Protein dynamics and reaction rates: mode-specific chemistry in large molecules?

W. Bialek, J. N. Onuchic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Reactive events in proteins may be strongly coupled to a few specific modes of protein motion or they may couple nonspecifically to the dense continuum of protein and solvent modes. We summarize the evidence that at least some biologically important reactions can be described in terms of a few specific modes, and we propose experiments to quantify the strength of coupling to the continuum. We also show that large entropic effects--solvent ordering, for example--can be rigorously incorporated in few-mode models without losing mode specificity. Within our description, the dynamics that determine chemical reaction rates can be summarized by a small number of parameters directly related to spectroscopic and thermodynamic data. Mode specificity allows protein dynamics to contribute directly to the control and specificity of biochemical reaction rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5908-5912
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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