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Paper   IPM / Physic / 15824
School of Physics
  Title:   A quantum mechanical approach towards the calculation of transition probabilities between DNA codons
1.  F. Ghasemi
2.  A. Shafiee
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Biosystems
  Vol.:  184
  Year:  2019
  Pages:   103988
  Supported by:  IPM
The role of quantum tunneling in altering the structure of nucleotides to each other and causing a mutational event in DNA has been a topic of debate for years. Here, we introduce a new quantum mechanical approach for analyzing a typical point-mutation in DNA strands. Assuming each codon as a base state, a superposition of codon states could provide a physical description for a set of codons encoding the same amino acid and there are transition amplitudes between them. We choose the amino acids Phe and Ile as our understudy bio-systems which are encoded by two and three codons, respectively. We treat them as large quantum systems and use double- and triple-well potential models to study the fundamental behaviors of them in interaction with a harmonic environment. We use the perturbation theory to calculate the transition probabilities between the codons which encoding the same amino acid and determine the transition rates of some point mutations. Moreover, we evaluate the quantum biological channel capacity for these transitions to show that the channel capacity depends on the system–environment interaction via the dissipation factor Γ. The obtained results demonstrate that the tunneling rate is under the control of capacity of the corresponding biological channel. In other words, the reduction in quantum channel capacity prevents the quantum tunneling rate to be increased.

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