Helix-to-coil transitions in proteins: Helicity resonance in ultrafast electron diffraction

Milo M. Lin, Dmitry Shorokhov, Ahmed H. Zewail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this Letter, we report on the direct mapping of helicity in the helix-to-coil structural transitions by theoretically simulating the ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) technique for isolated proteins with thousands of possible conformations. A novel approach for producing random coil structures of a given helical protein is presented with proper account of the steric avoidance threshold. A 'resonance' is manifested in the UED patterns of the helical structures. This resonance erodes as the transition to random coils becomes dominant, indicating that the residual helicity in the sample and the ensemble-averaged radius of gyration can be obtained and related to structural dynamics of isolated proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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