- Conference date: 14-15 Oct 1999
- Location: Palermo (Italy)
It has recently been recognized that pathological protein coagulation is responsible for lethal pathologies as diverse as amyloidosis, Alzheimer and TSE. Understanding the coagulation mechanisms is therefore stirring great interest. In previous studies we have shown that on profoundly different systems coagulation is the result of a strong interaction between two processes on different length scales (mesoscopic and microscopic). Here we report experiments on bovine serum albumin (BSA) showing that the overall mechanism is the result of at least 3 distinct and strongly intertwined processes, on both length scales: molecular conformational changes, solution demixing and intermolecular crosslinking. This mechanism involves the statistical mechanics of protein-solvent interaction, its relation to the protein’s landscape of configurational free energy and to the solution’s thermodynamic stability, and its relation to the topological problem of crosslink-percolation, responsible for coagulation.
- Classical statistical mechanics
- Conformational dynamics
- Mesoscopic systems
- Molecular conformation
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