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Temperature-dependent Hammond behavior in a protein-folding reaction: analysis of transition-state movement and ground-state effects.

ABSTRACT: Characterization of the transition-state ensemble and the nature of the free-energy barrier for protein folding are areas of intense activity and some controversy. A key issue that has emerged in recent years is the width of the free-energy barrier and the susceptibility of the transition state to movement. Here we report denaturant-induced and temperature-dependent folding studies of a small mixed alpha-beta protein, the N-terminal domain of L9 (NTL9). The folding of NTL9 was determined using fluorescence-detected stopped-flow fluorescence measurements conducted at seven different temperatures between 11 and 40 degrees C. Plots of the log of the observed first-order rate constant versus denaturant concentration, "chevron plots," displayed the characteristic V shape expected for two-state folding. There was no hint of deviation from linearity even at the lowest denaturant concentrations. The relative position of the transition state, as judged by the Tanford beta parameter, beta(T), shifts towards the native state as the temperature is increased. Analysis of the temperature dependence of the kinetic and equilibrium m values indicates that the effect is due to significant movement of the transition state and also includes a contribution from temperature-dependent ground-state effects. Analysis of the Leffler plots, plots of Delta G versus Delta G degrees, and their cross-interaction parameters confirms the transition-state movement. Since the protein is destabilized at high temperature, the shift represents a temperature-dependent Hammond effect. This provides independent confirmation of a recent theoretical prediction. The magnitude of the temperature-denaturant cross-interaction parameter is larger for NTL9 than has been reported for the few other cases studied. The implications for temperature-dependent studies of protein folding are discussed.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC2820404 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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