• J.R. Banavar, A. Maritan, C. Micheletti and A. Trovato
    Geometry and physics of proteins
    Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics, 47,315-322 (2002).
    Link to online article ABSTRACT
    A conceptual framework for understanding the protein folding problem has remained elusive in spite of many significant advances. We show that geometrical constraints imposed by chain connectivity, compactness and the avoidance of steric clashes can be encompassed in a natural way using a three-body potential and leads to a selection in structure space, independent of chemical details. Strikingly, secondary motifs such as hairpins, sheets and helices, which are the building blocks of protein folds, emerge as the chosen structures for segments of the protein backbone based just on elementary geometrical considerations.