origin of Life
DNA Gyrase
Superhelical DNA
Biological Phenomena
Biopolymers
Type II DNA Topoisomerase
Molecular Models
Electron Transport
Active Biological Transport
Phosphorylation
Oxidative Phosphorylation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Keywords

  • Conformational strains
  • DNA topoisomerases
  • Frank-Condon principle
  • Free energy
  • Information
  • Stress-induced duplex destabilization

Cite this

@article{cd0b61e6fbfa4fbfb907d88ea55a2a64,
title = "Free energy and information contents of Conformons in proteins and DNA",
abstract = "Sequence-specific conformational strains (SSCS) of biopolymers that carry free energy and genetic information have been called conformons, a term coined independently by two groups over two and a half decades ago [Green, D.E., Ji, S., 1972. The electromechanochemical model of mitochondrial structure and function. In: Schultz, J., Cameron, B.F. (Eds.), Molecular Basis of Electron Transport. Academic Press, New York, pp. 1-44; Volkenstein, M.V., 1972. The Conformon. J. Theor. Biol. 34, 193-195]. Conformons provide the molecular mechanisms necessary and sufficient to account for all biological processes in the living cell on the molecular level in principle - including the origin of life, enzymic catalysis, control of gene expression, oxidative phosphorylation, active transport, and muscle contraction. A clear example of SSCS is provided by SIDD (strain-induced duplex destabilization) in DNA recently reported by Benham [Benham, C.J., 1996a. Duplex destabilization in superhelical DNA is predicted to occur at specific transcriptional regulatory regions. J. Mol. Biol. 255, 425-434; Benham, C.J., 1996b. Computation of DNA structural variability - a new predictor of DNA regulatory regions. CABIOS 12(5), 375-381]. Experimental as well as theoretical evidence indicates that conformons in proteins carry 8-16 kcal/mol of free energy and 40-200 bits of information, while those in DNA contain 500-2500 kcal/mol of free energy and 200-600 bits of information. The similarities and differences between conformons and solitons have been analyzed on the basis of the generalized Franck-Condon principle [Ji, S., 1974a. A general theory of ATP synthesis and utilization. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 227, 211-226; Ji, S., 1974b. Energy and negentropy in enzymic catalysis. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 227, 419-437]. To illustrate a practical application, the conformon theory was applied to the molecular-clamp model of DNA gyrase proposed by Berger and Wang [Berger, J.M., Wang, J.C., 1996. Recent developments in DNA topoisomerases II structure and mechanism. Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 6(1), 84-90], leading to the proposal of an eight-step molecular mechanism for the action of the enzyme. Finally, a set of experimentally testable predictions has been formulated on the basis of the conformon theory. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.",
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Free energy and information contents of Conformons in proteins and DNA. / Ji, Sungchul.

In: BioSystems, Vol. 54, No. 3, 01.01.2000, p. 107-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Ji, Sungchul

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