520 Pao Yue-Kong Library
Equilibrium clusters of protein lysozyme are the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Previous attempts to provide the microscopic description of the clusters that is consistent with all experimental evidence have not been fully successful. The primary reason is the use of model potentials that have a pre-defined shape. In this talk I will show a model-free inter-protein potential derived directly from experimental structure factor.The potential is globally repulsive but has a local minimum at short distances. The minimum is essential for the correct behavior of the structure factor, in particular the shifting pattern of the signature maximum at short wave vectors, with density. I will provide an in-depth analysis of the observed clusters. Their relevance to other forms of protein self-assembly, in particular amyloid fibrils, will also be discussed.