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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Mar 26;116(13):5920-5924. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1817778116. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Using a system's equilibrium behavior to reduce its energy dissipation in nonequilibrium processes.

Tafoya S1,2,3, Large SJ4, Liu S5, Bustamante C6,2,3,7,8,9,10,11, Sivak DA12.

Author information

1
Jason L. Choy Laboratory of Single Molecule Biophysics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
2
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
3
Biophysics Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
4
Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
5
Laboratory of Nanoscale Biophysics and Biochemistry, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065.
6
Jason L. Choy Laboratory of Single Molecule Biophysics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720; carlosb@berkeley.edu dsivak@sfu.ca.
7
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
8
Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
9
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
10
California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
11
Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
12
Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada; carlosb@berkeley.edu dsivak@sfu.ca.

Abstract

Cells must operate far from equilibrium, utilizing and dissipating energy continuously to maintain their organization and to avoid stasis and death. However, they must also avoid unnecessary waste of energy. Recent studies have revealed that molecular machines are extremely efficient thermodynamically compared with their macroscopic counterparts. However, the principles governing the efficient out-of-equilibrium operation of molecular machines remain a mystery. A theoretical framework has been recently formulated in which a generalized friction coefficient quantifies the energetic efficiency in nonequilibrium processes. Moreover, it posits that, to minimize energy dissipation, external control should drive the system along the reaction coordinate with a speed inversely proportional to the square root of that friction coefficient. Here, we demonstrate the utility of this theory for designing and understanding energetically efficient nonequilibrium processes through the unfolding and folding of single DNA hairpins.

KEYWORDS:

DNA hairpins; dissipation; energetic efficiency; nonequilibrium; single molecule

PMID:
30867295
PMCID:
PMC6442641
[Available on 2019-09-26]
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1817778116
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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