How history shapes geometry in a model of protein evolution
Olivier Rivoire (Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de Physique, UJF Grenoble)
The interactions between amino acids in a protein are heterogeneous but not arbitrary: they enable proteins to perform specific biochemical « functions ». Understanding these interactions may require, however, looking beyond current functional requirements, to the evolutionary history of proteins. I will illustrate this point with a simple statistical mechanics model, which I will motivate with observations and experiments on natural proteins. The model relates the parameters controlling the evolution of a protein to the organization of the interactions inside its structure.