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Distinguishing between smooth and rough free energy barriers in protein folding
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
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2009 (English)In: Biochemistry, ISSN 0006-2960, E-ISSN 1520-4995, Vol. 48, no 49, 11825-11830 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysis of curved chevron plots is a powerful tool in investigating protein folding pathways, as the curvatures can be used to gain information about both early and late folding events. When and if accumulation of low-energy intermediates can be ruled out, two different models have classically been applied to describe curved chevron plots, namely , (i) Hammond effects along smooth barrier profiles and (ii) changes in the rate-limiting step between two discrete transition states. The two models lead to very similar numerical solutions, which are generally indistinguishable. This is not surprising, since the smooth barrier assumption approximates barrier profiles with a more complex topology involving multiple local maxima that are too close, or too broad, to yield clear-cut kinks in the chevron data. In this work, we have reconstructed the transition state shifts as a function of protein stability over a wide stability range for three small globular proteins, to screen for fingerprints more sensitive for different barrier profiles. We show that such an analysis represents a valuable test for the discrimination between the two different scenarios.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 48, no 49, 11825-11830 p.
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Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-124428DOI: 10.1021/bi901585qISI: 000272394000025PubMedID: 19877713OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-124428DiVA: diva2:317539
Available from: 2010-05-04 Created: 2010-05-04 Last updated: 2011-06-28Bibliographically approved

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Jemth, Per
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