Simulating Protein Conformations through Global Optimization
Many researches have been working on the protein folding problem from more than half century. Protein folding is indeed one of the major unsolved problems in science. In this work, we discuss a model for the simulation of protein conformations. This simple model is based on the idea of imposing few geometric requirements on chains of atoms representing the backbone of a protein conformation. The model leads to the formulation of a global optimization problem, whose solutions correspond to conformations satisfying the desired requirements. The global optimization problem is solved by the recently proposed Monkey Search algorithm. The simplicity of the optimization problem and the effectiveness of the used meta-heuristic search allowed the simulation of a large set of high-quality conformations. We show that, even though only few geometric requirements are imposed, some of the simulated conformation results to be similar (in terms of RMSD) to conformations real proteins actually have in nature.