Current theories of heteropolymers are inherently macroscopic, but are applied to mesoscopic proteins. To compute the free energy over sequences, one assumes self-averaging--a property established only in the macroscopic limit. By enumerating the states and energies of compact 18, 27, and 36mers on a lattice with an ensemble of random sequences, we test the self-averaging approximation. We find that fluctuations in the free energy between sequences are weak, and that self-averaging is valid at the scale of real proteins. The results validate sequence design methods which exponentially speed up computational design and simplify experimental realizations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)