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T-Jump Infrared Study of the Folding Mechanism of Coiled-Coil GCN4-p1

Authors
Publisher
Biophysical Society
Publication Date
Source
PMC
Keywords
  • Proteins
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Physics

Abstract

Partially folded intermediates have been frequently observed in equilibrium and kinetic protein folding studies. However, folding intermediates that exist at the native side of the rate-limiting step are rather difficult to study because they often evade detection by conventional folding kinetic methods. Here, we demonstrated that a laser-induced temperature-jump method can potentially be used to identify the existence of such post-transition or hidden intermediates. Specifically, we studied two cross-linked variants of GCN4-p1 coiled-coil. The GCN4 leucine zipper has been studied extensively and most of these studies have regarded it as a two-state folder. Our static circular dichroism and infrared data also indicate that the thermal unfolding of these two monomeric coiled-coils can be adequately described by an apparent two-state model. However, their temperature-jump-induced relaxation kinetics exhibit non-monoexponential behavior, dependent upon sequence and temperature. Taken together, our results support a folding mechanism wherein at least one folding intermediate populates behind the main rate-limiting step.

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