Cooperativity in Thermal and Force-Induced Protein Unfolding: Integration of Crack Propagation and Network Elasticity Models Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract We investigate force-induced and temperature-induced unfolding of proteins using the combination of a Gaussian network model and a crack propagation model based on “bond”-breaking independent events. We assume the existence of threshold values for the mean strain and strain fluctuations that dictate bond rupture. Surprisingly, we find that this stepwise process usually leads to a few cooperative, first-order-like, transitions in which several bonds break simultaneously, reminiscent of the “avalanches” seen in disordered networks.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013