Critical Fluctuations in the Native State of Proteins

Qian Yuan Tang, Yang Yang Zhang, Jun Wang*, Wei Wang*, Dante R. Chialvo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Based on protein structural ensembles determined by nuclear magnetic resonance, we study the position fluctuations of residues by calculating distance-dependent correlations and conducting finite-size scaling analysis. The fluctuations exhibit high susceptibility and long-range correlations up to the protein sizes. The scaling relations between the correlations or susceptibility and protein sizes resemble those in other physical and biological systems near their critical points. These results indicate that, at the native states, motions of each residue are felt by every other one in the protein. We also find that proteins with larger susceptibility are more frequently observed in nature. Overall, our results suggest that the protein's native state is critical.

Original languageEnglish
Article number088102
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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