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Biophys J. 1996 Nov;71(5):2440-57.

Theory and simulation of the time-dependent rate coefficients of diffusion-influenced reactions.

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Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


A general formalism is developed for calculating the time-dependent rate coefficient k(t) of an irreversible diffusion-influenced reaction. This formalism allows one to treat most factors that affect k(t), including rotational Brownian motion and conformational gating of reactant molecules and orientation constraint for product formation. At long times k(t) is shown to have the asymptotic expansion k(infinity)[1 + k(infinity) (pie Dt)-1/2 /4 pie D + ...], where D is the relative translational diffusion constant. An approximate analytical method for calculating k(t) is presented. This is based on the approximation that the probability density of the reactant pair in the reactive region keeps the equilibrium distribution but with a decreasing amplitude. The rate coefficient then is determined by the Green function in the absence of chemical reaction. Within the framework of this approximation, two general relations are obtained. The first relation allows the rate coefficient for an arbitrary amplitude of the reactivity to be found if the rate coefficient for one amplitude of the reactivity is known. The second relation allows the rate coefficient in the presence of conformational gating to be found from that in the absence of conformational gating. The ratio k(t)/k(0) is shown to be the survival probability of the reactant pair at time t starting from an initial distribution that is localized in the reactive region. This relation forms the basis of the calculation of k(t) through Brownian dynamics simulations. Two simulation procedures involving the propagation of nonreactive trajectories initiated only from the reactive region are described and illustrated on a model system. Both analytical and simulation results demonstrate the accuracy of the equilibrium-distribution approximation method.

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