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

Proline isomerism in the protein folding of ribonuclease A.

The guanidinium chloride-unfolded state of ribonuclease A was found to be an equilibrium mixture of slow- and fast-refolding forms of the protein chain, as has been suggested. Both forms appear to have the same spectroscopic observables as judged by the relative changes in fluorescence emission and polarization. The equilibrium between them is thermally dependent, with deltaHapp equal to -1.4 kcal/ mol. The activation energy Ea is equal to 18 kcal/ mol. These findings are consistent with the proposal that cis-trans isomerism of peptide bonds that are NH2-terminal to proline residues is responsible for the slow phase of RNase A refolding. However, the actual dependence of the magnitude of the slow reaction on initial, prefolding temperature cannot be explained by a model in which the proline configurations of the fast refolding form must be identical to those of the native protein, as has been suggested. Instead, the data reveal that, although the native structure of RNase A contains two cis prolines, cis isomers need not be present in the fast-refolding form in order for folding to occur.[1]


  1. Proline isomerism in the protein folding of ribonuclease A. Henkens, R.W., Gerber, A.D., Cooper, M.R., Herzog, W.R. J. Biol. Chem. (1980) [Pubmed]
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