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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Folding and stability of trp aporepressor from Escherichia coli.

Equilibrium and kinetic studies of the urea-induced unfolding of trp aporepressor from Escherichia coli were performed to probe the folding mechanism of this intertwined, dimeric protein. The equilibrium unfolding transitions at pH 7.6 and 25 degrees C monitored by difference absorbance, fluorescence, and circular dichroism spectroscopy are coincident within experimental error. All three transitions are well described by a two-state model involving the native dimer and the unfolded monomer; the free energy of folding in the absence of denaturant and under standard-state conditions is estimated to be 23.3 +/- 0.9 kcal/mol of dimer. The midpoint of the equilibrium unfolding transition increases with increasing protein concentration in the manner expected from the law of mass action for the two-state model. We find no evidence for stable folding intermediates. Kinetic studies reveal that unfolding is governed by a single first-order reaction whose relaxation time decreases exponentially with increasing urea concentration and also decreases with increasing protein concentration in the transition zone. Refolding involves at least three phases that depend on both the protein concentration and the final urea concentration in a complex manner. The relaxation time of the slowest of these refolding phases is identical with that for the single phase in unfolding in the transition zone, consistent with the results expected for a reaction that is kinetically reversible. The two faster refolding phases are presumed to arise from slow isomerization reactions in the unfolded form and reflect parallel folding channels.[1]


  1. Folding and stability of trp aporepressor from Escherichia coli. Gittelman, M.S., Matthews, C.R. Biochemistry (1990) [Pubmed]
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