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Biosystems. 2004 Nov;77(1-3):73-85.

Tubulin dipole moment, dielectric constant and quantum behavior: computer simulations, experimental results and suggestions.

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1
Department of Physics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4242, USA. mershin@physics.tamu.edu

Abstract

We used computer simulation to calculate the electric dipole moments of the alpha- and beta-tubulin monomers and dimer and found those to be |p(alpha)| = 552D, |p(beta)| = 1193D and |p(alphabeta)| = 1740D, respectively. Independent surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and refractometry measurements of the high-frequency dielectric constant and polarizability strongly corroborated our previous SPR-derived results, giving Deltan/Deltac approximately 1.800 x 10(-3)ml/mg. The refractive index of tubulin was measured to be n(tub) approximately 2.90 and the high-frequency tubulin dielectric constant k(tub) approximately 8.41, while the high-frequency polarizability was found to be alpha(tub) approximately 2.1 x 10(-33)C m(2)/V. Methods for the experimental determination of the low-frequency p are explored, as well as ways to test the often conjectured quantum coherence and entanglement properties of tubulin. Biobits, bioqubits and other applications to bioelectronics are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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