The Students

The Big Picture

Allostery is a fundamental property of proteins and its physical mechanism has been debated since the inception of the term in the 1960s. Recently, simple physical models called elastic networks have been used to gain insight into the physical principles of allostery. These models approximate the complex energy landscape of a protein by a harmonic basin. Studies that employ elastic networks to study allostery conclude that allostery is transmitted along soft normal modes of the network. However, such strict approximation may limit possible mechanisms of allostery in these models. In my work I am showing that by considering a more complex energy landscape, one that is rugged with many stable minima like those of real proteins, alternative mechanisms of allostery manifest through evolution.