Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2014 Gabriella Heller
For DNA molecules, topological complexity occurs exclusively as the result of knotting or linking of the polynucleotide backbone. By contrast, while a few knots and links have been found within the polypeptide backbones of some protein structures, non-planarity can also result from the connectivity between a polypeptide chain and attached metal structures. In this thesis, we survey the known types of knots, links, and non-planar graphs in protein structures with and without including such bonds between proteins and metals. Then we present new examples of protein structures containing M\"obius ladders and other non-planar graphs as a result of these bound metal atoms. Finally, we propose hypothetical structures illustrating specific disulfide connectivities that would result in the key ring link, the Whitehead link and the 5_1 knot, the latter two of which have thus far not been identified within protein structures.
Heller, Gabriella, "Topological Complexity in Protein Structures" (2014). Pomona Senior Theses. 118.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.