The mechanism of folding of globular proteins. Equilibria and kinetics of conformational transitions of penicillinase from Staphylococcus aureus involving a state of intermediate conformation.
ABSTRACT: 1. The thermodynamically reversible unfolding and refolding of penicillinase between the native and fully unfolded states were followed by using guanidinium chloride as denaturant. 2. The equilibria, studied by optical rotation, u.v. absorption, viscosity and enzyme activity, show the presence of a state of intermediate conformation, termed state H, which is stable at 20 degrees C in 0.8 M-guanidinium chloride. 3. The physical properties of this state show that it is slightly expanded with an intrinsic viscosity of 8 ml-g-1, that the 13 tyrosine residues, which are distributed through the primary sequence, are maximally exposed to the solvent and that the helix content is the same as that of the native state. 4. The kinetics of the transition between the native state, state H and the fully unfolded state were followed by u.v. absorption and by optical rotation. They are interpreted as showing that state H lies on the folding pathway between the native and fully unfolded states. 5. The transition between the native state and state H exhibits monophasic unfolding kinetics and biphasic refolding kinetics. This indicates that there must be at least two intermediate states in this process, at least one of which lies on the folding pathway which may also involve cul-de-sac paths. 6. The results are discussed in terms of a mechanism involving rapid stabilization of nucleation regions in a moderately compact but internally solvated structure, with 'native format' [Anfinsen (1973) Science 181, 233-230] secondary structure stabilized by tertiary interaction. The final and rate-limiting step in refolding involves shuffling of these structural elements into the native state. 7. This model is discussed in relation to folding in vivo.
Project description:Many proteins fold in apparent two-state behavior, as partially folded intermediates only transiently accumulate and easily escape detection. Besides a native form and a mainly unfolded form, we captured a partially unfolded form of an acyl carrier protein from Micromonospora echinospora (meACP) in the folding/unfolding equilibrium using chemical exchange saturation transfer NMR experiments. The C-terminal region of the partially unfolded form is mainly folded and the N-terminal is unfolded. Furthermore, to understand how the folding process of meACP is influenced by solvent environments, we compared the folding dynamics of meACP in D2O, H2O and low concentration of urea. As the environment becomes more denaturing from D2O to H2O and then to urea, the unfolded state becomes increasingly populated, and the folding rate decreases. Adding a small amount of urea, which does not change solvent viscosity, has little effects on the unfolding rates, while changing H2O to D2O reduces the unfolding rates possibly due to the increase of solvent viscosity. The quantified solvent effects on the protein folding Gibbs energy and activation energy suggest that the transition state of folding may have a similar structure to the native state of the protein.
Project description:The human AmphyphisinII/Bin1 N-BAR domain belongs to the BAR domain superfamily, whose members sense and generate membrane curvatures. The N-BAR domain is a 57 kDa homodimeric protein comprising a six helix bundle. Here we report the protein folding mechanism of this protein as a representative of this protein superfamily. The concentration dependent thermodynamic stability was studied by urea equilibrium transition curves followed by fluorescence and far-UV CD spectroscopy. Kinetic unfolding and refolding experiments, including rapid double and triple mixing techniques, allowed to unravel the complex folding behavior of N-BAR. The equilibrium unfolding transition curve can be described by a two-state process, while the folding kinetics show four refolding phases, an additional burst reaction and two unfolding phases. All fast refolding phases show a rollover in the chevron plot but only one of these phases depends on the protein concentration reporting the dimerization step. Secondary structure formation occurs during the three fast refolding phases. The slowest phase can be assigned to a proline isomerization. All kinetic experiments were also followed by fluorescence anisotropy detection to verify the assignment of the dimerization step to the respective folding phase. Based on these experiments we propose for N-BAR two parallel folding pathways towards the homodimeric native state depending on the proline conformation in the unfolded state.
Project description:Nanosecond laser T-jump was used to measure the viscosity dependence of the folding kinetics of the villin subdomain under conditions where the viscogen has no effect on its equilibrium properties. The dependence of the unfolding/refolding relaxation time on solvent viscosity indicates a major contribution to the dynamics from internal friction. The internal friction increases with increasing temperature, suggesting a shift in the transition state along the reaction coordinate toward the native state with more compact structures, and therefore, a smaller diffusion coefficient due to increased landscape roughness. Fitting the data with an Ising-like model yields a relatively small position dependence for the diffusion coefficient. This finding is consistent with the excellent correlation found between experimental and calculated folding rates based on free energy barrier heights using the same diffusion coefficient for every protein.
Project description:In this study, the equivalence of the kinetic mechanisms of the formation of urea-induced kinetic folding intermediates and non-native equilibrium states was investigated in apomyoglobin. Despite having similar structural properties, equilibrium and kinetic intermediates accumulate under different conditions and via different mechanisms, and it remains unknown whether their formation involves shared or distinct kinetic mechanisms. To investigate the potential mechanisms of formation, the refolding and unfolding kinetics of horse apomyoglobin were measured by continuous- and stopped-flow fluorescence over a time range from approximately 100 ?s to 10 s, along with equilibrium unfolding transitions, as a function of urea concentration at pH 6.0 and 8°C. The formation of a kinetic intermediate was observed over a wider range of urea concentrations (0-2.2 M) than the formation of the native state (0-1.6 M). Additionally, the kinetic intermediate remained populated as the predominant equilibrium state under conditions where the native and unfolded states were unstable (at ~0.7-2 M urea). A continuous shift from the kinetic to the equilibrium intermediate was observed as urea concentrations increased from 0 M to ~2 M, which indicates that these states share a common kinetic folding mechanism. This finding supports the conclusion that these intermediates are equivalent. Our results in turn suggest that the regions of the protein that resist denaturant perturbations form during the earlier stages of folding, which further supports the structural equivalence of transient and equilibrium intermediates. An additional folding intermediate accumulated within ~140 ?s of refolding and an unfolding intermediate accumulated in <1 ms of unfolding. Finally, by using quantitative modeling, we showed that a five-state sequential scheme appropriately describes the folding mechanism of horse apomyoglobin.
Project description:We have examined the folding and unfolding of the caspase recruitment domain of procaspase-1 (CP1-CARD), a member of the alpha-helical Greek key protein family. The equilibrium folding/unfolding of CP1-CARD is described by a two-state mechanism, and the results show CP1-CARD is marginally stable with a DeltaG(H2O) of 1.1 +/- 0.2 kcal/mole and an m-value of 0.65 +/- 0.06 kcal/mole/M (10 mM Tris-HCl at pH 8.0, 1 mM DTT, 25 degrees C). Consistent with the equilibrium folding data, CP1-CARD is a monomer in solution when examined by size exclusion chromatography. Single-mixing stopped-flow refolding and unfolding studies show that CP1-CARD folds and unfolds rapidly, with no detectable slow phases, and the reactions appear to reach equilibrium within 10 msec. However, double jump kinetic experiments demonstrate the presence of an unfolded-like intermediate during unfolding. The intermediate converts to the fully unfolded conformation with a half-time of 10 sec. Interrupted refolding studies demonstrate the presence of one or more nativelike intermediates during refolding, which convert to the native conformation with a half-time of about 60 sec. Overall, the data show that both unfolding and refolding processes are slow, and the pathways contain kinetically trapped species.
Project description:Kinetic simulations of the folding and unfolding of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) from yeast were conducted using a single monomer gammaTIM polypeptide chain that folds as a monomer and two gammaTIM chains that fold to the native dimer structure. The basic protein model used was a minimalist G? model using the native structure to determine attractive energies in the protein chain. For each simulation type--monomer unfolding, monomer refolding, dimer unfolding, and dimer refolding--thirty simulations were conducted, successfully capturing each reaction in full. Analysis of the simulations demonstrates four main conclusions. First, all four simulation types have a similar "folding order", i.e., they have similar structures in intermediate stages of folding between the unfolded and folded state. Second, despite this similarity, different intermediate stages are more or less populated in the four different simulations, with 1), no intermediates populated in monomer unfolding; 2), two intermediates populated with beta(2)-beta(4) and beta(1)-beta(5) regions folded in monomer refolding; 3), two intermediates populated with beta(2)-beta(3) and beta(2)-beta(4) regions folded in dimer unfolding; and 4), two intermediates populated with beta(1)-beta(5) and beta(1)-beta(5) + beta(6) + beta(7) + beta(8) regions folded in dimer refolding. Third, simulations demonstrate that dimer binding and unbinding can occur early in the folding process before complete monomer-chain folding. Fourth, excellent agreement is found between the simulations and MPAX (misincorporation proton alkyl exchange) experiments. In total, this agreement demonstrates that the computational G? model is accurate for gammaTIM and that the energy landscape of gammaTIM appears funneled to the native state.
Project description:We report high temperature molecular dynamics simulations of the unfolding of the TRPZ1 peptide using an explicit model for the solvent. The system has been simulated for a total of 6 mus with 100-ns minimal continuous stretches of trajectory. The populated states along the simulations are identified by monitoring multiple observables, probing both the structure and the flexibility of the conformations. Several unfolding and refolding transition pathways are sampled and analyzed. The unfolding process of the peptide occurs in two steps because of the accumulation of a metastable on-pathway intermediate state stabilized by two native backbone hydrogen bonds assisted by nonnative hydrophobic interactions between the tryptophan side chains. Analysis of the un/folding kinetics and classical commitment probability calculations on the conformations extracted from the transition pathways show that the rate-limiting step for unfolding is the disruption of the ordered native hydrophobic packing (Trp-zip motif) leading from the native to the intermediate state. But, the speed of the folding process is mainly determined by the transition from the completely unfolded state to the intermediate and specifically by the closure of the hairpin loop driven by formation of two native backbone hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic contacts between tryptophan residues. The temperature dependence of the unfolding time provides an estimate of the unfolding activation enthalpy that is in agreement with experiments. The unfolding time extrapolated to room temperature is in agreement with the experimental data as well, thus providing a further validation to the analysis reported here.
Project description:Many green fluorescent protein (GFP) variants have been developed for use as fluorescent tags, and recently a superfolder GFP (sfGFP) has been developed as a robust folding reporter. This new variant shows increased stability and improved folding kinetics, as well as 100% recovery of native protein after denaturation. Here, we characterize sfGFP, and find that this variant exhibits hysteresis as unfolding and refolding equilibrium titration curves are non-coincident even after equilibration for more than eight half-lives as estimated from kinetic unfolding and refolding studies. This hysteresis is attributed to trapping in a native-like intermediate state. Mutational studies directed towards inhibiting chromophore formation indicate that the novel backbone cyclization is responsible for the hysteresis observed in equilibrium titrations of sfGFP. Slow equilibration and the presence of intermediates imply a rough landscape. However, de novo folding in the absence of the chromophore is dominated by a smoother energy landscape than that sampled during unfolding and refolding of the post-translationally modified polypeptide.
Project description:We have investigated the folding dynamics of Thermus thermophilus cytochrome c(552) by time-resolved fluorescence energy transfer between the heme and each of seven site-specific fluorescent probes. We have found both an equilibrium unfolding intermediate and a distinct refolding intermediate from kinetics studies. Depending on the protein region monitored, we observed either two-state or three-state denaturation transitions. The unfolding intermediate associated with three-state folding exhibited native contacts in ?-sheet and C-terminal helix regions. We probed the formation of a refolding intermediate by time-resolved fluorescence energy transfer between residue 110 and the heme using a continuous flow mixer. The intermediate ensemble, a heterogeneous mixture of compact and extended polypeptides, forms in a millisecond, substantially slower than the ?100-?s formation of a burst-phase intermediate in cytochrome c. The surprising finding is that, unlike for cytochrome c, there is an observable folding intermediate, but no microsecond burst phase in the folding kinetics of the structurally related thermostable protein.
Project description:Spontaneous mutations at numerous sites distant from the active site of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease enable resistance to inhibitors while retaining enzymatic activity. As a benchmark for probing the effects of these mutations on the conformational adaptability of this dimeric beta-barrel protein, the folding free-energy surface of a pseudo-wild-type variant, HIV-PR(*), was determined by a combination of equilibrium and kinetic experiments on the urea-induced unfolding/refolding reactions. The equilibrium unfolding reaction was well described by a two-state model involving only the native dimeric form and the unfolded monomer. The global analysis of the kinetic folding mechanism reveals the presence of a fully folded monomeric intermediate that associates to form the native dimeric structure. Independent analysis of a stable monomeric version of the protease demonstrated that a small-amplitude fluorescence phase in refolding and unfolding, not included in the global analysis of the dimeric protein, reflects the presence of a transient intermediate in the monomer folding reaction. The partially folded and fully folded monomers are only marginally stable with respect to the unfolded state, and the dimerization reaction provides a modest driving force at micromolar concentrations of protein. The thermodynamic properties of this system are such that mutations can readily shift the equilibrium from the dimeric native state towards weakly folded states that have a lower affinity for inhibitors but that could be induced to bind to their target proteolytic sites. Presumably, subsequent secondary mutations increase the stability of the native dimeric state in these variants and, thereby, optimize the catalytic properties of the resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease.