Effects of an Electric Field on the Conformational Transition of the Protein: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study.


Department of Applied Physics, China Jiliang University, No. 258 Xueyuan Street, Xiasha Higher Education Zone, Hangzhou 310018, China. [Email]


The effect of the electric field on the conformational properties of the protein 1BBL was investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. Our simulation results clearly capture the structural transitions of the protein sample from helix to turn or random coil conformation induced by the increasing strength of the electric field. During our analysis, we found that the conformational stability is weakened, and the protein sample is stretched as an unfolded structure when it was exposed in a sufficiently high electric field. The characteristic time when the jump occurs in the time evolution curves of root mean square deviation (RMSD) and radius of gyration Rg decreases with increasing electric strength, which demonstrates the rapidly conformational transition that occurs. The number of intra-protein hydrogen bonds, which is the key factor for stabilizing the protein structure, is related to the overall size of the protein. The value of the dipole moment and characteristic time are both influenced by the strength, but are independent of the direction of the external field. The protein sample becomes rotated with the electric field direction. These conclusions provide a theoretical realization of understanding the protein conformational transition in an electric field and the guidance for anticipative applications.


conformational transition,electric field,molecular dynamics simulation,