DIMACS TR: 99-20

Statistical Properties of Contact Maps

Authors: Michele Vendruscolo, Balakrishna Subramanian, Ido Kanter, Eytan Domany and Joel Lebowitz


A contact map is a simple representation of the structure of proteins and other chain-like macromolecules. This representation is quite amenable to numerical studies of folding. We show that the number of contact maps corresponding to the possible configurations of a polypeptide chain of $N$ amino acids, represented by $(N-1)$-step self avoiding walks on a lattice, grows exponentially with $N$ for all dimensions $D > 1$. We carry out exact enumerations in $D=2$ on the square and triangular lattices for walks of up to 20 steps and investigate various statistical properties of contact maps corresponding to such walks.. We also study the exact statistics of contact maps generated by walks on a ladder.

Paper Available at: ftp://dimacs.rutgers.edu/pub/dimacs/TechnicalReports/TechReports/1999/99-20.ps.gz
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