Pathways, pathway tubes, pathway docking, and propagators in electron transfer proteins.
The simplest views of long-range electron transfer utilize flat one-dimensional barrier tunneling models, neglecting structural details of the protein medium. The pathway model of protein electron transfer reintroduces structure by distinguishing between covalent bonds, hydrogen bonds, and van der Waals contacts. These three kinds of interactions in a tunneling pathway each have distinctive decay factors associated with them. The distribution and arrangement of these bonded and nonbonded contacts in a folded protein varies tremendously between structures, adding a richness to the tunneling problem that is absent in simpler views. We review the pathway model and the predictions that it makes for protein electron transfer rates in small proteins, docked proteins, and the photosynthetic reactions center. We also review the formulation of the protein electron transfer problem as an effective two-level system. New multi-pathway approaches and improved electronic Hamiltonians are described briefly as well.
Curry, WB; Grabe, MD; Kurnikov, IV; Skourtis, SS; Beratan, DN; Regan, JJ; Aquino, AJ; Beroza, P; Onuchic, JN
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