Unzipping of two random heteropolymers: Ground state energy and finite size effects

M. V. Tamm 1, S. K. Nechaev 2

Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 78 (2008) 011903

We have analyzed the dependence of average ground state energy per monomer, $e$, of the complex of two random heteropolymers with quenched sequences, on chain length, $n$, in the ensemble of chains with uniform distribution of primary sequences. Every chain monomer is randomly and independently chosen with the uniform probability distribution $p=1/c$ from a set of $c$ different types A, B, C, D, .... Monomers of the first chain could form saturating reversible bonds with monomers of the second chain. The bonds between similar monomer types (like A--A, B--B, C--C, etc.) have the attraction energy $u$, while the bonds between different monomer types (like A--B, A--D, B--D, etc.) have the attraction energy $v$. The main attention is paid to the computation of the normalized free energy $e(n)$ for intermediate chain lengths, $n$, and different ratios $a=\frac{v}{u}$ at sufficiently low temperatures when the entropic contribution of the loop formation is negligible compared to direct energetic interactions between chain monomers and the partition function of the chains is dominated by the ground state. The performed analysis allows one to derive the force, $f$, which is necessary to apply for unzipping of two random heteropolymer chains of equal lengths whose ends are separated by the distance $x$, averaged over all equally distributed primary structures at low temperatures for fixed values $a$ and $c$.

  • 1. Physics Department,
    Moscow State University
  • 2. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud