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A solution to the subdiffusion-efficiency paradox: Inactive states enhance reaction efficiency at subdiffusion conditions in living cells

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Macromolecular crowding in living biological cells effects subdiffusion of larger biomolecules such as proteins and enzymes. Mimicking this subdiffusion in terms of random walks on a critical percolation cluster, we here present a case study of EcoRV restriction enzymes involved in vital cellular defence. We show that due to its so far elusive propensity to an inactive state the enzyme avoids non-specific binding and remains well-distributed in the bulk cytoplasm of the cell. Despite the reduced volume exploration capability of subdiffusion processes, this mechanism guarantees a high efficiency of the enzyme. By variation of the non-specific binding constant and the bond occupation probability on the percolation network, we demonstrate that reduced non-specific binding are beneficial for efficient subdiffusive enzyme activity even in relatively small bacteria cells. Our results corroborate a more local picture of cellular regulation.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012


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