Fractal surfaces of proteins

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Science  06 Dec 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4730, pp. 1163-1165
DOI: 10.1126/science.4071040


Fractal surfaces can be used to characterize the roughness or irregularity of protein surfaces. The degree of irregularity of a surface may be described by the fractal dimension D. For protein surfaces defined with probes in the range of 1.0 to 3.5 angstroms in radius, D is approximately 2.4 or intermediate between the value for a completely smooth surface (D = 2) and that for a completely space-filling surface (D = 3). Individual regions of proteins show considerable variation in D. These variations may be related to structural features such as active sites and subunit interfaces, suggesting that surface texture may be a factor influencing molecular interactions.

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