2016 Volume 13 Pages 251-262
The so-called island model of protein structural transition holds that hydrophobic interactions are the key to both the folding and function of proteins. Herein, the genesis and statistical mechanical basis of the island model of transitions are reviewed, by presenting the results of simulations of such transitions. Elucidating the physicochemical mechanism of protein structural formation is the foundation for understanding the hierarchical structure of life at the microscopic level. Based on the results obtained to date using the island model, remaining problems and future work in the field of protein structures are discussed, referencing Professor Saitô’s views on the hierarchic structure of science.