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Sample records for enhanced protein fold

  1. Protein Solubility and Folding Enhancement by Interaction with RNA

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Seong Il; Han, Kyoung Sim; Kim, Chul Woo; Ryu, Ki-Sun; Kim, Byung Hee; Kim, Kyun-Hwan; Kim, Seo-Il; Kang, Tae Hyun; Shin, Hang-Cheol; Lim, Keo-Heun; Kim, Hyo Kyung; Hyun, Jeong-Min; Seong, Baik L.

    2008-01-01

    While basic mechanisms of several major molecular chaperones are well understood, this machinery has been known to be involved in folding of only limited number of proteins inside the cells. Here, we report a chaperone type of protein folding facilitated by interaction with RNA. When an RNA-binding module is placed at the N-terminus of aggregation-prone target proteins, this module, upon binding with RNA, further promotes the solubility of passenger proteins, potentially leading to enhancement of proper protein folding. Studies on in vitro refolding in the presence of RNA, coexpression of RNA molecules in vivo and the mutants with impaired RNA binding ability suggests that RNA can exert chaperoning effect on their bound proteins. The results suggest that RNA binding could affect the overall kinetic network of protein folding pathway in favor of productive folding over off-pathway aggregation. In addition, the RNA binding-mediated solubility enhancement is extremely robust for increasing soluble yield of passenger proteins and could be usefully implemented for high-throughput protein expression for functional and structural genomic research initiatives. The RNA-mediated chaperone type presented here would give new insights into de novo folding in vivo. PMID:18628952

  2. Enhanced protein folding by removal of kinetic traps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yanxin; Chapagain, Prem; Parra, Jose; Gerstman, Bernard

    2007-03-01

    The presence of non-native kinetic traps along the free energy landscape of a protein may significantly lengthen the overall folding time so that the folding process becomes unreliable. We used a computational 3-D lattice model to investigate the free energy landscape of a model alpha helical hairpin peptide. We used two slightly different sequences and show that strategic substitutions of only a few amino acid residues greatly enhance the folding process. These strategic substitutions prevent the formation of long-lived misfolded configurations which not only lengthen the folding time but also may cause unwanted aggregation. Detailed kinetic and thermodynamic analysis was carried out for the folding of these two sequences and the results are consistent with the experimental and molecular dynamics simulations of small helical bundle proteins.

  3. Glucocorticoids alleviate intestinal ER stress by enhancing protein folding and degradation of misfolded proteins.

    PubMed

    Das, Indrajit; Png, Chin Wen; Oancea, Iulia; Hasnain, Sumaira Z; Lourie, Rohan; Proctor, Martina; Eri, Rajaraman D; Sheng, Yong; Crane, Denis I; Florin, Timothy H; McGuckin, Michael A

    2013-06-03

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in intestinal secretory cells has been linked with colitis in mice and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Endogenous intestinal glucocorticoids are important for homeostasis and glucocorticoid drugs are efficacious in IBD. In Winnie mice with intestinal ER stress caused by misfolding of the Muc2 mucin, the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX) suppressed ER stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), substantially restoring goblet cell Muc2 production. In mice lacking inflammation, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist increased ER stress, and DEX suppressed ER stress induced by the N-glycosylation inhibitor, tunicamycin (Tm). In cultured human intestinal secretory cells, in a glucocorticoid receptor-dependent manner, DEX suppressed ER stress and UPR activation induced by blocking N-glycosylation, reducing ER Ca(2+) or depleting glucose. DEX up-regulated genes encoding chaperones and elements of ER-associated degradation (ERAD), including EDEM1. Silencing EDEM1 partially inhibited DEX's suppression of misfolding-induced ER stress, showing that DEX enhances ERAD. DEX inhibited Tm-induced MUC2 precursor accumulation, promoted production of mature mucin, and restored ER exit and secretion of Winnie mutant recombinant Muc2 domains, consistent with enhanced protein folding. In IBD, glucocorticoids are likely to ameliorate ER stress by promoting correct folding of secreted proteins and enhancing removal of misfolded proteins from the ER.

  4. Steric confinement and enhanced local flexibility assist knotting in simple models of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Soler, Miguel A; Rey, Antonio; Faísca, Patrícia F N

    2016-09-29

    The chaperonin complex GroEL-GroES is able to accelerate the folding process of knotted proteins considerably. However, the folding mechanism inside the chaperonin cage is elusive. Here we use a combination of lattice and off-lattice Monte Carlo simulations of simple Gō models to study the effect of physical confinement and local flexibility on the folding process of protein model systems embedding a trefoil knot in their native structure. This study predicts that steric confinement plays a specific role in the folding of knotted proteins by increasing the knotting probability for very high degrees of confinement. This effect is observed for protein MJ0366 even above the melting temperature for confinement sizes compatible with the size of the GroEL/GroES chaperonin cage. An enhanced local flexibility produces the same qualitative effects on the folding process. In particular, we observe that knotting probability increases up to 40% in the transition state of protein MJ0366 when flexibility is enhanced. This is underlined by a structural change in the transition state, which becomes devoid of helical content. No relation between the knotting mechanism and flexibility was found in the context of the off-lattice model adopted in this work.

  5. The Protein Folding Problem

    PubMed Central

    Dill, Ken A.; Ozkan, S. Banu; Shell, M. Scott; Weikl, Thomas R.

    2008-01-01

    The “protein folding problem” consists of three closely related puzzles: (a) What is the folding code? (b) What is the folding mechanism? (c) Can we predict the native structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence? Once regarded as a grand challenge, protein folding has seen great progress in recent years. Now, foldable proteins and nonbiological polymers are being designed routinely and moving toward successful applications. The structures of small proteins are now often well predicted by computer methods. And, there is now a testable explanation for how a protein can fold so quickly: A protein solves its large global optimization problem as a series of smaller local optimization problems, growing and assembling the native structure from peptide fragments, local structures first. PMID:18573083

  6. Fast protein folding kinetics.

    PubMed

    Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Fast-folding proteins have been a major focus of computational and experimental study because they are accessible to both techniques: they are small and fast enough to be reasonably simulated with current computational power, but have dynamics slow enough to be observed with specially developed experimental techniques. This coupled study of fast-folding proteins has provided insight into the mechanisms, which allow some proteins to find their native conformation well <1 ms and has uncovered examples of theoretically predicted phenomena such as downhill folding. The study of fast folders also informs our understanding of even 'slow' folding processes: fast folders are small; relatively simple protein domains and the principles that govern their folding also govern the folding of more complex systems. This review summarizes the major theoretical and experimental techniques used to study fast-folding proteins and provides an overview of the major findings of fast-folding research. Finally, we examine the themes that have emerged from studying fast folders and briefly summarize their application to protein folding in general, as well as some work that is left to do.

  7. Fast protein folding kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Fast folding proteins have been a major focus of computational and experimental study because they are accessible to both techniques: they are small and fast enough to be reasonably simulated with current computational power, but have dynamics slow enough to be observed with specially developed experimental techniques. This coupled study of fast folding proteins has provided insight into the mechanisms which allow some proteins to find their native conformation well less than 1 ms and has uncovered examples of theoretically predicted phenomena such as downhill folding. The study of fast folders also informs our understanding of even “slow” folding processes: fast folders are small, relatively simple protein domains and the principles that govern their folding also govern the folding of more complex systems. This review summarizes the major theoretical and experimental techniques used to study fast folding proteins and provides an overview of the major findings of fast folding research. Finally, we examine the themes that have emerged from studying fast folders and briefly summarize their application to protein folding in general as well as some work that is left to do. PMID:24641816

  8. Protein Folding: Detailed Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Vijay

    Proteins play a fundamental role in biology. With their ability to perform numerous biological roles, including acting as catalysts, antibodies, and molecular signals, proteins today realize many of the goals that modern nanotechnology aspires to. However, before proteins can carry out these remarkable molecular functions, they must perform another amazing feat — they must assemble themselves. This process of protein self-assembly into a particular shape, or "fold" is called protein folding. Due to the importance of the folded state in the biological activity of proteins, recent interest from misfolding related diseases [1], as well as a fascination of just how this process occurs [2-4], there has been much work performed in order to unravel the mechanism of protein folding [5].

  9. Protein folding and misfolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobson, Christopher M.

    2003-12-01

    The manner in which a newly synthesized chain of amino acids transforms itself into a perfectly folded protein depends both on the intrinsic properties of the amino-acid sequence and on multiple contributing influences from the crowded cellular milieu. Folding and unfolding are crucial ways of regulating biological activity and targeting proteins to different cellular locations. Aggregation of misfolded proteins that escape the cellular quality-control mechanisms is a common feature of a wide range of highly debilitating and increasingly prevalent diseases.

  10. The histone-fold protein complex CHRAC-15/17 enhances nucleosome sliding and assembly mediated by ACF.

    PubMed

    Kukimoto, Iwao; Elderkin, Sarah; Grimaldi, Margaret; Oelgeschläger, Thomas; Varga-Weisz, Patrick D

    2004-01-30

    The histone fold is a structural motif with which two related proteins interact and is found in complexes involved in wrapping DNA, the nucleosome, and transcriptional regulation, as in NC2. We reveal a novel function for histone-fold proteins: facilitation of nucleosome remodeling. ACF1-ISWI complex (ATP-dependent chromatin assembly and remodeling factor [ACF]) associates with histone-fold proteins (CHRAC-15 and CHRAC-17 in the human chromatin accessibility complex [CHRAC]) whose functional relevance has been unclear. We show that these histone-fold proteins facilitate ATP-dependent nucleosome sliding by ACF. Direct interaction of the CHRAC-15/17 complex with the ACF1 subunit is essential for this process. CHRAC-17 interacts with another histone-fold protein, p12, in DNA polymerase epsilon, but CHRAC-15 is essential for interaction with ACF and enhancement of nucleosome sliding. Surprisingly, CHRAC-15/17, p12/CHRAC-17, and NC2 complexes facilitate ACF-mediated chromatin assembly by a mechanism different from nucleosome sliding enhancement, suggesting a general activity of H2A/H2B type histone-fold complexes in chromatin assembly.

  11. Protein Flexibilty and Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorpe, Michael

    2003-10-01

    In this talk we apply a novel approach to the exploration of energy landscapes of macromolecules and proteins that uses constraint theory. Constraints fix the bond lengths and bond angles and allow the use of theorems from graph theory to perform a rigid region decomposition of the network of atoms, which identifies the rigid regions, the flexible joints between them and also the stressed regions. We will show movies of the diffusive motion of various proteins. The protein unfolding transition is an example of a rigid to floppy transition and is shown to be more first order than second order because of the self-organized nature of the cross-linked polypeptide chain in the native protein. This approach emphasizes the universality in protein unfolding and allows the folding core and the transition state to be identified. Useful reference are: M.F. Thorpe, Ming Lei, A.J. Rader, Donald J. Jacobs and Leslie A. Kuhn Protein Flexibility Predictions using Graph Theory, Proteins 44, 150 - 165, (2001). A. J. Rader, Brandon M. Hespenheide, Leslie A. Kuhn and M. F. Thorpe Protein Unfolding: Rigidity Lost Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99, 3540-3545 (2002). More details of this work can be found via http://physics.asu.edu/mfthorpe

  12. An overview on molecular chaperones enhancing solubility of expressed recombinant proteins with correct folding.

    PubMed

    Mamipour, Mina; Yousefi, Mohammadreza; Hasanzadeh, Mohammad

    2017-09-01

    The majority of research topics declared that most of the recombinant proteins have been expressed by Escherichia coli in basic investigations. But the majority of high expressed proteins formed as inactive recombinant proteins that are called inclusion body. To overcome this problem, several methods have been used including suitable promoter, environmental factors, ladder tag to secretion of proteins into the periplasm, gene protein optimization, chemical chaperones and molecular chaperones sets. Co-expression of the interest protein with molecular chaperones is one of the common methods The chaperones are a group of proteins, which are involved in making correct folding of recombinant proteins. Chaperones are divided two groups including; cytoplasmic and periplasmic chaperones. Moreover, periplasmic chaperones and proteases can be manipulated to increase the yields of secreted proteins. In this article, we attempted to review cytoplasmic chaperones such as Hsp families and periplasmic chaperones including; generic chaperones, specialized chaperones, PPIases, and proteins involved in disulfide bond formation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Protein Folding: Then and Now

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yiwen; Ding, Feng; Nie, Huifen; Serohijos, Adrian W.; Sharma, Shantanu; Wilcox, Kyle C.; Yin, Shuangye; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past three decades the protein folding field has undergone monumental changes. Originally a purely academic question, how a protein folds has now become vital in understanding diseases and our abilities to rationally manipulate cellular life by engineering protein folding pathways. We review and contrast past and recent developments in the protein folding field. Specifically, we discuss the progress in our understanding of protein folding thermodynamics and kinetics, the properties of evasive intermediates, and unfolded states. We also discuss how some abnormalities in protein folding lead to protein aggregation and human diseases. PMID:17585870

  14. ASTRO-FOLD 2.0: an Enhanced Framework for Protein Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Subramani, A.; Wei, Y.; Floudas, C. A.

    2011-01-01

    The three-dimensional (3-D) structure prediction of proteins, given their amino acid sequence, is addressed using the first principles–based approach ASTRO-FOLD 2.0. The key features presented are: (1) Secondary structure prediction using a novel optimization-based consensus approach, (2) β-sheet topology prediction using mixed-integer linear optimization (MILP), (3) Residue-to-residue contact prediction using a high-resolution distance-dependent force field and MILP formulation, (4) Tight dihedral angle and distance bound generation for loop residues using dihedral angle clustering and non-linear optimization (NLP), (5) 3-D structure prediction using deterministic global optimization, stochastic conformational space annealing, and the full-atomistic ECEPP/3 potential, (6) Near-native structure selection using a traveling salesman problem-based clustering approach, ICON, and (7) Improved bound generation using chemical shifts of subsets of heavy atoms, generated by SPARTA and CS23D. Computational results of ASTRO-FOLD 2.0 on 47 blind targets of the recently concluded CASP9 experiment are presented. PMID:23049093

  15. How do chaperonins fold protein?

    PubMed Central

    Motojima, Fumihiro

    2015-01-01

    Protein folding is a biological process that is essential for the proper functioning of proteins in all living organisms. In cells, many proteins require the assistance of molecular chaperones for their folding. Chaperonins belong to a class of molecular chaperones that have been extensively studied. However, the mechanism by which a chaperonin mediates the folding of proteins is still controversial. Denatured proteins are folded in the closed chaperonin cage, leading to the assumption that denatured proteins are completely encapsulated inside the chaperonin cage. In contrast to the assumption, we recently found that denatured protein interacts with hydrophobic residues at the subunit interfaces of the chaperonin, and partially protrude out of the cage. In this review, we will explain our recent results and introduce our model for the mechanism by which chaperonins accelerate protein folding, in view of recent findings. PMID:27493521

  16. Evolutionary Optimization of Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Debès, Cédric; Wang, Minglei; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo; Gräter, Frauke

    2013-01-01

    Nature has shaped the make up of proteins since their appearance, 3.8 billion years ago. However, the fundamental drivers of structural change responsible for the extraordinary diversity of proteins have yet to be elucidated. Here we explore if protein evolution affects folding speed. We estimated folding times for the present-day catalog of protein domains directly from their size-modified contact order. These values were mapped onto an evolutionary timeline of domain appearance derived from a phylogenomic analysis of protein domains in 989 fully-sequenced genomes. Our results show a clear overall increase of folding speed during evolution, with known ultra-fast downhill folders appearing rather late in the timeline. Remarkably, folding optimization depends on secondary structure. While alpha-folds showed a tendency to fold faster throughout evolution, beta-folds exhibited a trend of folding time increase during the last 1.5 billion years that began during the “big bang” of domain combinations. As a consequence, these domain structures are on average slow folders today. Our results suggest that fast and efficient folding of domains shaped the universe of protein structure. This finding supports the hypothesis that optimization of the kinetic and thermodynamic accessibility of the native fold reduces protein aggregation propensities that hamper cellular functions. PMID:23341762

  17. Changes of protein stiffness during folding detect protein folding intermediates.

    PubMed

    Małek, Katarzyna E; Szoszkiewicz, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Single-molecule force-quench atomic force microscopy (FQ-AFM) is used to detect folding intermediates of a simple protein by detecting changes of molecular stiffness of the protein during its folding process. Those stiffness changes are obtained from shape and peaks of an autocorrelation of fluctuations in end-to-end length of the folding molecule. The results are supported by predictions of the equipartition theorem and agree with existing Langevin dynamics simulations of a simplified model of a protein folding. In the light of the Langevin simulations the experimental data probe an ensemble of random-coiled collapsed states of the protein, which are present both in the force-quench and thermal-quench folding pathways.

  18. The protein folding network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Francesco; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2004-03-01

    Networks are everywhere. The conformation space of a 20-residue antiparallel beta-sheet peptide [1], sampled by molecular dynamics simulations, is mapped to a network. Conformations are nodes of the network, and the transitions between them are links. As previously found for the World-Wide Web as well as for social and biological networks , the conformation space contains highly connected hubs like the native state which is the most populated free energy basin. Furthermore, the network shows a hierarchical modularity [2] which is consistent with the funnel mechanism of folding [3] and is not observed for a random heteropolymer lacking a native state. Here we show that the conformation space network describes the free energy landscape without requiring projections into arbitrarily chosen reaction coordinates. The network analysis provides a basis for understanding the heterogeneity of the folding transition state and the existence of multiple pathways. [1] P. Ferrara and A. Caflisch, Folding simulations of a three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet peptide, PNAS 97, 10780-10785 (2000). [2] Ravasz, E. and Barabási, A. L. Hierarchical organization in complex networks. Phys. Rev. E 67, 026112 (2003). [3] Dill, K. and Chan, H From Levinthal to pathways to funnels. Nature Struct. Biol. 4, 10-19 (1997)

  19. Protein folding in the cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gething, Mary-Jane; Sambrook, Joseph

    1992-01-01

    In the cell, as in vitro, the final conformation of a protein is determined by its amino-acid sequence. But whereas some isolated proteins can be denatured and refolded in vitro in the absence of other macromolecular cellular components, folding and assembly of polypeptides in vivo involves other proteins, many of which belong to families that have been highly conserved during evolution.

  20. Protein folding by motion planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Shawna; Song, Guang; Amato, Nancy M.

    2005-12-01

    We investigate a novel approach for studying protein folding that has evolved from robotics motion planning techniques called probabilistic roadmap methods (PRMs). Our focus is to study issues related to the folding process, such as the formation of secondary and tertiary structures, assuming we know the native fold. A feature of our PRM-based framework is that the large sets of folding pathways in the roadmaps it produces, in just a few hours on a desktop PC, provide global information about the protein's energy landscape. This is an advantage over other simulation methods such as molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo methods which require more computation and produce only a single trajectory in each run. In our initial studies, we obtained encouraging results for several small proteins. In this paper, we investigate more sophisticated techniques for analyzing the folding pathways in our roadmaps. In addition to more formally revalidating our previous results, we present a case study showing that our technique captures known folding differences between the structurally similar proteins G and L. This research was supported in part by NSF CAREER Award CCR-9624315, NSF Grants ACI-9872126, EIA-9975018, EIA-0103742, EIA-9805823, ACR-0113971, CCR-0113974, EIA-9810937, EIA-0079874 and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grant ATP-000512-0261-2001. ST was supported in part by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. GS was supported in part by an IBM PhD Fellowship.

  1. Protein folding by motion planning.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Shawna; Song, Guang; Amato, Nancy M

    2005-11-09

    We investigate a novel approach for studying protein folding that has evolved from robotics motion planning techniques called probabilistic roadmap methods (PRMs). Our focus is to study issues related to the folding process, such as the formation of secondary and tertiary structures, assuming we know the native fold. A feature of our PRM-based framework is that the large sets of folding pathways in the roadmaps it produces, in just a few hours on a desktop PC, provide global information about the protein's energy landscape. This is an advantage over other simulation methods such as molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo methods which require more computation and produce only a single trajectory in each run. In our initial studies, we obtained encouraging results for several small proteins. In this paper, we investigate more sophisticated techniques for analyzing the folding pathways in our roadmaps. In addition to more formally revalidating our previous results, we present a case study showing that our technique captures known folding differences between the structurally similar proteins G and L.

  2. Use of Protein Folding Reagents.

    PubMed

    2016-04-01

    The reagents and methods for purification and use of the most commonly used denaturants, guanidine hydrochloride (guanidine-HCl) and urea, are described. Other protein denaturants and reagents used to fold proteins are briefly mentioned. Sulfhydryl reagents (reducing agents) and "oxido-shuffling" (or oxidative regeneration) systems are also described.

  3. Turbulent phenomena in protein folding.

    PubMed

    Kalgin, Igor V; Chekmarev, Sergei F

    2011-01-01

    Protein folding and hydrodynamic turbulence are two long-standing challenges, in molecular biophysics and fluid dynamics, respectively. The theories of these phenomena have been developed independently and used different formalisms. Here we show that the protein folding flows can be surprisingly similar to turbulent fluid flows. Studying a benchmark model protein (an SH3 domain), we have found that the flows for the slow folding trajectories of the protein, in which a partly formed N- and C-terminal β sheet hinders the RT loop from attaching to the protein core, have many properties of turbulent flows of a fluid. The flows are analyzed in a three-dimensional (3D) space of collective variables, which are the numbers of native contacts between the terminal β strands, between the RT loop and the protein core, and the rest of the native contacts. We have found that the flows have fractal nature and are filled with 3D eddies; the latter contain strange attractors, at which the tracer flow paths behave as saddle trajectories. Two regions of the space increment have been observed, in which the flux variations are self-similar with the scaling exponent h=1/3, in surprising agreement with the Kolmogorov inertial range theory of turbulence. In one region, the cascade of protein rearrangements is directed from larger to smaller scales (net folding), and in the other, it is oppositely directed (net unfolding). Folding flows for the fast trajectories are essentially "laminar" and do not have the property of self-similarity. Based on the results of our study, we infer, and support this inference by simulations, that the origin of the similarity between the protein folding and turbulent motion of a fluid is in a cascade mechanism of structural transformations in the systems that underlies these phenomena.

  4. Protein photo-folding and quantum folding theory.

    PubMed

    Luo, Liaofu

    2012-06-01

    The rates of protein folding with photon absorption or emission and the cross section of photon -protein inelastic scattering are calculated from quantum folding theory by use of a field-theoretical method. All protein photo-folding processes are compared with common protein folding without the interaction of photons (non-radiative folding). It is demonstrated that there exists a common factor (thermo-averaged overlap integral of the vibration wave function, TAOI) for protein folding and protein photo-folding. Based on this finding it is predicted that (i) the stimulated photo-folding rates and the photon-protein resonance Raman scattering sections show the same temperature dependence as protein folding; (ii) the spectral line of the electronic transition is broadened to a band that includes an abundant vibration spectrum without and with conformational transitions, and the width of each vibration spectral line is largely reduced. The particular form of the folding rate-temperature relation and the abundant spectral structure imply the existence of quantum tunneling between protein conformations in folding and photo-folding that demonstrates the quantum nature of the motion of the conformational-electronic system.

  5. Cotranslational folding of deeply knotted proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chwastyk, Mateusz; Cieplak, Marek

    2015-09-01

    Proper folding of deeply knotted proteins has a very low success rate even in structure-based models which favor formation of the native contacts but have no topological bias. By employing a structure-based model, we demonstrate that cotranslational folding on a model ribosome may enhance the odds to form trefoil knots for protein YibK without any need to introduce any non-native contacts. The ribosome is represented by a repulsive wall that keeps elongating the protein. On-ribosome folding proceeds through a a slipknot conformation. We elucidate the mechanics and energetics of its formation. We show that the knotting probability in on-ribosome folding is a function of temperature and that there is an optimal temperature for the process. Our model often leads to the establishment of the native contacts without formation of the knot.

  6. Cotranslational folding of deeply knotted proteins.

    PubMed

    Chwastyk, Mateusz; Cieplak, Marek

    2015-09-09

    Proper folding of deeply knotted proteins has a very low success rate even in structure-based models which favor formation of the native contacts but have no topological bias. By employing a structure-based model, we demonstrate that cotranslational folding on a model ribosome may enhance the odds to form trefoil knots for protein YibK without any need to introduce any non-native contacts. The ribosome is represented by a repulsive wall that keeps elongating the protein. On-ribosome folding proceeds through a a slipknot conformation. We elucidate the mechanics and energetics of its formation. We show that the knotting probability in on-ribosome folding is a function of temperature and that there is an optimal temperature for the process. Our model often leads to the establishment of the native contacts without formation of the knot.

  7. Folding superfunnel to describe cooperative folding of interacting proteins.

    PubMed

    Smeller, László

    2016-07-01

    This paper proposes a generalization of the well-known folding funnel concept of proteins. In the funnel model the polypeptide chain is treated as an individual object not interacting with other proteins. Since biological systems are considerably crowded, protein-protein interaction is a fundamental feature during the life cycle of proteins. The folding superfunnel proposed here describes the folding process of interacting proteins in various situations. The first example discussed is the folding of the freshly synthesized protein with the aid of chaperones. Another important aspect of protein-protein interactions is the folding of the recently characterized intrinsically disordered proteins, where binding to target proteins plays a crucial role in the completion of the folding process. The third scenario where the folding superfunnel is used is the formation of aggregates from destabilized proteins, which is an important factor in case of several conformational diseases. The folding superfunnel constructed here with the minimal assumption about the interaction potential explains all three cases mentioned above. Proteins 2016; 84:1009-1016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Understanding Protein Non-Folding

    PubMed Central

    Uversky, Vladimir N.; Dunker, A. Keith

    2010-01-01

    This review describes the family of intrinsically disordered proteins, members of which fail to form rigid 3-D structures under physiological conditions, either along their entire lengths or only in localized regions. Instead, these intriguing proteins/regions exist as dynamic ensembles within which atom positions and backbone Ramachandran angles exhibit extreme temporal fluctuations without specific equilibrium values. Many of these intrinsically disordered proteins are known to carry out important biological functions which, in fact, depend on the absence of specific 3-D structure. The existence of such proteins does not fit the prevailing structure-function paradigm, which states that unique 3-D structure is a prerequisite to function. Thus, the protein structure-function paradigm has to be expanded to include intrinsically disordered proteins and alternative relationships among protein sequence, structure, and function. This shift in the paradigm represents a major breakthrough for biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, as it opens new levels of understanding with regard to the complex life of proteins. This review will try to answer the following questions: How were intrinsically disordered proteins discovered? Why don't these proteins fold? What is so special about intrinsic disorder? What are the functional advantages of disordered proteins/regions? What is the functional repertoire of these proteins? What are the relationships between intrinsically disordered proteins and human diseases? PMID:20117254

  9. Hydrodynamic interactions in protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cieplak, Marek; Niewieczerzał, Szymon

    2009-03-01

    We incorporate hydrodynamic interactions (HIs) in a coarse-grained and structure-based model of proteins by employing the Rotne-Prager hydrodynamic tensor. We study several small proteins and demonstrate that HIs facilitate folding. We also study HIV-1 protease and show that HIs make the flap closing dynamics faster. The HIs are found to affect time correlation functions in the vicinity of the native state even though they have no impact on same time characteristics of the structure fluctuations around the native state.

  10. Ubiquitylation Directly Induces Fold Destabilization of Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Daichi; Walinda, Erik; Fukada, Harumi; Sugase, Kenji; Shirakawa, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    Ubiquitin is a common post-translational modifier and its conjugation is a key signal for proteolysis by the proteasome. Because the molecular mass of ubiquitin is larger than that of other modifiers such as phosphate, acetyl, or methyl groups, ubiquitylation not only influences biochemical signaling, but also may exert physical effects on its substrate proteins by increasing molecular volume and altering shape anisotropy. Here we show that ubiquitylation destabilizes the fold of two proteins, FKBP12 and FABP4, and that elongation of the conjugated ubiquitin chains further enhances this destabilization effect. Moreover, NMR relaxation analysis shows that ubiquitylation induces characteristic structural fluctuations in the backbone of both proteins. These results suggest that the ubiquitylation-driven structural fluctuations lead to fold destabilization of its substrate proteins. Thus, physical destabilization by ubiquitylation may facilitate protein degradation by the proteasome. PMID:27991582

  11. Predicting protein folds with fold-specific PSSM libraries.

    PubMed

    Hong, Yoojin; Chintapalli, Sree Vamsee; Ko, Kyung Dae; Bhardwaj, Gaurav; Zhang, Zhenhai; van Rossum, Damian; Patterson, Randen L

    2011-01-01

    Accurately assigning folds for divergent protein sequences is a major obstacle to structural studies. Herein, we outline an effective method for fold recognition using sets of PSSMs, each of which is constructed for different protein folds. Our analyses demonstrate that FSL (Fold-specific Position Specific Scoring Matrix Libraries) can predict/relate structures given only their amino acid sequences of highly divergent proteins. This ability to detect distant relationships is dependent on low-identity sequence alignments obtained from FSL. Results from our experiments demonstrate that FSL perform well in recognizing folds from the "twilight-zone" SABmark dataset. Further, this method is capable of accurate fold prediction in newly determined structures. We suggest that by building complete PSSM libraries for all unique folds within the Protein Database (PDB), FSL can be used to rapidly and reliably annotate a large subset of protein folds at proteomic level. The related programs and fold-specific PSSMs for our FSL are publicly available at: http://ccp.psu.edu/download/FSLv1.0/.

  12. Chaperonin-mediated Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Horwich, Arthur L.

    2013-01-01

    We have been studying chaperonins these past twenty years through an initial discovery of an action in protein folding, analysis of structure, and elucidation of mechanism. Some of the highlights of these studies were presented recently upon sharing the honor of the 2013 Herbert Tabor Award with my early collaborator, Ulrich Hartl, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Boston. Here, some of the major findings are recounted, particularly recognizing my collaborators, describing how I met them and how our great times together propelled our thinking and experiments. PMID:23803606

  13. Method of generating ploynucleotides encoding enhanced folding variants

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Kiss, Csaba; Waldo, Geoffrey S.

    2017-05-02

    The invention provides directed evolution methods for improving the folding, solubility and stability (including thermostability) characteristics of polypeptides. In one aspect, the invention provides a method for generating folding and stability-enhanced variants of proteins, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins, chromophoric proteins and enzymes. In another aspect, the invention provides methods for generating thermostable variants of a target protein or polypeptide via an internal destabilization baiting strategy. Internally destabilization a protein of interest is achieved by inserting a heterologous, folding-destabilizing sequence (folding interference domain) within DNA encoding the protein of interest, evolving the protein sequences adjacent to the heterologous insertion to overcome the destabilization (using any number of mutagenesis methods), thereby creating a library of variants. The variants in the library are expressed, and those with enhanced folding characteristics selected.

  14. Enhanced conformational sampling method for proteins based on the TaBoo SeArch algorithm: application to the folding of a mini-protein, chignolin.

    PubMed

    Harada, Ryuhei; Takano, Yu; Shigeta, Yasuteru

    2015-04-15

    The conformational samplings are indispensible for obtaining reliable canonical ensembles, which provide statistical averages of physical quantities such as free energies. However, the samplings of vast conformational space of biomacromolecules by conventional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations might be insufficient, due to their inadequate accessible time-scales for investigating biological functions. Therefore, the development of methodologies for enhancing the conformational sampling of biomacromolecules still remains as a challenging issue in computational biology. To tackle this problem, we newly propose an efficient conformational search method, which is referred as TaBoo SeArch (TBSA) algorithm. In TBSA, an inverse energy histogram is used to select seeds for the conformational resampling so that states with high frequencies are inhibited, while states with low frequencies are efficiently sampled to explore the unvisited conformational space. As a demonstration, TBSA was applied to the folding of a mini-protein, chignolin, and automatically sampled the native structure (Cα root mean square deviation < 1.0 Å) with nanosecond order computational costs started from a completely extended structure, although a long-time 1-µs normal MD simulation failed to sample the native structure. Furthermore, a multiscale free energy landscape method based on the conformational sampling of TBSA were quantitatively evaluated through free energy calculations with both implicit and explicit solvent models, which enable us to find several metastable states on the folding landscape. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. How Does Your Protein Fold? Elucidating the Apomyoglobin Folding Pathway.

    PubMed

    Dyson, H Jane; Wright, Peter E

    2017-01-17

    Although each type of protein fold and in some cases individual proteins within a fold classification can have very different mechanisms of folding, the underlying biophysical and biochemical principles that operate to cause a linear polypeptide chain to fold into a globular structure must be the same. In an aqueous solution, the protein takes up the thermodynamically most stable structure, but the pathway along which the polypeptide proceeds in order to reach that structure is a function of the amino acid sequence, which must be the final determining factor, not only in shaping the final folded structure, but in dictating the folding pathway. A number of groups have focused on a single protein or group of proteins, to determine in detail the factors that influence the rate and mechanism of folding in a defined system, with the hope that hypothesis-driven experiments can elucidate the underlying principles governing the folding process. Our research group has focused on the folding of the globin family of proteins, and in particular on the monomeric protein apomyoglobin. Apomyoglobin (apoMb) folds relatively slowly (∼2 s) via an ensemble of obligatory intermediates that form rapidly after the initiation of folding. The folding pathway can be dissected using rapid-mixing techniques, which can probe processes in the millisecond time range. Stopped-flow measurements detected by circular dichroism (CD) or fluorescence spectroscopy give information on the rates of folding events. Quench-flow experiments utilize the differential rates of hydrogen-deuterium exchange of amide protons protected in parts of the structure that are folded early; protection of amides can be detected by mass spectrometry or proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). In addition, apoMb forms an intermediate at equilibrium at pH ∼ 4, which is sufficiently stable for it to be structurally characterized by solution methods such as CD, fluorescence and NMR spectroscopies, and the

  16. Improving protein fold recognition by random forest

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Recognizing the correct structural fold among known template protein structures for a target protein (i.e. fold recognition) is essential for template-based protein structure modeling. Since the fold recognition problem can be defined as a binary classification problem of predicting whether or not the unknown fold of a target protein is similar to an already known template protein structure in a library, machine learning methods have been effectively applied to tackle this problem. In our work, we developed RF-Fold that uses random forest - one of the most powerful and scalable machine learning classification methods - to recognize protein folds. Results RF-Fold consists of hundreds of decision trees that can be trained efficiently on very large datasets to make accurate predictions on a highly imbalanced dataset. We evaluated RF-Fold on the standard Lindahl's benchmark dataset comprised of 976 × 975 target-template protein pairs through cross-validation. Compared with 17 different fold recognition methods, the performance of RF-Fold is generally comparable to the best performance in fold recognition of different difficulty ranging from the easiest family level, the medium-hard superfamily level, and to the hardest fold level. Based on the top-one template protein ranked by RF-Fold, the correct recognition rate is 84.5%, 63.4%, and 40.8% at family, superfamily, and fold levels, respectively. Based on the top-five template protein folds ranked by RF-Fold, the correct recognition rate increases to 91.5%, 79.3% and 58.3% at family, superfamily, and fold levels. Conclusions The good performance achieved by the RF-Fold demonstrates the random forest's effectiveness for protein fold recognition. PMID:25350499

  17. Simple Model of Protein Folding Kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwanzig, Robert

    1995-10-01

    A simple model of the kinetics of protein folding is presented. The reaction coordinate is the "correctness" of a configuration compared with the native state. The model has a gap in the energy spectrum, a large configurational entropy, a free energy barrier between folded and partially folded states, and a good thermodynamic folding transition. Folding kinetics is described by a master equation. The folding time is estimated by means of a local thermodynamic equilibrium assumption and then is calculated both numerically and analytically by solving the master equation. The folding time has a maximum near the folding transition temperature and can have a minimum at a lower temperature.

  18. Time-resolved detection of the one- and two-photon excited fluorescence of single molecules of a folding enhanced green fluorescent protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotlet, Mircea; Goodwin, Peter M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Werner, James H.

    2006-02-01

    We use time-resolved single molecule fluorescence detection (MSMD) to investigate the fluorescence dynamics of a mutant of the wild-type Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria, the folding enhanced GFP (FEGFP). The folding enhanced GFP is a novel and robust variant designed for in vivo high-throughput screening of protein expression levels. This variant shows increased thermal stability and the ability to retain its fluorescence when fused to poorly folding proteins. Here we apply one- (OPE) and two- (TPE) photon excitation on freely diffusing FEGFP molecules. Under OPE, single FEGFP molecules undergo fluorescence flickering in the time scale of μs and tens of μs due to triplet formation and ground-state protonation-deprotonation, respectively. OPE fluorescence lifetimes of single FEGFP molecules show evidence for the presence of different emitting species, the I and B forms of FEGFP chromophore. TPE single FEGFP molecules flicker in fluorescence in the time scale of μs due to singlet-triplet transitions of the chromophore. Two-photon excitation of single FEGFP molecules results in the creation of a photoconverted species with a fluorescence lifetime of 2.5 ns, a species which is bright enough to be detected at the single molecule level. Our results indicate FEGFP is a promising fusion reporter for intracellular applications when using OPE and TPE microscopy with single molecule sensitivity.

  19. Exploring the Levinthal limit in protein folding.

    PubMed

    Cruzeiro, Leonor; Degrève, Léo

    2017-03-01

    According to the thermodynamic hypothesis, the native state of proteins is uniquely defined by their amino acid sequence. On the other hand, according to Levinthal, the native state is just a local minimum of the free energy and a given amino acid sequence, in the same thermodynamic conditions, can assume many, very different structures that are as thermodynamically stable as the native state. This is the Levinthal limit explored in this work. Using computer simulations, we compare the interactions that stabilize the native state of four different proteins with those that stabilize three non-native states of each protein and find that the nature of the interactions is very similar for all such 16 conformers. Furthermore, an enhancement of the degree of fluctuation of the non-native conformers can be explained by an insufficient relaxation to their local free energy minimum. These results favor Levinthal's hypothesis that protein folding is a kinetic non-equilibrium process.

  20. Overproduction of a single protein, Pc-Pex11p, results in 2-fold enhanced penicillin production by Penicillium chrysogenum.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Jan A K W; van der Klei, Ida J; van den Berg, Marco A; Bovenberg, Roel A L; Veenhuis, Marten

    2005-02-01

    Current industrial production of beta-lactam antibiotics, using the filamentous fungus Penicillium chrysogenum, is the result of many years of strain improvement by classical mutagenesis. More efficient production strains showed significant increases in the number and volume fraction of microbodies in their cells, organelles that harbor key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of beta-lactam antibiotics. We have isolated the P. chrysogenum cDNA encoding Pc-Pex11p, a peroxin that is involved in microbody abundance. We demonstrate that overproduction of Pc-Pex11p in P. chrysogenum results in massive proliferation of tubular-shaped microbodies and a 2- to 2.5-fold increase in the level of penicillin in the culture medium. Notably, Pc-Pex11p-overproduction did not affect the levels of the enzymes of the penicillin biosynthetic pathway. Our results suggest that the stimulating effect of enhanced organelle numbers may reflect an increase in the fluxes of penicillin and/or its precursors across the now much enlarged microbody membrane.

  1. A proposed architecture for the central domain of the bacterial enhancer-binding proteins based on secondary structure prediction and fold recognition.

    PubMed Central

    Osuna, J.; Soberón, X.; Morett, E.

    1997-01-01

    The expression of genes transcribed by the RNA polymerase with the alternative sigma factor sigma 54 (E sigma 54) is absolutely dependent on activator proteins that bind to enhancer-like sites, located far upstream from the promoter. These unique prokaryotic proteins, known as enhancer-binding proteins (EBP), mediate open promoter complex formation in a reaction dependent on NTP hydrolysis. The best characterized proteins of this family of regulators are NtrC and NifA, which activate genes required for ammonia assimilation and nitrogen fixation, respectively. In a recent IRBM course (@ontiers of protein structure prediction," IRBM, Pomezia, Italy, 1995; see web site http://www.mrc-cpe.cam.uk/irbm-course95/), one of us (J.O.) participated in the elaboration of the proposal that the Central domain of the EBPs might adopt the classical mononucleotide-binding fold. This suggestion was based on the results of a new protein fold recognition algorithm (Map) and in the mapping of correlated mutations calculated for the sequence family on the same mononucleotide-binding fold topology. In this work, we present new data that support the previous conclusion. The results from a number of different secondary structure prediction programs suggest that the Central domain could adopt an alpha/beta topology. The fold recognition programs ProFIT 0.9, 3D PROFILE combined with secondary structure prediction, and 123D suggest a mononucleotide-binding fold topology for the Central domain amino acid sequence. Finally, and most importantly, three of five reported residue alterations that impair the Central domain. ATPase activity of the E sigma 54 activators are mapped to polypeptide regions that might be playing equivalent roles as those involved in nucleotide-binding in the mononucleotide-binding proteins. Furthermore, the known residue substitution that alter the function of the E sigma 54 activators, leaving intact the Central domain ATPase activity, are mapped on region proposed to

  2. Protein folding at single-molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M.; Deniz, Ashok A.

    2011-01-01

    The protein folding reaction carries great significance for cellular function and hence continues to be the research focus of a large interdisciplinary protein science community. Single-molecule methods are providing new and powerful tools for dissecting the mechanisms of this complex process by virtue of their ability to provide views of protein structure and dynamics without associated ensemble averaging. This review briefly introduces common FRET and force methods, and then explores several areas of protein folding where single-molecule experiments have yielded insights. These include exciting new information about folding landscapes, dynamics, intermediates, unfolded ensembles, intrinsically disordered proteins, assisted folding and biomechanical unfolding. Emerging and future work is expected to include advances in single-molecule techniques aimed at such investigations, and increasing work on more complex systems from both the physics and biology standpoints, including folding and dynamics of systems of interacting proteins and of proteins in cells and organisms. PMID:21303706

  3. Macromolecule-Assisted de novo Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Seong Il; Son, Ahyun; Lim, Keo-Heun; Jeong, Hotcherl; Seong, Baik L.

    2012-01-01

    In the processes of protein synthesis and folding, newly synthesized polypeptides are tightly connected to the macromolecules, such as ribosomes, lipid bilayers, or cotranslationally folded domains in multidomain proteins, representing a hallmark of de novo protein folding environments in vivo. Such linkage effects on the aggregation of endogenous polypeptides have been largely neglected, although all these macromolecules have been known to effectively and robustly solubilize their linked heterologous proteins in fusion or display technology. Thus, their roles in the aggregation of linked endogenous polypeptides need to be elucidated and incorporated into the mechanisms of de novo protein folding in vivo. In the classic hydrophobic interaction-based stabilizing mechanism underlying the molecular chaperone-assisted protein folding, it has been assumed that the macromolecules connected through a simple linkage without hydrophobic interactions and conformational changes would make no effect on the aggregation of their linked polypeptide chains. However, an increasing line of evidence indicates that the intrinsic properties of soluble macromolecules, especially their surface charges and excluded volume, could be important and universal factors for stabilizing their linked polypeptides against aggregation. Taken together, these macromolecules could act as folding helpers by keeping their linked nascent chains in a folding-competent state. The folding assistance provided by these macromolecules in the linkage context would give new insights into de novo protein folding inside the cell. PMID:22949867

  4. Structural features of protein folding nuclei.

    PubMed

    Garbuzynskiy, S O; Kondratova, M S

    2008-03-05

    A crucial event of protein folding is the formation of a folding nucleus. We demonstrate the presence of a considerable coincidence between the location of folding nuclei and the location of so-called "root structural motifs", which have unique overall folds and handedness. In the case of proteins with a single root structural motif, the involvement in the formation of a folding nucleus is in average significantly higher for amino acids residues that are in root structural motifs, compared to residues in other parts of the protein. The tests carried out revealed that the observed difference is statistically reliable. Thus, a structural feature that corresponds to the protein folding nucleus is now found.

  5. Protein Folding and Self-Organized Criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajracharya, Arun; Murray, Joelle

    Proteins are known to fold into tertiary structures that determine their functionality in living organisms. However, the complex dynamics of protein folding and the way they consistently fold into the same structures is not fully understood. Self-organized criticality (SOC) has provided a framework for understanding complex systems in various systems (earthquakes, forest fires, financial markets, and epidemics) through scale invariance and the associated power law behavior. In this research, we use a simple hydrophobic-polar lattice-bound computational model to investigate self-organized criticality as a possible mechanism for generating complexity in protein folding.

  6. Accelerated molecular dynamics simulations of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Miao, Yinglong; Feixas, Ferran; Eun, Changsun; McCammon, J Andrew

    2015-07-30

    Folding of four fast-folding proteins, including chignolin, Trp-cage, villin headpiece and WW domain, was simulated via accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD). In comparison with hundred-of-microsecond timescale conventional molecular dynamics (cMD) simulations performed on the Anton supercomputer, aMD captured complete folding of the four proteins in significantly shorter simulation time. The folded protein conformations were found within 0.2-2.1 Å of the native NMR or X-ray crystal structures. Free energy profiles calculated through improved reweighting of the aMD simulations using cumulant expansion to the second-order are in good agreement with those obtained from cMD simulations. This allows us to identify distinct conformational states (e.g., unfolded and intermediate) other than the native structure and the protein folding energy barriers. Detailed analysis of protein secondary structures and local key residue interactions provided important insights into the protein folding pathways. Furthermore, the selections of force fields and aMD simulation parameters are discussed in detail. Our work shows usefulness and accuracy of aMD in studying protein folding, providing basic references in using aMD in future protein-folding studies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Under-folded proteins: Conformational ensembles and their roles in protein folding, function, and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Uversky, Vladimir N

    2013-11-01

    For decades, protein function was intimately linked to the presence of a unique, aperiodic crystal-like structure in a functional protein. The two only places for conformational ensembles of under-folded (or partially folded) protein forms in this picture were either the end points of the protein denaturation processes or transiently populated folding intermediates. Recent years witnessed dramatic change in this perception and conformational ensembles, which the under-folded proteins are, have moved from the shadow. Accumulated to date data suggest that a protein can exist in at least three global forms-functional and folded, functional and intrinsically disordered (nonfolded), and nonfunctional and misfolded/aggregated. Under-folded protein states are crucial for each of these forms, serving as important folding intermediates of ordered proteins, or as functional states of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and IDP regions (IDPRs), or as pathology triggers of misfolded proteins. Based on these observations, conformational ensembles of under-folded proteins can be classified as transient (folding and misfolding intermediates) and permanent (IDPs and stable misfolded proteins). Permanently under-folded proteins can further be split into intentionally designed (IDPs and IDPRs) and unintentionally designed (misfolded proteins). Although intrinsic flexibility, dynamics, and pliability are crucial for all under-folded proteins, the different categories of under-foldedness are differently encoded in protein amino acid sequences. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Frustration in Condensed Matter and Protein Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z.; Tanner, S.; Conroy, B.; Owens, F.; Tran, M. M.; Boekema, C.

    2014-03-01

    By means of computer modeling, we are studying frustration in condensed matter and protein folding, including the influence of temperature and Thomson-figure formation. Frustration is due to competing interactions in a disordered state. The key issue is how the particles interact to reach the lowest frustration. The relaxation for frustration is mostly a power function (randomly assigned pattern) or an exponential function (regular patterns like Thomson figures). For the atomic Thomson model, frustration is predicted to decrease with the formation of Thomson figures at zero kelvin. We attempt to apply our frustration modeling to protein folding and dynamics. We investigate the homogeneous protein frustration that would cause the speed of the protein folding to increase. Increase of protein frustration (where frustration and hydrophobicity interplay with protein folding) may lead to a protein mutation. Research is supported by WiSE@SJSU and AFC San Jose.

  9. Protein Folding and Mechanisms of Proteostasis

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-Villanueva, José Fernando; Díaz-Molina, Raúl; García-González, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Highly sophisticated mechanisms that modulate protein structure and function, which involve synthesis and degradation, have evolved to maintain cellular homeostasis. Perturbations in these mechanisms can lead to protein dysfunction as well as deleterious cell processes. Therefore in recent years the etiology of a great number of diseases has been attributed to failures in mechanisms that modulate protein structure. Interconnections among metabolic and cell signaling pathways are critical for homeostasis to converge on mechanisms associated with protein folding as well as for the preservation of the native structure of proteins. For instance, imbalances in secretory protein synthesis pathways lead to a condition known as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress which elicits the adaptive unfolded protein response (UPR). Therefore, taking this into consideration, a key part of this paper is developed around the protein folding phenomenon, and cellular mechanisms which support this pivotal condition. We provide an overview of chaperone protein function, UPR via, spatial compartmentalization of protein folding, proteasome role, autophagy, as well as the intertwining between these processes. Several diseases are known to have a molecular etiology in the malfunction of mechanisms responsible for protein folding and in the shielding of native structure, phenomena which ultimately lead to misfolded protein accumulation. This review centers on our current knowledge about pathways that modulate protein folding, and cell responses involved in protein homeostasis. PMID:26225966

  10. Ultrafast protein folding in cages and zippers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Linlin; Hagen, Stephen J.

    2003-03-01

    The smallest, fastest-folding proteins fold on the ˜μ s time scale, where state-of-the-art molecular dynamics (MD) simulation can finally overlap with the fastest experimental probes such as laser temperature-jump spectroscopy. For such proteins, one can now ask whether molecular dynamics correctly predicts the native structure and/or the folding speed. We will present experimental measurements of folding speed in two small proteins that acquire a stable tertiary fold rapidly enough to have been simulated in MD: (a) The 20-residue tryptophan (Trp) cage, which constitutes both the smallest truly protein-like molecule and also the fastest-folding [Neidigh et al., Nat. Struct. Biol. 9 425 (2002); Qiu et al., JACS 124 12952 (2002)], and (b) the 12-residue Trp zippers (e.g. TrpZip1), monomeric β-hairpins engineered by Cochran et al. [PNAS 98 5578 (2001)]. Both proteins fold in a cooperative, two-state transition at rates exceeding 10^5 s-1 (τ < 10 μs). We will compare the folding kinetics of these proteins with the predictions of MD simulations.

  11. Simultaneous Alignment and Folding of Protein Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Waldispühl, Jérôme; O'Donnell, Charles W.; Will, Sebastian; Devadas, Srinivas; Backofen, Rolf

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Accurate comparative analysis tools for low-homology proteins remains a difficult challenge in computational biology, especially sequence alignment and consensus folding problems. We present partiFold-Align, the first algorithm for simultaneous alignment and consensus folding of unaligned protein sequences; the algorithm's complexity is polynomial in time and space. Algorithmically, partiFold-Align exploits sparsity in the set of super-secondary structure pairings and alignment candidates to achieve an effectively cubic running time for simultaneous pairwise alignment and folding. We demonstrate the efficacy of these techniques on transmembrane β-barrel proteins, an important yet difficult class of proteins with few known three-dimensional structures. Testing against structurally derived sequence alignments, partiFold-Align significantly outperforms state-of-the-art pairwise and multiple sequence alignment tools in the most difficult low-sequence homology case. It also improves secondary structure prediction where current approaches fail. Importantly, partiFold-Align requires no prior training. These general techniques are widely applicable to many more protein families (partiFold-Align is available at http://partifold.csail.mit.edu/). PMID:24766258

  12. Protein vivisection reveals elusive intermediates in folding

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zhongzhou; Sosnick, Tobin R.

    2010-01-01

    Although most folding intermediates escape detection, their characterization is crucial to the elucidation of folding mechanisms. Here we outline a powerful strategy to populate partially unfolded intermediates: A buried aliphatic residue is substituted with a charged residue (e.g., Leu→Glu−) to destabilize and unfold a specific region of the protein. We apply this strategy to Ubiquitin, reversibly trapping a folding intermediate in which the β5 strand is unfolded. The intermediate refolds to a native-like structure upon charge neutralization under mildly acidic conditions. Characterization of the trapped intermediate using NMR and hydrogen exchange methods identifies a second folding intermediate and reveals the order and free energies of the two major folding events on the native side of the rate-limiting step. This general strategy may be combined with other methods and have broad applications in the study of protein folding and other reactions that require trapping of high energy states. PMID:20144618

  13. Hydrophobic folding units at protein-protein interfaces: implications to protein folding and to protein-protein association.

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, C. J.; Nussinov, R.

    1997-01-01

    A hydrophobic folding unit cutting algorithm, originally developed for dissecting single-chain proteins, has been applied to a dataset of dissimilar two-chain protein-protein interfaces. Rather than consider each individual chain separately, the two-chain complex has been treated as a single chain. The two-chain parsing results presented in this work show hydrophobicity to be a critical attribute of two-state versus three-state protein-protein complexes. The hydrophobic folding units at the interfaces of two-state complexes suggest that the cooperative nature of the two-chain protein folding is the outcome of the hydrophobic effect, similar to its being the driving force in a single-chain folding. In analogy to the protein-folding process, the two-chain, two-state model complex may correspond to the formation of compact, hydrophobic nuclei. On the other hand, the three-state model complex involves binding of already folded monomers, similar to the association of the hydrophobic folding units within a single chain. The similarity between folding entities in protein cores and in two-state protein-protein interfaces, despite the absence of some chain connectivities in the latter, indicates that chain linkage does not necessarily affect the native conformation. This further substantiates the notion that tertiary, non-local interactions play a critical role in protein folding. These compact, hydrophobic, two-chain folding units, derived from structurally dissimilar protein-protein interfaces, provide a rich set of data useful in investigations of the role played by chain connectivity and by tertiary interactions in studies of binding and of folding. Since they are composed of non-contiguous pieces of protein backbones, they may also aid in defining folding nuclei. PMID:9232644

  14. Network measures for protein folding state discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Menichetti, Giulia; Fariselli, Piero; Remondini, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Proteins fold using a two-state or multi-state kinetic mechanisms, but up to now there is not a first-principle model to explain this different behavior. We exploit the network properties of protein structures by introducing novel observables to address the problem of classifying the different types of folding kinetics. These observables display a plain physical meaning, in terms of vibrational modes, possible configurations compatible with the native protein structure, and folding cooperativity. The relevance of these observables is supported by a classification performance up to 90%, even with simple classifiers such as discriminant analysis. PMID:27464796

  15. The robustness and innovability of protein folds.

    PubMed

    Tóth-Petróczy, Agnes; Tawfik, Dan S

    2014-06-01

    Assignment of protein folds to functions indicates that >60% of folds carry out one or two enzymatic functions, while few folds, for example, the TIM-barrel and Rossmann folds, exhibit hundreds. Are there structural features that make a fold amenable to functional innovation (innovability)? Do these features relate to robustness--the ability to readily accumulate sequence changes? We discuss several hypotheses regarding the relationship between the architecture of a protein and its evolutionary potential. We describe how, in a seemingly paradoxical manner, opposite properties, such as high stability and rigidity versus conformational plasticity and structural order versus disorder, promote robustness and/or innovability. We hypothesize that polarity--differentiation and low connectivity between a protein's scaffold and its active-site--is a key prerequisite for innovability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Stochastic Resonance in Protein Folding Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Davtyan, Aram; Platkov, Max; Gruebele, Martin; Papoian, Garegin A

    2016-05-04

    Although protein folding reactions are usually studied under static external conditions, it is likely that proteins fold in a locally fluctuating cellular environment in vivo. To mimic such behavior in in vitro experiments, the local temperature of the solvent can be modulated either harmonically or using correlated noise. In this study, coarse-grained molecular simulations are used to investigate these possibilities, and it is found that both periodic and correlated random fluctuations of the environment can indeed accelerate folding kinetics if the characteristic frequencies of the applied fluctuations are commensurate with the internal timescale of the folding reaction; this is consistent with the phenomenon of stochastic resonance observed in many other condensed-matter processes. To test this theoretical prediction, the folding dynamics of phosphoglycerate kinase under harmonic temperature fluctuations are experimentally probed using Förster resonance energy transfer fluorescence measurements. To analyze these experiments, a combination of theoretical approaches is developed, including stochastic simulations of folding kinetics and an analytical mean-field kinetic theory. The experimental observations are consistent with the theoretical predictions of stochastic resonance in phosphoglycerate kinase folding. When combined with an alternative experiment on the protein VlsE using a power spectrum analysis, elaborated in Dave et al., ChemPhysChem 2016, 10.1002/cphc.201501041, the overall data overwhelmingly point to the experimental confirmation of stochastic resonance in protein folding dynamics.

  17. Protein folding: When ribosomes pick the structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivertsson, Elin M.; Itzhaki, Laura S.

    2014-05-01

    Anfinsen's principle tells us that the folded structure of a protein is determined solely by its sequence. Now, it has been shown that the rate at which a polypeptide chain is synthesized in the cell can affect which of two alternative folded structures it adopts.

  18. Local vs global motions in protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Maisuradze, Gia G.; Liwo, Adam; Senet, Patrick; Scheraga, Harold A.

    2013-01-01

    It is of interest to know whether local fluctuations in a polypeptide chain play any role in the mechanism by which the chain folds to the native structure of a protein. This question is addressed by analyzing folding and non-folding trajectories of a protein; as an example, the analysis is applied to the 37-residue triple β-strand WW domain from the Formin binding protein 28 (FBP28) (PDB ID: 1E0L). Molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories were generated with the coarse-grained united-residue force field, and one- and two-dimensional free-energy landscapes (FELs) along the backbone virtual-bond angle θ and backbone virtual-bond-dihedral angle γ of each residue, and principal components, respectively, were analyzed. The key residues involved in the folding of the FBP28 WW domain are elucidated by this analysis. The correlations between local and global motions are found. It is shown that most of the residues in the folding trajectories of the system studied here move in a concerted fashion, following the dynamics of the whole system. This demonstrates how the choice of a pathway has to involve concerted movements in order for this protein to fold. This finding also sheds light on the effectiveness of principal component analysis (PCA) for the description of the folding dynamics of the system studied. It is demonstrated that the FEL along the PCs, computed by considering only several critically-placed residues, can correctly describe the folding dynamics. PMID:23914144

  19. Protein folding and misfolding: mechanism and principles.

    PubMed

    Englander, S Walter; Mayne, Leland; Krishna, Mallela M G

    2007-11-01

    Two fundamentally different views of how proteins fold are now being debated. Do proteins fold through multiple unpredictable routes directed only by the energetically downhill nature of the folding landscape or do they fold through specific intermediates in a defined pathway that systematically puts predetermined pieces of the target native protein into place? It has now become possible to determine the structure of protein folding intermediates, evaluate their equilibrium and kinetic parameters, and establish their pathway relationships. Results obtained for many proteins have serendipitously revealed a new dimension of protein structure. Cooperative structural units of the native protein, called foldons, unfold and refold repeatedly even under native conditions. Much evidence obtained by hydrogen exchange and other methods now indicates that cooperative foldon units and not individual amino acids account for the unit steps in protein folding pathways. The formation of foldons and their ordered pathway assembly systematically puts native-like foldon building blocks into place, guided by a sequential stabilization mechanism in which prior native-like structure templates the formation of incoming foldons with complementary structure. Thus the same propensities and interactions that specify the final native state, encoded in the amino-acid sequence of every protein, determine the pathway for getting there. Experimental observations that have been interpreted differently, in terms of multiple independent pathways, appear to be due to chance misfolding errors that cause different population fractions to block at different pathway points, populate different pathway intermediates, and fold at different rates. This paper summarizes the experimental basis for these three determining principles and their consequences. Cooperative native-like foldon units and the sequential stabilization process together generate predetermined stepwise pathways. Optional misfolding errors

  20. Cooperativity and modularity in protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Sasai, Masaki; Chikenji, George; Terada, Tomoki P.

    2016-01-01

    A simple statistical mechanical model proposed by Wako and Saitô has explained the aspects of protein folding surprisingly well. This model was systematically applied to multiple proteins by Muñoz and Eaton and has since been referred to as the Wako-Saitô-Muñoz-Eaton (WSME) model. The success of the WSME model in explaining the folding of many proteins has verified the hypothesis that the folding is dominated by native interactions, which makes the energy landscape globally biased toward native conformation. Using the WSME and other related models, Saitô emphasized the importance of the hierarchical pathway in protein folding; folding starts with the creation of contiguous segments having a native-like configuration and proceeds as growth and coalescence of these segments. The Φ-values calculated for barnase with the WSME model suggested that segments contributing to the folding nucleus are similar to the structural modules defined by the pattern of native atomic contacts. The WSME model was extended to explain folding of multi-domain proteins having a complex topology, which opened the way to comprehensively understanding the folding process of multi-domain proteins. The WSME model was also extended to describe allosteric transitions, indicating that the allosteric structural movement does not occur as a deterministic sequential change between two conformations but as a stochastic diffusive motion over the dynamically changing energy landscape. Statistical mechanical viewpoint on folding, as highlighted by the WSME model, has been renovated in the context of modern methods and ideas, and will continue to provide insights on equilibrium and dynamical features of proteins. PMID:28409080

  1. Folding funnels, binding funnels, and protein function.

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, C. J.; Kumar, S.; Ma, B.; Nussinov, R.

    1999-01-01

    Folding funnels have been the focus of considerable attention during the last few years. These have mostly been discussed in the general context of the theory of protein folding. Here we extend the utility of the concept of folding funnels, relating them to biological mechanisms and function. In particular, here we describe the shape of the funnels in light of protein synthesis and folding; flexibility, conformational diversity, and binding mechanisms; and the associated binding funnels, illustrating the multiple routes and the range of complexed conformers. Specifically, the walls of the folding funnels, their crevices, and bumps are related to the complexity of protein folding, and hence to sequential vs. nonsequential folding. Whereas the former is more frequently observed in eukaryotic proteins, where the rate of protein synthesis is slower, the latter is more frequent in prokaryotes, with faster translation rates. The bottoms of the funnels reflect the extent of the flexibility of the proteins. Rugged floors imply a range of conformational isomers, which may be close on the energy landscape. Rather than undergoing an induced fit binding mechanism, the conformational ensembles around the rugged bottoms argue that the conformers, which are most complementary to the ligand, will bind to it with the equilibrium shifting in their favor. Furthermore, depending on the extent of the ruggedness, or of the smoothness with only a few minima, we may infer nonspecific, broad range vs. specific binding. In particular, folding and binding are similar processes, with similar underlying principles. Hence, the shape of the folding funnel of the monomer enables making reasonable guesses regarding the shape of the corresponding binding funnel. Proteins having a broad range of binding, such as proteolytic enzymes or relatively nonspecific endonucleases, may be expected to have not only rugged floors in their folding funnels, but their binding funnels will also behave similarly

  2. The nature of protein folding pathways

    PubMed Central

    Englander, S. Walter; Mayne, Leland

    2014-01-01

    How do proteins fold, and why do they fold in that way? This Perspective integrates earlier and more recent advances over the 50-y history of the protein folding problem, emphasizing unambiguously clear structural information. Experimental results show that, contrary to prior belief, proteins are multistate rather than two-state objects. They are composed of separately cooperative foldon building blocks that can be seen to repeatedly unfold and refold as units even under native conditions. Similarly, foldons are lost as units when proteins are destabilized to produce partially unfolded equilibrium molten globules. In kinetic folding, the inherently cooperative nature of foldons predisposes the thermally driven amino acid-level search to form an initial foldon and subsequent foldons in later assisted searches. The small size of foldon units, ∼20 residues, resolves the Levinthal time-scale search problem. These microscopic-level search processes can be identified with the disordered multitrack search envisioned in the “new view” model for protein folding. Emergent macroscopic foldon–foldon interactions then collectively provide the structural guidance and free energy bias for the ordered addition of foldons in a stepwise pathway that sequentially builds the native protein. These conclusions reconcile the seemingly opposed new view and defined pathway models; the two models account for different stages of the protein folding process. Additionally, these observations answer the “how” and the “why” questions. The protein folding pathway depends on the same foldon units and foldon–foldon interactions that construct the native structure. PMID:25326421

  3. The hydrogen exchange core and protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Li, R.; Woodward, C.

    1999-01-01

    A database of hydrogen-deuterium exchange results has been compiled for proteins for which there are published rates of out-exchange in the native state, protection against exchange during folding, and out-exchange in partially folded forms. The question of whether the slow exchange core is the folding core (Woodward C, 1993, Trends Biochem Sci 18:359-360) is reexamined in a detailed comparison of the specific amide protons (NHs) and the elements of secondary structure on which they are located. For each pulsed exchange or competition experiment, probe NHs are shown explicitly; the large number and broad distribution of probe NHs support the validity of comparing out-exchange with pulsed-exchange/competition experiments. There is a strong tendency for the same elements of secondary structure to carry NHs most protected in the native state, NHs first protected during folding, and NHs most protected in partially folded species. There is not a one-to-one correspondence of individual NHs. Proteins for which there are published data for native state out-exchange and theta values are also reviewed. The elements of secondary structure containing the slowest exchanging NHs in native proteins tend to contain side chains with high theta values or be connected to a turn/loop with high theta values. A definition for a protein core is proposed, and the implications for protein folding are discussed. Apparently, during folding and in the native state, nonlocal interactions between core sequences are favored more than other possible nonlocal interactions. Other studies of partially folded bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (Barbar E, Barany G, Woodward C, 1995, Biochemistry 34:11423-11434; Barber E, Hare M, Daragan V, Barany G, Woodward C, 1998, Biochemistry 37:7822-7833), suggest that developing cores have site-specific energy barriers between microstates, one disordered, and the other(s) more ordered. PMID:10452602

  4. Directed evolution methods for improving polypeptide folding and solubility and superfolder fluorescent proteins generated thereby

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.

    2007-09-18

    The current invention provides methods of improving folding of polypeptides using a poorly folding domain as a component of a fusion protein comprising the poorly folding domain and a polypeptide of interest to be improved. The invention also provides novel green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) and red fluorescent proteins that have enhanced folding properties.

  5. Protein folding and de novo protein design for biotechnological applications

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, George A.; Smadbeck, James; Kieslich, Chris A.; Floudas, Christodoulos A.

    2014-01-01

    In the post-genomic era, the medical/biological fields are advancing faster than ever. However, before the power of full-genome sequencing can be fully realized, the connection between amino acid sequence and protein structure, known as the protein folding problem, needs to be elucidated. The protein folding problem remains elusive, with significant difficulties still arising when modeling amino acid sequences lacking an identifiable template. Understanding protein folding will allow for unforeseen advances in protein design, often referred as the inverse protein folding problem. Despite challenges in protein folding, de novo protein design has recently demonstrated significant success via computational techniques. We review advances and challenges in protein structure prediction and de novo protein design, and highlight their interplay in successful biotechnological applications. PMID:24268901

  6. The Ribosome Modulates Nascent Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Christian M.; Goldman, Daniel H.; Chodera, John D.; Tinoco, Ignacio; Bustamante, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Proteins are synthesized by the ribosome and generally must fold to become functionally active. Although it is commonly assumed that the ribosome affects the folding process, this idea has been extremely difficult to demonstrate. We have developed an experimental system to investigate the folding of single ribosome-bound stalled nascent polypeptides with optical tweezers. In T4 lysozyme, synthesized in a reconstituted in vitro translation system, the ribosome slows the formation of stable tertiary interactions and the attainment of the native state relative to the free protein. Incomplete T4 lysozyme polypeptides misfold and aggregate when free in solution, but they remain folding-competent near the ribosomal surface. Altogether, our results suggest that the ribosome not only decodes the genetic information and synthesizes polypeptides, but also promotes efficient de novo attainment of the native state. PMID:22194581

  7. Visualizing chaperone-assisted protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, Scott; Salmon, Loïc; Koldewey, Philipp; Ahlstrom, Logan S.; Martin, Raoul; Quan, Shu; Afonine, Pavel V.; van den Bedem, Henry; Wang, Lili; Xu, Qingping; Trievel, Raymond C.; Brooks, Charles L.; Bardwell, James CA

    2016-01-01

    Challenges in determining the structures of heterogeneous and dynamic protein complexes have greatly hampered past efforts to obtain a mechanistic understanding of many important biological processes. One such process is chaperone-assisted protein folding, where obtaining structural ensembles of chaperone:substrate complexes would ultimately reveal how chaperones help proteins fold into their native state. To address this problem, we devised a novel structural biology approach based on X-ray crystallography, termed Residual Electron and Anomalous Density (READ). READ enabled us to visualize even sparsely populated conformations of the substrate protein immunity protein 7 (Im7) in complex with the E. coli chaperone Spy. This study resulted in a series of snapshots depicting the various folding states of Im7 while bound to Spy. The ensemble shows that Spy-associated Im7 samples conformations ranging from unfolded to partially folded and native-like states, and reveals how a substrate can explore its folding landscape while bound to a chaperone. PMID:27239796

  8. Visualizing chaperone-assisted protein folding

    SciTech Connect

    Horowitz, Scott; Salmon, Loïc; Koldewey, Philipp; Ahlstrom, Logan S.; Martin, Raoul; Quan, Shu; Afonine, Pavel V.; van den Bedem, Henry; Wang, Lili; Xu, Qingping; Trievel, Raymond C.; Brooks, Charles L.; Bardwell, James C. A.

    2016-05-30

    We present that challenges in determining the structures of heterogeneous and dynamic protein complexes have greatly hampered past efforts to obtain a mechanistic understanding of many important biological processes. One such process is chaperone-assisted protein folding. Obtaining structural ensembles of chaperone–substrate complexes would ultimately reveal how chaperones help proteins fold into their native state. To address this problem, we devised a new structural biology approach based on X-ray crystallography, termed residual electron and anomalous density (READ). READ enabled us to visualize even sparsely populated conformations of the substrate protein immunity protein 7 (Im7) in complex with the Escherichia coli chaperone Spy, and to capture a series of snapshots depicting the various folding states of Im7 bound to Spy. The ensemble shows that Spy-associated Im7 samples conformations ranging from unfolded to partially folded to native-like states and reveals how a substrate can explore its folding landscape while being bound to a chaperone.

  9. Visualizing chaperone-assisted protein folding

    DOE PAGES

    Horowitz, Scott; Salmon, Loïc; Koldewey, Philipp; ...

    2016-05-30

    We present that challenges in determining the structures of heterogeneous and dynamic protein complexes have greatly hampered past efforts to obtain a mechanistic understanding of many important biological processes. One such process is chaperone-assisted protein folding. Obtaining structural ensembles of chaperone–substrate complexes would ultimately reveal how chaperones help proteins fold into their native state. To address this problem, we devised a new structural biology approach based on X-ray crystallography, termed residual electron and anomalous density (READ). READ enabled us to visualize even sparsely populated conformations of the substrate protein immunity protein 7 (Im7) in complex with the Escherichia coli chaperonemore » Spy, and to capture a series of snapshots depicting the various folding states of Im7 bound to Spy. The ensemble shows that Spy-associated Im7 samples conformations ranging from unfolded to partially folded to native-like states and reveals how a substrate can explore its folding landscape while being bound to a chaperone.« less

  10. GroEL-mediated protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Fenton, W. A.; Horwich, A. L.

    1997-01-01

    I. Architecture of GroEL and GroES and the reaction pathway A. Architecture of the chaperonins B. Reaction pathway of GroEL-GroES-mediated folding II. Polypeptide binding A. A parallel network of chaperones binding polypeptides in vivo B. Polypeptide binding in vitro 1. Role of hydrophobicity in recognition 2. Homologous proteins with differing recognition-differences in primary structure versus effects on folding pathway 3. Conformations recognized by GroEL a. Refolding studies b. Binding of metastable intermediates c. Conformations while stably bound at GroEL 4. Binding constants and rates of association 5. Conformational changes in the substrate protein associated with binding by GroEL a. Observations b. Kinetic versus thermodynamic action of GroEL in mediating unfolding c. Crossing the energy landscape in the presence of GroEL III. ATP binding and hydrolysis-driving the reaction cycle IV. GroEL-GroES-polypeptide ternary complexes-the folding-active cis complex A. Cis and trans ternary complexes B. Symmetric complexes C. The folding-active intermediate of a chaperonin reaction-cis ternary complex D. The role of the cis space in the folding reaction E. Folding governed by a "timer" mechanism F. Release of nonnative polypeptides during the GroEL-GroES reaction G. Release of both native and nonnative forms under physiologic conditions H. A role for ATP binding, as well as hydrolysis, in the folding cycle V. Concluding remarks. PMID:9098884

  11. Fast-Folding Proteins under Stress

    PubMed Central

    Dave, Kapil; Gruebele, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Proteins are subject to a variety of stresses in biological organisms, including pressure and temperature, which are the easiest stresses to simulate by molecular dynamics. We discuss the effect of pressure and thermal stress on very fast folding model proteins, whose in vitro folding can be fully simulated on computers and compared with experiments. We then discuss experiments that can be used to subject proteins to low and high temperature unfolding, as well as low and high pressure unfolding. Pressure and temperature are prototypical perturbations that illustrate how close many proteins are to instability, a property that cells can exploit to control protein function. We conclude by reviewing some recent in-cell experiments, and progress being made in simulating and measuring protein stability and function inside live cells. PMID:26231095

  12. Optimum folding pathways for growing protein chains.

    PubMed

    Senturk, Serife; Baday, Sefer; Arkun, Yaman; Erman, Burak

    2007-11-26

    The folding of a protein is studied as it grows residue by residue from the N-terminus and enters an environment that stabilizes the folded state. This mode of folding of a growing chain is different from refolding where the full chain folds from a disordered initial configuration to the native state. We propose a sequential dynamic optimization method that computes the evolution of optimum folding pathways as amino acid residues are added to the peptide chain one by one. The dynamic optimization formulation is deterministic and uses Newton's equations of motion and a Go-type potential that establishes the native contacts and excluded volume effects. The method predicts the optimal energy-minimizing path among all the alternative feasible pathways. As two examples, the folding of the chicken villin headpiece, a 36-residue protein, and chymotrypsin inhibitor 2 (CI2), a 64-residue protein, are studied. Results on the villin headpiece show significant differences from the refolding of the same chain studied previously. Results on CI2 mostly agree with the results of refolding experiments and computational work.

  13. Folding mechanism of proteins and protein-like polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Vijay

    2000-03-01

    Proteins are amazing biomaterials: they both perform biological activity as well as assemble themselves. In order to understand how proteins fold and to design synthetic polymers with protein-like properties, we need to understand how these molecules assemble themselves. I will discuss results from recent simulations of proteins and protein-like polymers in order to examine which is common and potentially ``universal'' about the folding (self-assembly) mechanism. These results may shed light on protein and protein-like polymer design, experiments on folding, as well as areas in which misfolding may be important such as many neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Protein Folding:. Physics on Products of Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Go, Nobuhiro

    2001-09-01

    Proteins are self-assembling molecular systems. A polypeptide chain of a protein molecule folds into a globular three-dimensional structure, which is specific to the amino acid sequence of the chain. A protein molecule is in the "native state" when folded into its specific three-dimensional structure. Only in the native state, a protein molecule carries out its biological function. This extraordinary self-assembly ability of proteins can be explained based on the three generally accepted empirical observations in proteins: (1) Two-state character; Folding and unfolding transitions in small globular proteins are generally of the two-state character. (2) Consistency principle; Various components of intra-molecular interactions responsible for stabilizing the native state of globular proteins are consistent to each other in their native state. (3) Principle of marginal stability; The native folded states of globular proteins are generally only marginally stable against their unfolded states. Deduction of the self-assembly ability from the three observations is a problem of physical nature. Very sophisticated theories have been developed recently as to this point. I shall give a very simple and intuitive discussion on this point. Asking why protein molecules show the three observations is another problem. Observation (1) can be derived from the globularity of native states. Observations (2) and (3) can be understood only by considering the evolutionary history of protein molecules, i.e., only polypeptide chains with very specific amino acid sequences selected during the history of evolution show properties of observations (2) and (3). Here we see a case where the mechanism of an extraordinary ability of biopolymers is elucidated in terms of physics, and physics expects that only a very small fraction of amino acid sequences have such an ability. Nature has left the job of finding able sequences to the history of evolution.

  15. Microfluidic Mixers for Studying Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Waldauer, Steven A.; Wu, Ling; Yao, Shuhuai; Bakajin, Olgica; Lapidus, Lisa J.

    2012-01-01

    The process by which a protein folds into its native conformation is highly relevant to biology and human health yet still poorly understood. One reason for this is that folding takes place over a wide range of timescales, from nanoseconds to seconds or longer, depending on the protein1. Conventional stopped-flow mixers have allowed measurement of folding kinetics starting at about 1 ms. We have recently developed a microfluidic mixer that dilutes denaturant ~100-fold in ~8 μs2. Unlike a stopped-flow mixer, this mixer operates in the laminar flow regime in which turbulence does not occur. The absence of turbulence allows precise numeric simulation of all flows within the mixer with excellent agreement to experiment3-4. Laminar flow is achieved for Reynolds numbers Re ≤100. For aqueous solutions, this requires micron scale geometries. We use a hard substrate, such as silicon or fused silica, to make channels 5-10 μm wide and 10 μm deep (See Figure 1). The smallest dimensions, at the entrance to the mixing region, are on the order of 1 μm in size. The chip is sealed with a thin glass or fused silica coverslip for optical access. Typical total linear flow rates are ~1 m/s, yielding Re~10, but the protein consumption is only ~0.5 nL/s or 1.8 μL/hr. Protein concentration depends on the detection method: For tryptophan fluorescence the typical concentration is 100 μM (for 1 Trp/protein) and for FRET the typical concentration is ~100 nM. The folding process is initiated by rapid dilution of denaturant from 6 M to 0.06 M guanidine hydrochloride. The protein in high denaturant flows down a central channel and is met on either side at the mixing region by buffer without denaturant moving ~100 times faster (see Figure 2). This geometry causes rapid constriction of the protein flow into a narrow jet ~100 nm wide. Diffusion of the light denaturant molecules is very rapid, while diffusion of the heavy protein molecules is much slower, diffusing less than 1 μm in 1 ms

  16. Computational and theoretical methods for protein folding.

    PubMed

    Compiani, Mario; Capriotti, Emidio

    2013-12-03

    A computational approach is essential whenever the complexity of the process under study is such that direct theoretical or experimental approaches are not viable. This is the case for protein folding, for which a significant amount of data are being collected. This paper reports on the essential role of in silico methods and the unprecedented interplay of computational and theoretical approaches, which is a defining point of the interdisciplinary investigations of the protein folding process. Besides giving an overview of the available computational methods and tools, we argue that computation plays not merely an ancillary role but has a more constructive function in that computational work may precede theory and experiments. More precisely, computation can provide the primary conceptual clues to inspire subsequent theoretical and experimental work even in a case where no preexisting evidence or theoretical frameworks are available. This is cogently manifested in the application of machine learning methods to come to grips with the folding dynamics. These close relationships suggested complementing the review of computational methods within the appropriate theoretical context to provide a self-contained outlook of the basic concepts that have converged into a unified description of folding and have grown in a synergic relationship with their computational counterpart. Finally, the advantages and limitations of current computational methodologies are discussed to show how the smart analysis of large amounts of data and the development of more effective algorithms can improve our understanding of protein folding.

  17. The Link Between DYRK1A Overexpression and Several-fold Enhancement of Neurofibrillary Degeneration with 3-Repeat Tau Protein in Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Wegiel, Jerzy; Kaczmarski, Wojciech; Barua, Madhabi; Kuchna, Izabela; Nowicki, Krzysztof; Wang, Kuo-Chiang; Wegiel, Jarek; Ma, Shuang Yang; Frackowiak, Janusz; Mazur-Kolecka, Bozena; Silverman, Wayne P.; Reisberg, Barry; Monteiro, Isabel; Leon, Mony de; Wisniewski, Thomas; Dalton, Arthur; Lai, Florence; Hwang, Yu-Wen; Adayev, Tatyana; Liu, Fei; Iqbal, Khalid; Iqbal, Inge-Grundke; Gong, Cheng-Xin

    2011-01-01

    Triplication of chromosome 21 in Down syndrome (DS) results in overexpression of the minibrain kinase/dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylated and regulated kinase 1A gene (DYRK1A). DYRK1A phosphorylates cytoplasmic tau protein and appears in intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). We have previously shown significantly more DYRK1A-positive NFTs in DS brains than in sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD) brains. This study demonstrates a gene dosage–proportional increase in the level of DYRK1A in DS in the cytoplasm and the cell nucleus and enhanced cytoplasmic and nuclear immunoreactivity of DYRK1A in DS. The results suggest that overexpressed DYRK1A may alter both phosphorylation of tau and alternative splicing factor (ASF). Two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed modification of ASF phosphorylation in DS/AD and AD in comparison to controls. Altered phosphorylation of ASF by overexpressed nuclear DYRK1A may contribute to the alternative splicing of the tau gene and an increase by 2.68× of the 3R/4R ratio in DS/AD, and a several-fold increase in the number of 3R-tau–positive NFTs in DS/AD subjects compared to in sporadic AD subjects. These data support the hypothesis that phosphorylation of ASF by overexpressed DYRK1A may contribute to alternative splicing of exon 10, increased expression of 3R tau, and early onset of neurofibrillary degeneration in DS. PMID:21157379

  18. Folding of the Tau Protein on Microtubules.

    PubMed

    Kadavath, Harindranath; Jaremko, Mariusz; Jaremko, Łukasz; Biernat, Jacek; Mandelkow, Eckhard; Zweckstetter, Markus

    2015-08-24

    Microtubules are regulated by microtubule-associated proteins. However, little is known about the structure of microtubule-associated proteins in complex with microtubules. Herein we show that the microtubule-associated protein Tau, which is intrinsically disordered in solution, locally folds into a stable structure upon binding to microtubules. While Tau is highly flexible in solution and adopts a β-sheet structure in amyloid fibrils, in complex with microtubules the conserved hexapeptides at the beginning of the Tau repeats two and three convert into a hairpin conformation. Thus, binding to microtubules stabilizes a unique conformation in Tau. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Energy landscape in protein folding and unfolding

    PubMed Central

    Mallamace, Francesco; Corsaro, Carmelo; Mallamace, Domenico; Vasi, Sebastiano; Vasi, Cirino; Baglioni, Piero; Buldyrev, Sergey V.; Chen, Sow-Hsin; Stanley, H. Eugene

    2016-01-01

    We use 1H NMR to probe the energy landscape in the protein folding and unfolding process. Using the scheme ⇄ reversible unfolded (intermediate) → irreversible unfolded (denatured) state, we study the thermal denaturation of hydrated lysozyme that occurs when the temperature is increased. Using thermal cycles in the range 295protein energy surface, we observe that the hydrophilic (the amide NH) and hydrophobic (methyl CH3 and methine CH) peptide groups evolve and exhibit different behaviors. We also discuss the role of water and hydrogen bonding in the protein configurational stability. PMID:26957601

  20. Energy landscape in protein folding and unfolding.

    PubMed

    Mallamace, Francesco; Corsaro, Carmelo; Mallamace, Domenico; Vasi, Sebastiano; Vasi, Cirino; Baglioni, Piero; Buldyrev, Sergey V; Chen, Sow-Hsin; Stanley, H Eugene

    2016-03-22

    We use (1)H NMR to probe the energy landscape in the protein folding and unfolding process. Using the scheme ⇄ reversible unfolded (intermediate) → irreversible unfolded (denatured) state, we study the thermal denaturation of hydrated lysozyme that occurs when the temperature is increased. Using thermal cycles in the range 295 < T < 365 K and following different trajectories along the protein energy surface, we observe that the hydrophilic (the amide NH) and hydrophobic (methyl CH3 and methine CH) peptide groups evolve and exhibit different behaviors. We also discuss the role of water and hydrogen bonding in the protein configurational stability.

  1. Communication: Folding of glycosylated proteins under confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shental-Bechor, Dalit; Levy, Yaakov

    2011-10-01

    Conjugating flexible polymers (such as oligosaccharides) to proteins or confining a protein in a restricted volume often increases protein thermal stability. In this communication, we investigate the interplay between conjugation and confinement which is not trivial as the magnitude and the mechanism of stabilization are different in each instance. Using coarse-grained computational approach the folding biophysics is studied when the protein is placed in a sphere of variable radius and is conjugated to 0-6 mono- or penta-saccharides. We observe a synergistic effect on thermal stability when short oligosaccharides are attached and the modified protein is confined in a small cage. However, when large oligosaccharides are added, a conflict between confinement and glycosylation arises as the stabilizing effect of the cage is dramatically reduced and it is almost impossible to further stabilize the protein beyond the mild stabilization induced by the sugars.

  2. PREFACE Protein folding: lessons learned and new frontiers Protein folding: lessons learned and new frontiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappu, Rohit V.; Nussinov, Ruth

    2009-03-01

    In appropriate physiological milieux proteins spontaneously fold into their functional three-dimensional structures. The amino acid sequences of functional proteins contain all the information necessary to specify the folds. This remarkable observation has spawned research aimed at answering two major questions. (1) Of all the conceivable structures that a protein can adopt, why is the ensemble of native-like structures the most favorable? (2) What are the paths by which proteins manage to robustly and reproducibly fold into their native structures? Anfinsen's thermodynamic hypothesis has guided the pursuit of answers to the first question whereas Levinthal's paradox has influenced the development of models for protein folding dynamics. Decades of work have led to significant advances in the folding problem. Mean-field models have been developed to capture our current, coarse grain understanding of the driving forces for protein folding. These models are being used to predict three-dimensional protein structures from sequence and stability profiles as a function of thermodynamic and chemical perturbations. Impressive strides have also been made in the field of protein design, also known as the inverse folding problem, thereby testing our understanding of the determinants of the fold specificities of different sequences. Early work on protein folding pathways focused on the specific sequence of events that could lead to a simplification of the search process. However, unifying principles proved to be elusive. Proteins that show reversible two-state folding-unfolding transitions turned out to be a gift of natural selection. Focusing on these simple systems helped researchers to uncover general principles regarding the origins of cooperativity in protein folding thermodynamics and kinetics. On the theoretical front, concepts borrowed from polymer physics and the physics of spin glasses led to the development of a framework based on energy landscape theories. These

  3. Using the folding landscapes of proteins to understand protein function.

    PubMed

    Giri Rao, V V Hemanth; Gosavi, Shachi

    2016-02-01

    Proteins fold on a biologically-relevant timescale because of a funnel-shaped energy landscape. This landscape is sculpted through evolution by selecting amino-acid sequences that stabilize native interactions while suppressing stable non-native interactions that occur during folding. However, there is strong evolutionary selection for functional residues and these cannot be chosen to optimize folding. Their presence impacts the folding energy landscape in a variety of ways. Here, we survey the effects of functional residues on folding by providing several examples. We then review how such effects can be detected computationally and be used as assays for protein function. Overall, an understanding of how functional residues modulate folding should provide insights into the design of natural proteins and their homeostasis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Is Protein Folding Sub-Diffusive?

    PubMed Central

    Krivov, Sergei V.

    2010-01-01

    Protein folding dynamics is often described as diffusion on a free energy surface considered as a function of one or few reaction coordinates. However, a growing number of experiments and models show that, when projected onto a reaction coordinate, protein dynamics is sub-diffusive. This raises the question as to whether the conventionally used diffusive description of the dynamics is adequate. Here, we numerically construct the optimum reaction coordinate for a long equilibrium folding trajectory of a Go model of a -repressor protein. The trajectory projected onto this coordinate exhibits diffusive dynamics, while the dynamics of the same trajectory projected onto a sub-optimal reaction coordinate is sub-diffusive. We show that the higher the (cut-based) free energy profile for the putative reaction coordinate, the more diffusive the dynamics become when projected on this coordinate. The results suggest that whether the projected dynamics is diffusive or sub-diffusive depends on the chosen reaction coordinate. Protein folding can be described as diffusion on the free energy surface as function of the optimum reaction coordinate. And conversely, the conventional reaction coordinates, even though they might be based on physical intuition, are often sub-optimal and, hence, show sub-diffusive dynamics. PMID:20862361

  5. A Simple Model for Protein Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Eric R.; Eaton, William A.

    We describe a simple Ising-like statistical mechanical model for folding proteins based on the α-carbon contact map of the native structure. In this model residues can adopt two microscopic states corresponding to the native and non-native conformations. In order to exactly enumerate the large number of possible configurations, structure is considered to grow as continuous sequences of native residues, with no more than two sequences in each molecule. Inter-residue contacts can only form within each sequence and between residues of the two native sequences. As structure grows there is a tradeoff between the stabilizing effect of inter-residue contacts and the entropy losses from ordering residues in their native conformation and from forming a disordered loop to connect two continuous sequences. Folding kinetics are calculated from the dynamics on the free energy profile, as in Kramers' reaction rate theory. Although non-native interactions responsible for roughness in the energy landscape are not explicitly considered in the model, they are implicitly included by determining the absolute rates for motion on the free energy profile. With the exception of α-helical proteins, the kinetic progress curves exhibit single exponential time courses, consistent with two state behavior, as observed experimentally. The calculated folding rates are in remarkably good agreement with the measured values for the 25 two-state proteins investigated, with a correlation coefficient of 0.8. With its coarse-grained description of both the energy and entropy, and only three independently adjustable parameters, the model may be regarded as the simplest possible analytical model of protein folding capable of predicting experimental properties of specific proteins.

  6. Folding mechanism of a multiple independently-folding domain protein: double B domain of protein A.

    PubMed

    Arora, Pooja; Hammes, Gordon G; Oas, Terrence G

    2006-10-10

    The antibody binding properties of staphylococcal protein A (SpA) can be attributed to the presence of five highly homologous domains (E, D, A, B, and C). Although the folding of the B domain of protein A (BdpA) is well-characterized, the folding behavior of this domain in the context of full-length SpA in the cell remains unexplored. The sequence of the B domain is 89 and 91% identical to those of domains A and C, respectively. We have fused B domain sequences (BBdpA) as a close approximation of the A-B or B-C portion of SpA. Circular dichroism and fluorescence-detected denaturation curves of BBdpA are experimentally indistinguishable from those of BdpA. The rate constants for folding and unfolding from NMR line shape analysis for the single- and double-domain proteins are the same within experimental uncertainties (+/-20%). These results support the designation of SpA as a multiple independently-folding domain (MIFD) protein. We develop a mathematical model that describes the folding thermodynamics and kinetics of MIFD proteins. The model depicts MIFD protein folding and unfolding as a parallel network and explicitly calculates the flux through all parallel pathways. These fluxes are combined to give a complete description of the global thermodynamics and kinetics of the folding and unfolding of MIFD proteins. The global rates for complete folding and unfolding of a MIFD protein and those of the individual domains depend on the stability of the protein. We show that the global unfolding rate of a MIFD protein may be many orders of magnitude slower than that of the constituent domains.

  7. The role of ascorbate in protein folding.

    PubMed

    Szarka, András; Lőrincz, Tamás

    2014-05-01

    Ascorbate was linked to protein folding a long time ago. At the first level of this connection, it had been shown that ascorbate functions as an essential cofactor in the hydroxylation enzymes involved in collagen synthesis. Although the hydroxylation reactions catalyzed by the members of the prolyl 4-hydroxylase family are considered to be ascorbate dependent, the hydroxylation of proline alone does not need ascorbate. Prolyl 4-hydroxylases participate in two catalytic reactions: one in which proline residues are hydroxylated, while 2-oxoglutarate is decarboxylated and molecular oxygen is consumed. This reaction is ascorbate independent. However, in another reaction, prolyl 4-hydroxylases catalyze the decarboxylation of 2-oxoglutarate uncoupled from proline hydroxylation but still needing molecular oxygen. At this time, ferrous iron is oxidized and the protein is rendered catalytically inactive until reduced by ascorbate. At the second level of the connection, the oxidation and the oxidized form of ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, is involved in the formation of disulfide bonds of secretory proteins. The significance of the dehydroascorbate reductase activity of protein disulfide isomerase was debated because protein disulfide isomerase as a dehydroascorbate reductase was found to be too slow to be the major route for the reduction of dehydroascorbate (and formation of disulfides) in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen. However, very recently, low tissue ascorbate levels and a noncanonical scurvy were observed in endoplasmic reticulum thiol oxidase- and peroxiredoxin 4-compromised mice. This novel observation implies that ascorbate may be involved in oxidative protein folding and creates a link between the disulfide bond formation (oxidative protein folding) and hydroxylation.

  8. GroEL stimulates protein folding through forced unfolding

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Zong; Madan, Damian; Rye, Hays S

    2013-01-01

    Many proteins cannot fold without the assistance of chaperonin machines like GroEL and GroES. The nature of this assistance, however, remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that unfolding of a substrate protein by GroEL enhances protein folding. We first show that capture of a protein on the open ring of a GroEL–ADP–GroES complex, GroEL’s physiological acceptor state for non-native proteins in vivo, leaves the substrate protein in an unexpectedly compact state. Subsequent binding of ATP to the same GroEL ring causes rapid, forced unfolding of the substrate protein. Notably, the fraction of the substrate protein that commits to the native state following GroES binding and protein release into the GroEL–GroES cavity is proportional to the extent of substrate-protein unfolding. Forced protein unfolding is thus a central component of the multilayered stimulatory mechanism used by GroEL to drive protein folding. PMID:18311152

  9. Folding of Small Proteins Using Constrained Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Balaraman, Gouthaman S.; Park, In-Hee; Jain, Abhinandan; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2011-01-01

    The focus of this paper is to examine whether conformational search using constrained molecular dynamics (MD) method is more enhanced and enriched towards “native-like” structures compared to all-atom MD for the protein folding as a model problem. Constrained MD methods provide an alternate MD tool for protein structure prediction and structure refinement. It is computationally expensive to perform all-atom simulations of protein folding because the processes occur on a timescale of microseconds. Compared to the all-atom MD simulation, constrained MD methods have the advantage that stable dynamics can be achieved for larger time steps and the number of degrees of freedom is an order of magnitude smaller, leading to a decrease in computational cost. We have developed a generalized constrained MD method that allows the user to “freeze and thaw” torsional degrees of freedom as fit for the problem studied. We have used this method to perform all-torsion constrained MD in implicit solvent coupled with the replica exchange method to study folding of small proteins with various secondary structural motifs such as, α-helix (polyalanine, WALP16), β-turn (1E0Q), and a mixed motif protein (Trp-cage). We demonstrate that constrained MD replica exchange method exhibits a wider conformational search than all-atom MD with increased enrichment of near native structures. “Hierarchical” constrained MD simulations, where the partially formed helical regions in the initial stretch of the all-torsion folding simulation trajectory of Trp-cage were frozen, showed a better sampling of near native structures than all-torsion constrained MD simulations. This is in agreement with the zipping-and-assembly folding model put forth by Dill and coworkers for folding proteins. The use of hierarchical “freeze and thaw” clustering schemes in constrained MD simulation can be used to sample conformations that contribute significantly to folding of proteins. PMID:21591767

  10. Effects of osmolytes on protein folding and aggregation in cells.

    PubMed

    Ignatova, Zoya; Gierasch, Lila M

    2007-01-01

    Nature has developed many strategies to ensure that the complex and challenging protein folding reaction occurs in vivo with adequate efficiency and fidelity for the success of the organism. Among the strategies widely employed in a huge range of species and cell types is the elaboration of small organic molecules called osmolytes that offset the potentially damaging effects of osmotic stress. While considerable knowledge has been gained in vitro regarding the influence of osmolytes on protein structure and folding, it is of great interest to probe the effects of osmolytes in cells. We have developed an in-cell fluorescent-labeling method that enables the study of protein stability and also protein aggregation in vivo. We utilize a genetically encoded tag called a tetra-Cys motif that binds specifically to a bis-arsenical fluorescein-based dye "FlAsH"; we inserted the tetra-Cys motif into a protein of interest in such a way that the FlAsH signal reported on the state of folding or aggregation of the protein. Then, we designed protocols to assess how various osmolytes influence the stability and propensity to aggregate of our protein of interest. These are described here. Not only are there potential biotechnological applications of osmolytes in the quest to produce greater quantities of well-folded proteins, but also osmolytes may serve as tools and points of departure for therapeutic intervention in protein folding and aggregation diseases. Having in vivo methods to analyze how osmolytes affect folding and aggregation enhances our ability to further these goals greatly.

  11. Microcanonical versus Canonical Analysis of Protein Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández-Rojas, J.; Gomez Llorente, J. M.

    2008-06-01

    The microcanonical analysis is shown to be a powerful tool to characterize the protein folding transition and to neatly distinguish between good and bad folders. An off-lattice model with parameter chosen to represent polymers of these two types is used to illustrate this approach. Both canonical and microcanonical ensembles are employed. The required calculations were performed using parallel tempering Monte Carlo simulations. The most revealing features of the folding transition are related to its first-order-like character, namely, the S-bend pattern in the caloric curve, which gives rise to negative microcanonical specific heats, and the bimodality of the energy distribution function at the transition temperatures. Models for a good folder are shown to be quite robust against perturbations in the interaction potential parameters.

  12. Deletional Protein Engineering Based on Stable Fold

    PubMed Central

    Sokalingam, Sriram; Yun, Hyungdon; Lee, Sun-Gu

    2012-01-01

    Diversification of protein sequence-structure space is a major concern in protein engineering. Deletion mutagenesis can generate a protein sequence-structure space different from substitution mutagenesis mediated space, but it has not been widely used in protein engineering compared to substitution mutagenesis, because it causes a relatively huge range of structural perturbations of target proteins which often inactivates the proteins. In this study, we demonstrate that, using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a model system, the drawback of the deletional protein engineering can be overcome by employing the protein structure with high stability. The systematic dissection of N-terminal, C-terminal and internal sequences of GFPs with two different stabilities showed that GFP with high stability (s-GFP), was more tolerant to the elimination of amino acids compared to a GFP with normal stability (n-GFP). The deletion studies of s-GFP enabled us to achieve three interesting variants viz. s-DL4, s-N14, and s-C225, which could not been obtained from n-GFP. The deletion of 191–196 loop sequences led to the variant s-DL4 that was expressed predominantly as insoluble form but mostly active. The s-N14 and s-C225 are the variants without the amino acid residues involving secondary structures around N- and C-terminals of GFP fold respectively, exhibiting comparable biophysical properties of the n-GFP. Structural analysis of the variants through computational modeling study gave a few structural insights that can explain the spectral properties of the variants. Our study suggests that the protein sequence-structure space of deletion mutants can be more efficiently explored by employing the protein structure with higher stability. PMID:23240034

  13. Computational Solutions to the Protein Folding Problem,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-05-19

    A TRIDENT SCHOLAR oN PROJECT REPORT 0 NO. 223 "Computational Solutions to the Protein Folding Problem" L T -’ ’r i SEP 2 7 1994 ýV UNITED STATES...potential energy function (Chapter II), 25 1 2 2 U = X• k( l 1 -lo) 2+ X.ko (8,-8o) 2+X.-[1l + cos (Pip + )] Equation 4.1 xei (C ¶±~12.4 a where ri, is...iterative process, a set of k >_ 2"t+ l distinct local minima are computed. This can be done with rela- tive ease by using an efficient unconstrained

  14. Distinguishing between sequential and nonsequentially folded proteins: implications for folding and misfolding.

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, C. J.; Maizel, J. V.; Nussinov, R.

    1999-01-01

    We describe here an algorithm for distinguishing sequential from nonsequentially folding proteins. Several experiments have recently suggested that most of the proteins that are synthesized in the eukaryotic cell may fold sequentially. This proposed folding mechanism in vivo is particularly advantageous to the organism. In the absence of chaperones, the probability that a sequentially folding protein will misfold is reduced significantly. The problem we address here is devising a procedure that would differentiate between the two types of folding patterns. Footprints of sequential folding may be found in structures where consecutive fragments of the chain interact with each other. In such cases, the folding complexity may be viewed as being lower. On the other hand, higher folding complexity suggests that at least a portion of the polypeptide backbone folds back upon itself to form three-dimensional (3D) interactions with noncontiguous portion(s) of the chain. Hence, we look at the mechanism of folding of the molecule via analysis of its complexity, that is, through the 3D interactions formed by contiguous segments on the polypeptide chain. To computationally splice the structure into consecutively interacting fragments, we either cut it into compact hydrophobic folding units or into a set of hypothetical, transient, highly populated, contiguous fragments ("building blocks" of the structure). In sequential folding, successive building blocks interact with each other from the amino to the carboxy terminus of the polypeptide chain. Consequently, the results of the parsing differentiate between sequentially vs. nonsequentially folded chains. The automated assessment of the folding complexity provides insight into both the likelihood of misfolding and the kinetic folding rate of the given protein. In terms of the funnel free energy landscape theory, a protein that truly follows the mechanism of sequential folding, in principle, encounters smoother free energy barriers

  15. Electrostatically Accelerated Coupled Binding and Folding of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ganguly, Debabani; Otieno, Steve; Waddell, Brett; Iconaru, Luigi; Kriwacki, Richard W.; Chen, Jianhan

    2012-01-01

    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are now recognized to be prevalent in biology, and many potential functional benefits have been discussed. However, the frequent requirement of peptide folding in specific interactions of IDPs could impose a kinetic bottleneck, which could be overcome only by efficient folding upon encounter. Intriguingly, existing kinetic data suggest that specific binding of IDPs is generally no slower than that of globular proteins. Here, we exploited the cell cycle regulator p27Kip1 (p27) as a model system to understand how IDPs might achieve efficient folding upon encounter for facile recognition. Combining experiments and coarse-grained modeling, we demonstrate that long-range electrostatic interactions between enriched charges on p27 and near its binding site on cyclin A not only enhance the encounter rate (i.e., electrostatic steering), but also promote folding-competent topologies in the encounter complexes, allowing rapid subsequent formation of short-range native interactions en route to the specific complex. In contrast, nonspecific hydrophobic interactions, while hardly affecting the encounter rate, can significantly reduce the efficiency of folding upon encounter and lead to slower binding kinetics. Further analysis of charge distributions in a set of known IDP complexes reveals that, although IDP binding sites tend to be more hydrophobic compared to the rest of the target surface, their vicinities are frequently enriched with charges to complement those on IDPs. This observation suggests that electrostatically accelerated encounter and induced folding might represent a prevalent mechanism for promoting facile IDP recognition. PMID:22721951

  16. Hydrophobic-hydrophilic forces in protein folding.

    PubMed

    Durell, Stewart R; Ben-Naim, Arieh

    2017-08-01

    The process of protein folding is obviously driven by forces exerted on the atoms of the amino-acid chain. These forces arise from interactions with other parts of the protein itself (direct forces), as well as from interactions with the solvent (solvent-induced forces). We present a statistical-mechanical formalism that describes both these direct and indirect, solvent-induced thermodynamic forces on groups of the protein. We focus on 2 kinds of protein groups, commonly referred to as hydrophobic and hydrophilic. Analysis of this result leads to the conclusion that the forces on hydrophilic groups are in general stronger than on hydrophobic groups. This is then tested and verified by a series of molecular dynamics simulations, examining both hydrophobic alkanes of different sizes and hydrophilic moieties represented by polar-neutral hydroxyl groups. The magnitude of the force on assemblies of hydrophilic groups is dependent on their relative orientation: with 2 to 4 times larger forces on groups that are able to form one or more direct hydrogen bonds. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The Ability to Enhance the Solubility of Its Fusion Partners Is an Intrinsic Property of Maltose-Binding Protein but Their Folding Is Either Spontaneous or Chaperone-Mediated

    PubMed Central

    Raran-Kurussi, Sreejith; Waugh, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Escherichia coli maltose binding protein (MBP) is commonly used to promote the solubility of its fusion partners. To investigate the mechanism of solubility enhancement by MBP, we compared the properties of MBP fusion proteins refolded in vitro with those of the corresponding fusion proteins purified under native conditions. We fused five aggregation-prone passenger proteins to 3 different N-terminal tags: His6-MBP, His6-GST and His6. After purifying the 15 fusion proteins under denaturing conditions and refolding them by rapid dilution, we recovered far more of the soluble MBP fusion proteins than their GST- or His-tagged counterparts. Hence, we can reproduce the solubilizing activity of MBP in a simple in vitro system, indicating that no additional factors are required to mediate this effect. We assayed both the soluble fusion proteins and their TEV protease digestion products (i.e., with the N-terminal tag removed) for biological activity. Little or no activity was detected for some fusion proteins whereas others were quite active. When the MBP fusions proteins were purified from E. coli under native conditions they were all substantially active. These results indicate that the ability of MBP to promote the solubility of its fusion partners in vitro sometimes, but not always, results in their proper folding. We show that the folding of some passenger proteins is mediated by endogenous chaperones in vivo. Hence, MBP serves as a passive participant in the folding process; passenger proteins either fold spontaneously or with the assistance of chaperones. PMID:23166722

  18. Osmolyte-induced folding of an intrinsically disordered protein: folding mechanism in the absence of ligand.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yu-Chu; Oas, Terrence G

    2010-06-29

    Understanding the interconversion between thermodynamically distinguishable states present in a protein folding pathway provides not only the kinetics and energetics of protein folding but also insights into the functional roles of these states in biological systems. The protein component of the bacterial RNase P holoenzyme from Bacillus subtilis (P protein) was previously shown to be unfolded in the absence of its cognate RNA or other anionic ligands. P protein was used in this study as a model system to explore general features of intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) folding mechanisms. The use of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), an osmolyte that stabilizes the unliganded folded form of the protein, enabled us to study the folding process of P protein in the absence of ligand. Transient stopped-flow kinetic traces at various final TMAO concentrations exhibited multiphasic kinetics. Equilibrium "cotitration" experiments were performed using both TMAO and urea during the titration to produce a urea-TMAO titration surface of P protein. Both kinetic and equilibrium studies show evidence of a previously undetected intermediate state in the P protein folding process. The intermediate state is significantly populated, and the folding rate constants are relatively slow compared to those of intrinsically folded proteins similar in size and topology. The experiments and analysis described serve as a useful example for mechanistic folding studies of other IDPs.

  19. Some physical approaches to protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bascle, J.; Garel, T.; Orland, H.

    1993-02-01

    To understand how a protein folds is a problem which has important biological implications. In this article, we would like to present a physics-oriented point of view, which is twofold. First of all, we introduce simple statistical mechanics models which display, in the thermodynamic limit, folding and related transitions. These models can be divided into (i) crude spin glass-like models (with their Mattis analogs), where one may look for possible correlations between the chain self-interactions and the folded structure, (ii) glass-like models, where one emphasizes the geometrical competition between one- or two-dimensional local order (mimicking α helix or β sheet structures), and the requirement of global compactness. Both models are too simple to predict the spatial organization of a realistic protein, but are useful for the physicist and should have some feedback in other glassy systems (glasses, collapsed polymers .... ). These remarks lead us to the second physical approach, namely a new Monte-Carlo method, where one grows the protein atom-by-atom (or residue-by-residue), using a standard form (CHARMM .... ) for the total energy. A detailed comparison with other Monte-Carlo schemes, or Molecular Dynamics calculations, is then possible; we will sketch such a comparison for poly-alanines. Our twofold approach illustrates some of the difficulties one encounters in the protein folding problem, in particular those associated with the existence of a large number of metastable states. Le repliement des protéines est un problème qui a de nombreuses implications biologiques. Dans cet article, nous présentons, de deux façons différentes, un point de vue de physicien. Nous introduisons tout d'abord des modèles simples de mécanique statistique qui exhibent, à la limite thermodynamique, des transitions de repliement. Ces modèles peuvent être divisés en (i) verres de spin (éventuellement à la Mattis), où l'on peut chercher des corrélations entre les

  20. Progress towards mapping the universe of protein folds

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Alastair; Lee, David; Orengo, Christine

    2004-01-01

    Although the precise aims differ between the various international structural genomics initiatives currently aiming to illuminate the universe of protein folds, many selectively target protein families for which the fold is unknown. How well can the current set of known protein families and folds be used to estimate the total number of folds in nature, and will structural genomics initiatives yield representatives for all the major protein families within a reasonable time scale? PMID:15128436

  1. How the hydrophobic factor drives protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Baldwin, Robert L.; Rose, George D.

    2016-01-01

    How hydrophobicity (HY) drives protein folding is studied. The 1971 Nozaki–Tanford method of measuring HY is modified to use gases as solutes, not crystals, and this makes the method easy to use. Alkanes are found to be much more hydrophobic than rare gases, and the two different kinds of HY are termed intrinsic (rare gases) and extrinsic (alkanes). The HY values of rare gases are proportional to solvent-accessible surface area (ASA), whereas the HY values of alkanes depend on special hydration shells. Earlier work showed that hydration shells produce the hydration energetics of alkanes. Evidence is given here that the transfer energetics of alkanes to cyclohexane [Wolfenden R, Lewis CA, Jr, Yuan Y, Carter CW, Jr (2015) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(24):7484–7488] measure the release of these shells. Alkane shells are stabilized importantly by van der Waals interactions between alkane carbon and water oxygen atoms. Thus, rare gases cannot form this type of shell. The very short (approximately picoseconds) lifetime of the van der Waals interaction probably explains why NMR efforts to detect alkane hydration shells have failed. The close similarity between the sizes of the opposing energetics for forming or releasing alkane shells confirms the presence of these shells on alkanes and supports Kauzmann's 1959 mechanism of protein folding. A space-filling model is given for the hydration shells on linear alkanes. The model reproduces the n values of Jorgensen et al. [Jorgensen WL, Gao J, Ravimohan C (1985) J Phys Chem 89:3470–3473] for the number of waters in alkane hydration shells. PMID:27791131

  2. How the hydrophobic factor drives protein folding.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Robert L; Rose, George D

    2016-11-01

    How hydrophobicity (HY) drives protein folding is studied. The 1971 Nozaki-Tanford method of measuring HY is modified to use gases as solutes, not crystals, and this makes the method easy to use. Alkanes are found to be much more hydrophobic than rare gases, and the two different kinds of HY are termed intrinsic (rare gases) and extrinsic (alkanes). The HY values of rare gases are proportional to solvent-accessible surface area (ASA), whereas the HY values of alkanes depend on special hydration shells. Earlier work showed that hydration shells produce the hydration energetics of alkanes. Evidence is given here that the transfer energetics of alkanes to cyclohexane [Wolfenden R, Lewis CA, Jr, Yuan Y, Carter CW, Jr (2015) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(24):7484-7488] measure the release of these shells. Alkane shells are stabilized importantly by van der Waals interactions between alkane carbon and water oxygen atoms. Thus, rare gases cannot form this type of shell. The very short (approximately picoseconds) lifetime of the van der Waals interaction probably explains why NMR efforts to detect alkane hydration shells have failed. The close similarity between the sizes of the opposing energetics for forming or releasing alkane shells confirms the presence of these shells on alkanes and supports Kauzmann's 1959 mechanism of protein folding. A space-filling model is given for the hydration shells on linear alkanes. The model reproduces the n values of Jorgensen et al. [Jorgensen WL, Gao J, Ravimohan C (1985) J Phys Chem 89:3470-3473] for the number of waters in alkane hydration shells.

  3. Crystal structure of a defective folding protein

    PubMed Central

    Saul, Frederick A.; Mourez, Michaël; Vulliez-le Normand, Brigitte; Sassoon, Nathalie; Bentley, Graham A.; Betton, Jean-Michel

    2003-01-01

    Maltose-binding protein (MBP or MalE) of Escherichia coli is the periplasmic receptor of the maltose transport system. MalE31, a defective folding mutant of MalE carrying sequence changes Gly 32→Asp and Ile 33→Pro, is either degraded or forms inclusion bodies following its export to the periplasmic compartment. We have shown previously that overexpression of FkpA, a heat-shock periplasmic peptidyl-prolyl isomerase with chaperone activity, suppresses MalE31 misfolding. Here, we have exploited this property to characterize the maltose transport activity of MalE31 in whole cells. MalE31 displays defective transport behavior, even though it retains maltose-binding activity comparable with that of the wild-type protein. Because the mutated residues are in a region on the surface of MalE not identified previously as important for maltose transport, we have solved the crystal structure of MalE31 in the maltose-bound state in order to characterize the effects of these changes. The structure was determined by molecular replacement methods and refined to 1.85 Å resolution. The conformation of MalE31 closely resembles that of wild-type MalE, with very small displacements of the mutated residues located in the loop connecting the first α-helix to the first β-strand. The structural and functional characterization provides experimental evidence that MalE31 can attain a wild-type folded conformation, and suggest that the mutated sites are probably involved in the interactions with the membrane components of the maltose transport system. PMID:12592028

  4. Crystal structure of a defective folding protein.

    PubMed

    Saul, Frederick A; Mourez, Michaël; Vulliez-Le Normand, Brigitte; Sassoon, Nathalie; Bentley, Graham A; Betton, Jean-Michel

    2003-03-01

    Maltose-binding protein (MBP or MalE) of Escherichia coli is the periplasmic receptor of the maltose transport system. MalE31, a defective folding mutant of MalE carrying sequence changes Gly 32-->Asp and Ile 33-->Pro, is either degraded or forms inclusion bodies following its export to the periplasmic compartment. We have shown previously that overexpression of FkpA, a heat-shock periplasmic peptidyl-prolyl isomerase with chaperone activity, suppresses MalE31 misfolding. Here, we have exploited this property to characterize the maltose transport activity of MalE31 in whole cells. MalE31 displays defective transport behavior, even though it retains maltose-binding activity comparable with that of the wild-type protein. Because the mutated residues are in a region on the surface of MalE not identified previously as important for maltose transport, we have solved the crystal structure of MalE31 in the maltose-bound state in order to characterize the effects of these changes. The structure was determined by molecular replacement methods and refined to 1.85 A resolution. The conformation of MalE31 closely resembles that of wild-type MalE, with very small displacements of the mutated residues located in the loop connecting the first alpha-helix to the first beta-strand. The structural and functional characterization provides experimental evidence that MalE31 can attain a wild-type folded conformation, and suggest that the mutated sites are probably involved in the interactions with the membrane components of the maltose transport system.

  5. Understanding the folding-function tradeoff in proteins.

    PubMed

    Gosavi, Shachi

    2013-01-01

    When an amino-acid sequence cannot be optimized for both folding and function, folding can get compromised in favor of function. To understand this tradeoff better, we devise a novel method for extracting the "function-less" folding-motif of a protein fold from a set of structurally similar but functionally diverse proteins. We then obtain the β-trefoil folding-motif, and study its folding using structure-based models and molecular dynamics simulations. CompariA protein sequence serves two purpson with the folding of wild-type β-trefoil proteins shows that function affects folding in two ways: In the slower folding interleukin-1β, binding sites make the fold more complex, increase contact order and slow folding. In the faster folding hisactophilin, residues which could have been part of the folding-motif are used for function. This reduces the density of native contacts in functional regions and increases folding rate. The folding-motif helps identify subtle structural deviations which perturb folding. These may then be used for functional annotation. Further, the folding-motif could potentially be used as a first step in the sequence design of function-less scaffold proteins. Desired function can then be engineered into these scaffolds.

  6. Protein folding pathology in domestic animals*

    PubMed Central

    Gruys, Erik

    2004-01-01

    Fibrillar proteins form structural elements of cells and the extracellular matrix. Pathological lesions of fibrillar microanatomical structures, or secondary fibrillar changes in globular proteins are well known. A special group concerns histologically amorphous deposits, amyloid. The major characteristics of amyloid are: apple green birefringence after Congo red staining of histological sections, and non-branching 7–10 nm thick fibrils on electron microscopy revealing a high content of cross beta pleated sheets. About 25 different types of amyloid have been characterised. In animals, AA-amyloid is the most frequent type. Other types of amyloid in animals represent: AIAPP (in cats), AApoAI, AApoAII, localised AL-amyloid, amyloid in odontogenic or mammary tumors and amyloid in the brain. In old dogs Aβ and in sheep APrPsc-amyloid can be encountered. AA-amyloidosis is a systemic disorder with a precursor in blood, acute phase serum amyloid A (SAA). In chronic inflammatory processes AA-amyloid can be deposited. A rapid crystallization of SAA to amyloid fibrils on small beta-sheeted fragments, the ‘amyloid enhancing factor’ (AEF), is known and the AEF has been shown to penetrate the enteric barrier. Amyloid fibrils can aggregate from various precursor proteins in vitro in particular at acidic pH and when proteolytic fragments are formed. Molecular chaperones influence this process. Tissue data point to amyloid fibrillogenesis in lysosomes and near cell surfaces. A comparison can be made of the fibrillogenesis in prion diseases and in enhanced AA-amyloidosis. In the reactive form, acute phase SAA is the supply of the precursor protein, whereas in the prion diseases, cell membrane proteins form a structural source. Aβ-amyloid in brain tissue of aged dogs showing signs of dementia forms a canine counterpart of senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (ccSDAT) in man. Misfolded proteins remain potential food hazards. Developments concerning prevention of

  7. Fold assessment for comparative protein structure modeling.

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco; Sali, Andrej

    2007-11-01

    Accurate and automated assessment of both geometrical errors and incompleteness of comparative protein structure models is necessary for an adequate use of the models. Here, we describe a composite score for discriminating between models with the correct and incorrect fold. To find an accurate composite score, we designed and applied a genetic algorithm method that searched for a most informative subset of 21 input model features as well as their optimized nonlinear transformation into the composite score. The 21 input features included various statistical potential scores, stereochemistry quality descriptors, sequence alignment scores, geometrical descriptors, and measures of protein packing. The optimized composite score was found to depend on (1) a statistical potential z-score for residue accessibilities and distances, (2) model compactness, and (3) percentage sequence identity of the alignment used to build the model. The accuracy of the composite score was compared with the accuracy of assessment by single and combined features as well as by other commonly used assessment methods. The testing set was representative of models produced by automated comparative modeling on a genomic scale. The composite score performed better than any other tested score in terms of the maximum correct classification rate (i.e., 3.3% false positives and 2.5% false negatives) as well as the sensitivity and specificity across the whole range of thresholds. The composite score was implemented in our program MODELLER-8 and was used to assess models in the MODBASE database that contains comparative models for domains in approximately 1.3 million protein sequences.

  8. Fold assessment for comparative protein structure modeling

    PubMed Central

    Melo, Francisco; Sali, Andrej

    2007-01-01

    Accurate and automated assessment of both geometrical errors and incompleteness of comparative protein structure models is necessary for an adequate use of the models. Here, we describe a composite score for discriminating between models with the correct and incorrect fold. To find an accurate composite score, we designed and applied a genetic algorithm method that searched for a most informative subset of 21 input model features as well as their optimized nonlinear transformation into the composite score. The 21 input features included various statistical potential scores, stereochemistry quality descriptors, sequence alignment scores, geometrical descriptors, and measures of protein packing. The optimized composite score was found to depend on (1) a statistical potential z-score for residue accessibilities and distances, (2) model compactness, and (3) percentage sequence identity of the alignment used to build the model. The accuracy of the composite score was compared with the accuracy of assessment by single and combined features as well as by other commonly used assessment methods. The testing set was representative of models produced by automated comparative modeling on a genomic scale. The composite score performed better than any other tested score in terms of the maximum correct classification rate (i.e., 3.3% false positives and 2.5% false negatives) as well as the sensitivity and specificity across the whole range of thresholds. The composite score was implemented in our program MODELLER-8 and was used to assess models in the MODBASE database that contains comparative models for domains in approximately 1.3 million protein sequences. PMID:17905832

  9. The folding of an ``average'' beta trefoil protein.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosavi, Shachi; Jennings, Pat; Onuchic, Jose

    2007-03-01

    The beta-trefoil fold is characterized by twelve beta strands folded into three similar beta-beta-beta-loop-beta (trefoil) units. The overall fold has pseudo-threefold symmetry and consists of a six stranded-barrel, capped by a triangular hairpin triplet. The loops connecting the beta-strands vary in length and structure. It is these loops that give the fold its varied binding capability and the binding sites lie in different parts of the fold. The beta-trefoil proteins have little sequence similarity (sometimes less than 17%) and bind a range of molecules, including other proteins, DNA, membranes and carbohydrates. Protein folding experiments have been performed on four of the beta trefoils, namely, interleukin-1 (IL1B), acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors (FGF-1 and FGF-2) and hisactophilin (HIS). These experiments indicate that the proteins fold by different routes. Folding simulations of the proteins identify the possible folding routes and also show that the shapes of the barriers are different for the different proteins. In this work, we design a model protein which contains only the core fold elements of the beta-trefoil fold. We compare the folding of this ``average'' protein to the folding of His, FGF and IL1B and make some connections with function.

  10. Spin glasses and the statistical mechanics of protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Bryngelson, J D; Wolynes, P G

    1987-01-01

    The theory of spin glasses was used to study a simple model of protein folding. The phase diagram of the model was calculated, and the results of dynamics calculations are briefly reported. The relation of these results to folding experiments, the relation of these hypotheses to previous protein folding theories, and the implication of these hypotheses for protein folding prediction schemes are discussed. PMID:3478708

  11. Improving Protein Fold Recognition by Deep Learning Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Taeho; Hou, Jie; Eickholt, Jesse; Cheng, Jianlin

    2015-12-01

    For accurate recognition of protein folds, a deep learning network method (DN-Fold) was developed to predict if a given query-template protein pair belongs to the same structural fold. The input used stemmed from the protein sequence and structural features extracted from the protein pair. We evaluated the performance of DN-Fold along with 18 different methods on Lindahl’s benchmark dataset and on a large benchmark set extracted from SCOP 1.75 consisting of about one million protein pairs, at three different levels of fold recognition (i.e., protein family, superfamily, and fold) depending on the evolutionary distance between protein sequences. The correct recognition rate of ensembled DN-Fold for Top 1 predictions is 84.5%, 61.5%, and 33.6% and for Top 5 is 91.2%, 76.5%, and 60.7% at family, superfamily, and fold levels, respectively. We also evaluated the performance of single DN-Fold (DN-FoldS), which showed the comparable results at the level of family and superfamily, compared to ensemble DN-Fold. Finally, we extended the binary classification problem of fold recognition to real-value regression task, which also show a promising performance. DN-Fold is freely available through a web server at http://iris.rnet.missouri.edu/dnfold.

  12. Proteins with Highly Similar Native Folds Can Show Vastly Dissimilar Folding Behavior When Desolvated**

    PubMed Central

    Schennach, Moritz; Breuker, Kathrin

    2014-01-01

    Proteins can be exposed to vastly different environments such as the cytosol or membranes, but the delicate balance between external factors and intrinsic determinants of protein structure, stability, and folding is only poorly understood. Here we used electron capture dissociation to study horse and tuna heart Cytochromes c in the complete absence of solvent. The significantly different stability of their highly similar native folds after transfer into the gas phase, and their strikingly different folding behavior in the gas phase, can be rationalized on the basis of electrostatic interactions such as salt bridges. In the absence of hydrophobic bonding, protein folding is far slower and more complex than in solution. PMID:24259450

  13. Dual folding pathways of an α /β protein from all-atom ab initio folding simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Hongxing; Wang, Zhi-Xiang; Wu, Chun; Duan, Yong

    2009-10-01

    Successful ab initio folding of proteins with both α-helix and β-sheet requires a delicate balance among a variety of forces in the simulation model, which may explain that the successful folding of any α /β proteins to within experimental error has yet to be reported. Here we demonstrate that it is an achievable goal to fold α /β proteins with a force field emphasizing the balance between the two major secondary structures. Using our newly developed force field, we conducted extensive ab initio folding simulations on an α /β protein full sequence design (FSD) employing both conventional molecular dynamics and replica exchange molecular dynamics in combination with a generalized-Born solvation model. In these simulations, the folding of FSD to the native state with high population (>64.2%) and high fidelity (Cα-Root Mean Square Deviation of 1.29 Å for the most sampled conformation when compared to the experimental structure) was achieved. The folding of FSD was found to follow two pathways. In the major pathway, the folding started from the formation of the helix. In the minor pathway, however, folding of the β-hairpin started first. Further examination revealed that the helix initiated from the C-terminus and propagated toward the N-terminus. The formation of the hydrophobic contacts coincided with the global folding. Therefore the hydrophobic force does not appear to be the driving force of the folding of this protein.

  14. Congenital hypothyroidism mutations affect common folding and trafficking in the α/β-hydrolase fold proteins.

    PubMed

    De Jaco, Antonella; Dubi, Noga; Camp, Shelley; Taylor, Palmer

    2012-12-01

    The α/β-hydrolase fold superfamily of proteins is composed of structurally related members that, despite great diversity in their catalytic, recognition, adhesion and chaperone functions, share a common fold governed by homologous residues and conserved disulfide bridges. Non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms within the α/β-hydrolase fold domain in various family members have been found for congenital endocrine, metabolic and nervous system disorders. By examining the amino acid sequence from the various proteins, mutations were found to be prevalent in conserved residues within the α/β-hydrolase fold of the homologous proteins. This is the case for the thyroglobulin mutations linked to congenital hypothyroidism. To address whether correct folding of the common domain is required for protein export, we inserted the thyroglobulin mutations at homologous positions in two correlated but simpler α/β-hydrolase fold proteins known to be exported to the cell surface: neuroligin3 and acetylcholinesterase. Here we show that these mutations in the cholinesterase homologous region alter the folding properties of the α/β-hydrolase fold domain, which are reflected in defects in protein trafficking, folding and function, and ultimately result in retention of the partially processed proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Accordingly, mutations at conserved residues may be transferred amongst homologous proteins to produce common processing defects despite disparate functions, protein complexity and tissue-specific expression of the homologous proteins. More importantly, a similar assembly of the α/β-hydrolase fold domain tertiary structure among homologous members of the superfamily is required for correct trafficking of the proteins to their final destination.

  15. Understanding the role of the topology in protein folding by computational inverse folding experiments.

    PubMed

    Mucherino, Antonio; Costantini, Susan; di Serafino, Daniela; D'Apuzzo, Marco; Facchiano, Angelo; Colonna, Giovanni

    2008-08-01

    Recent studies suggest that protein folding should be revisited as the emergent property of a complex system and that the nature allows only a very limited number of folds that seem to be strongly influenced by geometrical properties. In this work we explore the principles underlying this new view and show how helical protein conformations can be obtained starting from simple geometric considerations. We generated a large data set of C-alpha traces made of 65 points, by computationally solving a backbone model that takes into account only topological features of the all-alpha proteins; then, we built corresponding tertiary structures, by using the sequences associated to the crystallographic structures of four small globular all-alpha proteins from PDB, and analysed them in terms of structural and energetic properties. In this way we obtained four poorly populated sets of structures that are reasonably similar to the conformational states typical of the experimental PDB structures. These results show that our computational approach can capture the native topology of all-alpha proteins; furthermore, it generates backbone folds without the influence of the side chains and uses the protein sequence to select a specific fold among the generated folds. This agrees with the recent view that the backbone plays an important role in the protein folding process and that the amino acid sequence chooses its own fold within a limited total number of folds.

  16. Multiple folding pathways of proteins with shallow knots and co-translational folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chwastyk, Mateusz; Cieplak, Marek

    2015-07-01

    We study the folding process in the shallowly knotted protein MJ0366 within two variants of a structure-based model. We observe that the resulting topological pathways are much richer than identified in previous studies. In addition to the single knot-loop events, we find novel, and dominant, two-loop mechanisms. We demonstrate that folding takes place in a range of temperatures and the conditions of most successful folding are at temperatures which are higher than those required for the fastest folding. We also demonstrate that nascent conditions are more favorable to knotting than off-ribosome folding.

  17. Protein-Folding Landscapes in Multi-Chain Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Cellmer, Troy; Bratko, Dusan; Prausnitz, John M.; Blanch, Harvey

    2005-06-20

    Computational studies of proteins have significantly improved our understanding of protein folding. These studies are normally carried out using chains in isolation. However, in many systems of practical interest, proteins fold in the presence of other molecules. To obtain insight into folding in such situations, we compare the thermodynamics of folding for a Miyazawa-Jernigan model 64-mer in isolation to results obtained in the presence of additional chains. The melting temperature falls as the chain concentration increases. In multi-chain systems, free-energy landscapes for folding show an increased preference for misfolded states. Misfolding is accompanied by an increase in inter-protein interactions; however, near the folding temperature, the transition from folded chains to misfolded and associated chains isentropically driven. A majority of the most probable inter-protein contacts are also native contacts, suggesting that native topology plays a role in early stages of aggregation.

  18. Protein fold classification with genetic algorithms and feature selection.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peng; Liu, Chunmei; Burge, Legand; Mahmood, Mohammad; Southerland, William; Gloster, Clay

    2009-10-01

    Protein fold classification is a key step to predicting protein tertiary structures. This paper proposes a novel approach based on genetic algorithms and feature selection to classifying protein folds. Our dataset is divided into a training dataset and a test dataset. Each individual for the genetic algorithms represents a selection function of the feature vectors of the training dataset. A support vector machine is applied to each individual to evaluate the fitness value (fold classification rate) of each individual. The aim of the genetic algorithms is to search for the best individual that produces the highest fold classification rate. The best individual is then applied to the feature vectors of the test dataset and a support vector machine is built to classify protein folds based on selected features. Our experimental results on Ding and Dubchak's benchmark dataset of 27-class folds show that our approach achieves an accuracy of 71.28%, which outperforms current state-of-the-art protein fold predictors.

  19. Transition paths, diffusive processes, and preequilibria of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhuqing; Chan, Hue Sun

    2012-12-18

    Fundamental relationships between the thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding were investigated using chain models of natural proteins with diverse folding rates by extensive comparisons between the distribution of conformations in thermodynamic equilibrium and the distribution of conformations sampled along folding trajectories. Consistent with theory and single-molecule experiment, duration of the folding transition paths exhibits only a weak correlation with overall folding time. Conformational distributions of folding trajectories near the overall thermodynamic folding/unfolding barrier show significant deviations from preequilibrium. These deviations, the distribution of transition path times, and the variation of mean transition path time for different proteins can all be rationalized by a diffusive process that we modeled using simple Monte Carlo algorithms with an effective coordinate-independent diffusion coefficient. Conformations in the initial stages of transition paths tend to form more nonlocal contacts than typical conformations with the same number of native contacts. This statistical bias, which is indicative of preferred folding pathways, should be amenable to future single-molecule measurements. We found that the preexponential factor defined in the transition state theory of folding varies from protein to protein and that this variation can be rationalized by our Monte Carlo diffusion model. Thus, protein folding physics is different in certain fundamental respects from the physics envisioned by a simple transition-state picture. Nonetheless, transition state theory can be a useful approximate predictor of cooperative folding speed, because the height of the overall folding barrier is apparently a proxy for related rate-determining physical properties.

  20. CoinFold: a web server for protein contact prediction and contact-assisted protein folding.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sheng; Li, Wei; Zhang, Renyu; Liu, Shiwang; Xu, Jinbo

    2016-07-08

    CoinFold (http://raptorx2.uchicago.edu/ContactMap/) is a web server for protein contact prediction and contact-assisted de novo structure prediction. CoinFold predicts contacts by integrating joint multi-family evolutionary coupling (EC) analysis and supervised machine learning. This joint EC analysis is unique in that it not only uses residue coevolution information in the target protein family, but also that in the related families which may have divergent sequences but similar folds. The supervised learning further improves contact prediction accuracy by making use of sequence profile, contact (distance) potential and other information. Finally, this server predicts tertiary structure of a sequence by feeding its predicted contacts and secondary structure to the CNS suite. Tested on the CASP and CAMEO targets, this server shows significant advantages over existing ones of similar category in both contact and tertiary structure prediction. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  1. Novel Protein Folding Pathways for Protein Salvage and Recycling

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-08-26

    Life. The Archaea have many molecular properties that are found universally in modern lineages of both Bacteria and Archaea, and many species are...eukarya or bacteria . In hyperthermophiles, the chaperonin (Cpn60) is the only ATP dependent protein folding complex. It is a 1 mDa molecular machine... fermentation physiology for formate and carbon monoxide. In Fig. 3 below, actual gene replacement and knockouts of the chaperonin HSP60 loci in

  2. Start2Fold: a database of hydrogen/deuterium exchange data on protein folding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Pancsa, Rita; Varadi, Mihaly; Tompa, Peter; Vranken, Wim F.

    2016-01-01

    Proteins fulfil a wide range of tasks in cells; understanding how they fold into complex three-dimensional (3D) structures and how these structures remain stable while retaining sufficient dynamics for functionality is essential for the interpretation of overall protein behaviour. Since the 1950's, solvent exchange-based methods have been the most powerful experimental means to obtain information on the folding and stability of proteins. Considerable expertise and care were required to obtain the resulting datasets, which, despite their importance and intrinsic value, have never been collected, curated and classified. Start2Fold is an openly accessible database (http://start2fold.eu) of carefully curated hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) data extracted from the literature that is open for new submissions from the community. The database entries contain (i) information on the proteins investigated and the underlying experimental procedures and (ii) the classification of the residues based on their exchange protection levels, also allowing for the instant visualization of the relevant residue groups on the 3D structures of the corresponding proteins. By providing a clear hierarchical framework for the easy sharing, comparison and (re-)interpretation of HDX data, Start2Fold intends to promote a better understanding of how the protein sequence encodes folding and structure as well as the development of new computational methods predicting protein folding and stability. PMID:26582925

  3. Modeling Protein Folding and Applying It to a Relevant Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Allan; Goetze, Jim

    2004-01-01

    The different levels of protein structure that can be easily understood by creating a model that simulates protein folding, which can then be evaluated by applying it to a relevant activity, is presented. The materials required and the procedure for constructing a protein folding model are mentioned.

  4. Ligand-Promoted Protein Folding by Biased Kinetic Partitioning

    PubMed Central

    Hingorani, Karan S.; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Deming, Derrick T.; Garman, Scott C.; Powers, Evan T.; Gierasch, Lila M.

    2017-01-01

    Protein folding in cells occurs in the presence of high concentrations of endogenous binding partners, and exogenous binding partners have been exploited as pharmacological chaperones. A combined mathematical modeling and experimental approach shows that a ligand improves the folding of a destabilized protein by biasing the kinetic partitioning between folding and alternative fates (aggregation or degradation). Computationally predicted inhibition of test protein aggregation and degradation as a function of ligand concentration are validated by experiments in two disparate cellular systems. PMID:28218913

  5. In-Situ Observation of Membrane Protein Folding during Cell-Free Expression

    PubMed Central

    Fitter, Jörg; Büldt, Georg; Heberle, Joachim; Schlesinger, Ramona; Ataka, Kenichi

    2016-01-01

    Proper insertion, folding and assembly of functional proteins in biological membranes are key processes to warrant activity of a living cell. Here, we present a novel approach to trace folding and insertion of a nascent membrane protein leaving the ribosome and penetrating the bilayer. Surface Enhanced IR Absorption Spectroscopy selectively monitored insertion and folding of membrane proteins during cell-free expression in a label-free and non-invasive manner. Protein synthesis was performed in an optical cell containing a prism covered with a thin gold film with nanodiscs on top, providing an artificial lipid bilayer for folding. In a pilot experiment, the folding pathway of bacteriorhodopsin via various secondary and tertiary structures was visualized. Thus, a methodology is established with which the folding reaction of other more complex membrane proteins can be observed during protein biosynthesis (in situ and in operando) at molecular resolution. PMID:26978519

  6. Atom-by-atom analysis of global downhill protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadqi, Mourad; Fushman, David; Muñoz, Victor

    2006-07-01

    Protein folding is an inherently complex process involving coordination of the intricate networks of weak interactions that stabilize native three-dimensional structures. In the conventional paradigm, simple protein structures are assumed to fold in an all-or-none process that is inaccessible to experiment. Existing experimental methods therefore probe folding mechanisms indirectly. A widely used approach interprets changes in protein stability and/or folding kinetics, induced by engineered mutations, in terms of the structure of the native protein. In addition to limitations in connecting energetics with structure, mutational methods have significant experimental uncertainties and are unable to map complex networks of interactions. In contrast, analytical theory predicts small barriers to folding and the possibility of downhill folding. These theoretical predictions have been confirmed experimentally in recent years, including the observation of global downhill folding. However, a key remaining question is whether downhill folding can indeed lead to the high-resolution analysis of protein folding processes. Here we show, with the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), that the downhill protein BBL from Escherichia coli unfolds atom by atom starting from a defined three-dimensional structure. Thermal unfolding data on 158 backbone and side-chain protons out of a total of 204 provide a detailed view of the structural events during folding. This view confirms the statistical nature of folding, and exposes the interplay between hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic forces, backbone conformation and side-chain entropy. From the data we also obtain a map of the interaction network in this protein, which reveals the source of folding cooperativity. Our approach can be extended to other proteins with marginal barriers (less than 3RT), providing a new tool for the study of protein folding.

  7. Cotranslational Protein Folding inside the Ribosome Exit Tunnel.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Ola B; Hedman, Rickard; Marino, Jacopo; Wickles, Stephan; Bischoff, Lukas; Johansson, Magnus; Müller-Lucks, Annika; Trovato, Fabio; Puglisi, Joseph D; O'Brien, Edward P; Beckmann, Roland; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2015-09-08

    At what point during translation do proteins fold? It is well established that proteins can fold cotranslationally outside the ribosome exit tunnel, whereas studies of folding inside the exit tunnel have so far detected only the formation of helical secondary structure and collapsed or partially structured folding intermediates. Here, using a combination of cotranslational nascent chain force measurements, inter-subunit fluorescence resonance energy transfer studies on single translating ribosomes, molecular dynamics simulations, and cryoelectron microscopy, we show that a small zinc-finger domain protein can fold deep inside the vestibule of the ribosome exit tunnel. Thus, for small protein domains, the ribosome itself can provide the kind of sheltered folding environment that chaperones provide for larger proteins. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Cotranslational Protein Folding inside the Ribosome Exit Tunnel

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Ola B.; Hedman, Rickard; Marino, Jacopo; Wickles, Stephan; Bischoff, Lukas; Johansson, Magnus; Müller-Lucks, Annika; Trovato, Fabio; Puglisi, Joseph D.; O’Brien, Edward P.; Beckmann, Roland; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Summary At what point during translation do proteins fold? It is well established that proteins can fold cotranslationally outside the ribosome exit tunnel, whereas studies of folding inside the exit tunnel have so far detected only the formation of helical secondary structure and collapsed or partially structured folding intermediates. Here, using a combination of cotranslational nascent chain force measurements, inter-subunit fluorescence resonance energy transfer studies on single translating ribosomes, molecular dynamics simulations, and cryoelectron microscopy, we show that a small zinc-finger domain protein can fold deep inside the vestibule of the ribosome exit tunnel. Thus, for small protein domains, the ribosome itself can provide the kind of sheltered folding environment that chaperones provide for larger proteins. PMID:26321634

  9. Thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, Lloyd

    2002-08-07

    This article appeals to an evolutionary model which postulates that primordial proteins were described by small polypeptide chains which (i) lack disulfide bridges, and (ii) display slow folding rates with multi-state kinetics, to determine relations between structural properties of proteins and their folding kinetics. We parameterize the energy landscape of proteins in terms of thermodynamic activation variables. The model studies evolutionary changes in these thermodynamic parameters, and we invoke relations between these activation variables and structural properties of the protein to predict the following correspondence between protein structure and folding kinetics. 1. Proteins with inter- and intra-chain disulfide bridges: large variability in both folding rates and stability of intermediates, multi-state kinetics. 2. Proteins which lack inter and intra-chain disulfide bridges. 2.1 Single-domain chains: fast folding rates; unstable intermediates; two-state kinetics. 2.2 Multi-domain monomers: intermediate rates; metastable intermediates; multi-state kinetics. 2.3 Multi-domain oligomers: slow rates; metastable intermediates; multi-state kinetics. The evolutionary model thus provides a kinetic characterization of one important subfamily of proteins which we describe by the following properties: Folding dynamics of single-domain proteins which lack disulfide bridges are described by two-state kinetics. Folding rate of this class of proteins is positively correlated with the thermodynamic stability of the folded state.

  10. Designing pH induced fold switch in proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baruah, Anupaul; Biswas, Parbati

    2015-05-01

    This work investigates the computational design of a pH induced protein fold switch based on a self-consistent mean-field approach by identifying the ensemble averaged characteristics of sequences that encode a fold switch. The primary challenge to balance the alternative sets of interactions present in both target structures is overcome by simultaneously optimizing two foldability criteria corresponding to two target structures. The change in pH is modeled by altering the residual charge on the amino acids. The energy landscape of the fold switch protein is found to be double funneled. The fold switch sequences stabilize the interactions of the sites with similar relative surface accessibility in both target structures. Fold switch sequences have low sequence complexity and hence lower sequence entropy. The pH induced fold switch is mediated by attractive electrostatic interactions rather than hydrophobic-hydrophobic contacts. This study may provide valuable insights to the design of fold switch proteins.

  11. Molecular Recognition by Templated Folding of an Intrinsically Disordered Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toto, Angelo; Camilloni, Carlo; Giri, Rajanish; Brunori, Maurizio; Vendruscolo, Michele; Gianni, Stefano

    2016-02-01

    Intrinsically disordered proteins often become structured upon interacting with their partners. The mechanism of this ‘folding upon binding’ process, however, has not been fully characterised yet. Here we present a study of the folding of the intrinsically disordered transactivation domain of c-Myb (c-Myb) upon binding its partner KIX. By determining the structure of the folding transition state for the binding of wild-type and three mutational variants of KIX, we found a remarkable plasticity of the folding pathway of c-Myb. To explain this phenomenon, we show that the folding of c-Myb is templated by the structure of KIX. This adaptive folding behaviour, which occurs by heterogeneous nucleation, differs from the robust homogeneous nucleation typically observed for globular proteins. We suggest that this templated folding mechanism may enable intrinsically disordered proteins to achieve specific and reliable binding with multiple partners while avoiding aberrant interactions.

  12. Designing pH induced fold switch in proteins.

    PubMed

    Baruah, Anupaul; Biswas, Parbati

    2015-05-14

    This work investigates the computational design of a pH induced protein fold switch based on a self-consistent mean-field approach by identifying the ensemble averaged characteristics of sequences that encode a fold switch. The primary challenge to balance the alternative sets of interactions present in both target structures is overcome by simultaneously optimizing two foldability criteria corresponding to two target structures. The change in pH is modeled by altering the residual charge on the amino acids. The energy landscape of the fold switch protein is found to be double funneled. The fold switch sequences stabilize the interactions of the sites with similar relative surface accessibility in both target structures. Fold switch sequences have low sequence complexity and hence lower sequence entropy. The pH induced fold switch is mediated by attractive electrostatic interactions rather than hydrophobic-hydrophobic contacts. This study may provide valuable insights to the design of fold switch proteins.

  13. Molecular Recognition by Templated Folding of an Intrinsically Disordered Protein

    PubMed Central

    Toto, Angelo; Camilloni, Carlo; Giri, Rajanish; Brunori, Maurizio; Vendruscolo, Michele; Gianni, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    Intrinsically disordered proteins often become structured upon interacting with their partners. The mechanism of this ‘folding upon binding’ process, however, has not been fully characterised yet. Here we present a study of the folding of the intrinsically disordered transactivation domain of c-Myb (c-Myb) upon binding its partner KIX. By determining the structure of the folding transition state for the binding of wild-type and three mutational variants of KIX, we found a remarkable plasticity of the folding pathway of c-Myb. To explain this phenomenon, we show that the folding of c-Myb is templated by the structure of KIX. This adaptive folding behaviour, which occurs by heterogeneous nucleation, differs from the robust homogeneous nucleation typically observed for globular proteins. We suggest that this templated folding mechanism may enable intrinsically disordered proteins to achieve specific and reliable binding with multiple partners while avoiding aberrant interactions. PMID:26912067

  14. Sampling Kinetic Protein Folding Pathways using All-Atom Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolhuis, P. G.

    This chapter summarizes several computational strategies to study the kinetics of two-state protein folding using all atom models. After explaining the background of two state folding using energy landscapes I introduce common protein models and computational tools to study folding thermodynamics and kinetics. Free energy landscapes are able to capture the thermodynamics of two-state protein folding, and several methods for efficient sampling of these landscapes are presented. An accurate estimate of folding kinetics, the main topic of this chapter, is more difficult to achieve. I argue that path sampling methods are well suited to overcome the problems connected to the sampling of folding kinetics. Some of the major issues are illustrated in the case study on the folding of the GB1 hairpin.

  15. Evolution, Energy Landscapes and the Paradoxes of Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Wolynes, Peter G.

    2014-01-01

    Protein folding has been viewed as a difficult problem of molecular self-organization. The search problem involved in folding however has been simplified through the evolution of folding energy landscapes that are funneled. The funnel hypothesis can be quantified using energy landscape theory based on the minimal frustration principle. Strong quantitative predictions that follow from energy landscape theory have been widely confirmed both through laboratory folding experiments and from detailed simulations. Energy landscape ideas also have allowed successful protein structure prediction algorithms to be developed. The selection constraint of having funneled folding landscapes has left its imprint on the sequences of existing protein structural families. Quantitative analysis of co-evolution patterns allows us to infer the statistical characteristics of the folding landscape. These turn out to be consistent with what has been obtained from laboratory physicochemical folding experiments signalling a beautiful confluence of genomics and chemical physics. PMID:25530262

  16. Toward understanding driving forces in membrane protein folding.

    PubMed

    Hong, Heedeok

    2014-12-15

    α-Helical membrane proteins are largely composed of nonpolar residues that are embedded in the lipid bilayer. An enigma in the folding of membrane proteins is how a polypeptide chain can be condensed into the compact folded state in the environment where the hydrophobic effect cannot strongly drive molecular interactions. Probably other forces such as van der Waals packing, hydrogen bonding, and weakly polar interactions, which are regarded less important in the folding of water-soluble proteins, should emerge. However, it is not clearly understood how those individual forces operate and how they are balanced for stabilizing membrane proteins. Studying this problem is not a trivial task mainly because of the methodological challenges in controlling the reversible folding of membrane proteins in the lipid bilayer. Overcoming the hurdles, meaningful progress has been made in the field in the last few decades. This review will focus on recent studies tackling the problem of driving forces in membrane protein folding.

  17. Spectroscopic studies of protein folding: Linear and nonlinear methods

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Arnaldo L; Waegele, Matthias M; Gai, Feng

    2012-01-01

    Although protein folding is a simple outcome of the underlying thermodynamics, arriving at a quantitative and predictive understanding of how proteins fold nevertheless poses huge challenges. Therefore, both advanced experimental and computational methods are continuously being developed and refined to probe and reveal the atomistic details of protein folding dynamics and mechanisms. Herein, we provide a concise review of recent developments in spectroscopic studies of protein folding, with a focus on new triggering and probing methods. In particular, we describe several laser-based techniques for triggering protein folding/unfolding on the picosecond and/or nanosecond timescales and various linear and nonlinear spectroscopic techniques for interrogating protein conformations, conformational transitions, and dynamics. PMID:22109973

  18. Untangling the Influence of a Protein Knot on Folding.

    PubMed

    Capraro, Dominique T; Jennings, Patricia A

    2016-03-08

    Entanglement and knots occur across all aspects of the physical world. Despite the common belief that knots are too complicated for incorporation into proteins, knots have been identified in the native fold of a growing number of proteins. The discovery of proteins with this unique backbone characteristic has challenged the preconceptions about the complexity of biological structures, as well as current folding theories. Given the intricacies of the knotted geometry, the interplay between a protein's fold, structure, and function is of particular interest. Interestingly, for most of these proteins, the knotted region appears critical both in folding and function, although full understanding of these contributions is still incomplete. Here, we experimentally reveal the impact of the knot on the landscape, the origin of the bistable nature of the knotted protein, and broaden the view of knot formation as uniquely decoupled from folding.

  19. Folding of multidomain proteins: biophysical consequences of tethering even in apparently independent folding.

    PubMed

    Arviv, Oshrit; Levy, Yaakov

    2012-12-01

    Most eukaryotic and a substantial fraction of prokaryotic proteins are composed of more than one domain. The tethering of these evolutionary, structural, and functional units raises, among others, questions regarding the folding process of conjugated domains. Studying the folding of multidomain proteins in silico enables one to identify and isolate the tethering-induced biophysical determinants that govern crosstalks generated between neighboring domains. For this purpose, we carried out coarse-grained and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of two two-domain constructs from the immunoglobulin-like β-sandwich fold. Each of these was experimentally shown to behave as the "sum of its parts," that is, the thermodynamic and kinetic folding behavior of the constituent domains of these constructs seems to occur independently, with the folding of each domain uncoupled from the folding of its partner in the two-domain construct. We show that the properties of the individual domains can be significantly affected by conjugation to another domain. The tethering may be accompanied by stabilizing as well as destabilizing factors whose magnitude depends on the size of the interface, the length, and the flexibility of the linker, and the relative stability of the domains. Accordingly, the folding of a multidomain protein should not be viewed as the sum of the folding patterns of each of its parts, but rather, it involves abrogating several effects that lead to this outcome. An imbalance between these effects may result in either stabilization or destabilization owing to the tethering. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Lattice model for rapidly folding protein-like heteropolymers.

    PubMed Central

    Shrivastava, I; Vishveshwara, S; Cieplak, M; Maritan, A; Banavar, J R

    1995-01-01

    Protein folding is a relatively fast process considering the astronomical number of conformations in which a protein could find itself. Within the framework of a lattice model, we show that one can design rapidly folding sequences by assigning the strongest attractive couplings to the contacts present in a target native state. Our protein design can be extended to situations with both attractive and repulsive contacts. Frustration is minimized by ensuring that all the native contacts are again strongly attractive. Strikingly, this ensures the inevitability of folding and accelerates the folding process by an order of magnitude. The evolutionary implications of our findings are discussed. PMID:7568102

  1. Effects of confinement on protein folding and protein stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ping, G.; Yuan, J. M.; Vallieres, M.; Dong, H.; Sun, Z.; Wei, Y.; Li, F. Y.; Lin, S. H.

    2003-05-01

    In a cell, proteins exist in crowded environments; these environments influence their stability and dynamics. Similarly, for an enzyme molecule encapsulated in an inorganic cavity as in biosensors or biocatalysts, confinement and even surface effects play important roles in its stability and dynamics. Using a minimalist model (two-dimensional HP lattice model), we have carried out Monte Carlo simulations to study confinement effects on protein stability. We have calculated heat capacity as a function of temperature using the histogram method and results obtained show that confinement tends to stabilize the folded conformations, consistent with experimental results (some reported here) and previous theoretical analyses. Furthermore, for a protein molecule tethered to a solid surface the stabilization effect can be even greater. We have also investigated the effects of confinement on the kinetics of the refolding and unfolding processes as functions of temperature and box size. As expected, unfolding time increases as box size decreases, however, confinement affects folding times in a more complicated way. Our theoretical results agree with our experimentally observed trends that thermal stability of horseradish peroxidase and acid phosphatase, encapsulated in mesoporous silica, increases as the pore size of the silica matrix decreases.

  2. ProFold: Protein Fold Classification with Additional Structural Features and a Novel Ensemble Classifier

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Protein fold classification plays an important role in both protein functional analysis and drug design. The number of proteins in PDB is very large, but only a very small part is categorized and stored in the SCOPe database. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an efficient method for protein fold classification. In recent years, a variety of classification methods have been used in many protein fold classification studies. In this study, we propose a novel classification method called proFold. We import protein tertiary structure in the period of feature extraction and employ a novel ensemble strategy in the period of classifier training. Compared with existing similar ensemble classifiers using the same widely used dataset (DD-dataset), proFold achieves 76.2% overall accuracy. Another two commonly used datasets, EDD-dataset and TG-dataset, are also tested, of which the accuracies are 93.2% and 94.3%, higher than the existing methods. ProFold is available to the public as a web-server. PMID:27660761

  3. Mapping fast protein folding with multiple-site fluorescent probes.

    PubMed

    Prigozhin, Maxim B; Chao, Shu-Han; Sukenik, Shahar; Pogorelov, Taras V; Gruebele, Martin

    2015-06-30

    Fast protein folding involves complex dynamics in many degrees of freedom, yet microsecond folding experiments provide only low-resolution structural information. We enhance the structural resolution of the five-helix bundle protein λ6-85 by engineering into it three fluorescent tryptophan-tyrosine contact probes. The probes report on distances between three different helix pairs: 1-2, 1-3, and 3-2. Temperature jump relaxation experiments on these three mutants reveal two different kinetic timescales: a slower timescale for 1-3 and a faster one for the two contacts involving helix 2. We hypothesize that these differences arise from a single folding mechanism that forms contacts on different timescales, and not from changes of mechanism due to adding the probes. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the corresponding three distances in one published single-trajectory all-atom molecular-dynamics simulation of a similar mutant. Autocorrelation analysis of the trajectory reveals the same "slow" and "fast" distance change as does experiment, but on a faster timescale; smoothing the trajectory in time shows that this ordering is robust and persists into the microsecond folding timescale. Structural investigation of the all-atom computational data suggests that helix 2 misfolds to produce a short-lived off-pathway trap, in agreement with the experimental finding that the 1-2 and 3-2 distances involving helix 2 contacts form a kinetic grouping distinct from 1 to 3. Our work demonstrates that comparison between experiment and simulation can be extended to several order parameters, providing a stronger mechanistic test.

  4. Proteins with highly similar native folds can show vastly dissimilar folding behavior when desolvated.

    PubMed

    Schennach, Moritz; Breuker, Kathrin

    2014-01-03

    Proteins can be exposed to vastly different environments such as the cytosol or membranes, but the delicate balance between external factors and intrinsic determinants of protein structure, stability, and folding is only poorly understood. Here we used electron capture dissociation to study horse and tuna heart Cytochromes c in the complete absence of solvent. The significantly different stability of their highly similar native folds after transfer into the gas phase, and their strikingly different folding behavior in the gas phase, can be rationalized on the basis of electrostatic interactions such as salt bridges. In the absence of hydrophobic bonding, protein folding is far slower and more complex than in solution. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

  5. Effects of confinement and crowding on folding of model proteins.

    PubMed

    Wojciechowski, M; Cieplak, Marek

    2008-12-01

    We perform molecular dynamics simulations for a simple coarse-grained model of crambin placed inside of a softly repulsive sphere of radius R. The confinement makes folding at the optimal temperature slower and affects the folding scenarios, but both effects are not dramatic. The influence of crowding on folding are studied by placing several identical proteins within the sphere, denaturing them, and then by monitoring refolding. If the interactions between the proteins are dominated by the excluded volume effects, the net folding times are essentially like for a single protein. An introduction of inter-proteinic attractive contacts hinders folding when the strength of the attraction exceeds about a half of the value of the strength of the single protein contacts. The bigger the strength of the attraction, the more likely is the occurrence of aggregation and misfolding.

  6. Dodging the crisis of folding proteins with knots.

    PubMed

    Sułkowska, Joanna I; Sułkowski, Piotr; Onuchic, José

    2009-03-03

    Proteins with nontrivial topology, containing knots and slipknots, have the ability to fold to their native states without any additional external forces invoked. A mechanism is suggested for folding of these proteins, such as YibK and YbeA, that involves an intermediate configuration with a slipknot. It elucidates the role of topological barriers and backtracking during the folding event. It also illustrates that native contacts are sufficient to guarantee folding in approximately 1-2% of the simulations, and how slipknot intermediates are needed to reduce the topological bottlenecks. As expected, simulations of proteins with similar structure but with knot removed fold much more efficiently, clearly demonstrating the origin of these topological barriers. Although these studies are based on a simple coarse-grained model, they are already able to extract some of the underlying principles governing folding in such complex topologies.

  7. Dodging the crisis of folding proteins with knots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulkowska, Joanna

    2009-03-01

    Proteins with nontrivial topology, containing knots and slipknots, have the ability to fold to their native states without any additional external forces invoked. A mechanism is suggested for folding of these proteins, such as YibK and YbeA, which involves an intermediate configuration with a slipknot. It elucidates the role of topological barriers and backtracking during the folding event. It also illustrates that native contacts are sufficient to guarantee folding in around 1-2% of the simulations, and how slipknot intermediates are needed to reduce the topological bottlenecks. As expected, simulations of proteins with similar structure but with knot removed fold much more efficiently, clearly demonstrating the origin of these topological barriers. Although these studies are based on a simple coarse-grained model, they are already able to extract some of the underlying principles governing folding in such complex topologies.

  8. Dodging the crisis of folding proteins with knots

    PubMed Central

    Sułkowska, Joanna I.; Sułkowski, Piotr; Onuchic, José

    2009-01-01

    Proteins with nontrivial topology, containing knots and slipknots, have the ability to fold to their native states without any additional external forces invoked. A mechanism is suggested for folding of these proteins, such as YibK and YbeA, that involves an intermediate configuration with a slipknot. It elucidates the role of topological barriers and backtracking during the folding event. It also illustrates that native contacts are sufficient to guarantee folding in ≈1–2% of the simulations, and how slipknot intermediates are needed to reduce the topological bottlenecks. As expected, simulations of proteins with similar structure but with knot removed fold much more efficiently, clearly demonstrating the origin of these topological barriers. Although these studies are based on a simple coarse-grained model, they are already able to extract some of the underlying principles governing folding in such complex topologies. PMID:19211785

  9. Self-organized critical model for protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moret, M. A.

    2011-09-01

    The major factor that drives a protein toward collapse and folding is the hydrophobic effect. At the folding process a hydrophobic core is shielded by the solvent-accessible surface area of the protein. We study the fractal behavior of 5526 protein structures present in the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank. Power laws of protein mass, volume and solvent-accessible surface area are measured independently. The present findings indicate that self-organized criticality is an alternative explanation for the protein folding. Also we note that the protein packing is an independent and constant value because the self-similar behavior of the volumes and protein masses have the same fractal dimension. This power law guarantees that a protein is a complex system. From the analyzed data, q-Gaussian distributions seem to fit well this class of systems.

  10. Translation and folding of single proteins in real time.

    PubMed

    Wruck, Florian; Katranidis, Alexandros; Nierhaus, Knud H; Büldt, Georg; Hegner, Martin

    2017-05-30

    Protein biosynthesis is inherently coupled to cotranslational protein folding. Folding of the nascent chain already occurs during synthesis and is mediated by spatial constraints imposed by the ribosomal exit tunnel as well as self-interactions. The polypeptide's vectorial emergence from the ribosomal tunnel establishes the possible folding pathways leading to its native tertiary structure. How cotranslational protein folding and the rate of synthesis are linked to a protein's amino acid sequence is still not well defined. Here, we follow synthesis by individual ribosomes using dual-trap optical tweezers and observe simultaneous folding of the nascent polypeptide chain in real time. We show that observed stalling during translation correlates with slowed peptide bond formation at successive proline sequence positions and electrostatic interactions between positively charged amino acids and the ribosomal tunnel. We also determine possible cotranslational folding sites initiated by hydrophobic collapse for an unstructured and two globular proteins while directly measuring initial cotranslational folding forces. Our study elucidates the intricate relationship among a protein's amino acid sequence, its cotranslational nascent-chain elongation rate, and folding.

  11. Inferring the rate-length law of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Lane, Thomas J; Pande, Vijay S

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the rate-length scaling law of protein folding, a key undetermined scaling law in the analytical theory of protein folding. Available data yield statistically significant evidence for the existence of a rate-length law capable of predicting folding times to within about two orders of magnitude (over 9 decades of variation). Unambiguous determination of the functional form of such a law could provide key mechanistic insight into folding. Four proposed laws from literature (power law, exponential, and two stretched exponentials) are tested against one another, and it is found that the power law best explains the data by a modest margin. We conclude that more data is necessary to unequivocally infer the rate-length law. Such data could be obtained through a small number of protein folding experiments on large protein domains.

  12. High-resolution protein folding with a transferable potential.

    PubMed

    Hubner, Isaac A; Deeds, Eric J; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2005-12-27

    A generalized computational method for folding proteins with a fully transferable potential and geometrically realistic all-atom model is presented and tested on seven helix bundle proteins. The protocol, which includes graph-theoretical analysis of the ensemble of resulting folded conformations, was systematically applied and consistently produced structure predictions of approximately 3 A without any knowledge of the native state. To measure and understand the significance of the results, extensive control simulations were conducted. Graph theoretic analysis provides a means for systematically identifying the native fold and provides physical insight, conceptually linking the results to modern theoretical views of protein folding. In addition to presenting a method for prediction of structure and folding mechanism, our model suggests that an accurate all-atom amino acid representation coupled with a physically reasonable atomic interaction potential and hydrogen bonding are essential features for a realistic protein model.

  13. Fluorescence of Alexa Fluor Dye Tracks Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Lindhoud, Simon; Westphal, Adrie H.; Visser, Antonie J. W. G.; Borst, Jan Willem; van Mierlo, Carlo P. M.

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is an important tool for the characterization of protein folding. Often, a protein is labeled with appropriate fluorescent donor and acceptor probes and folding-induced changes in Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) are monitored. However, conformational changes of the protein potentially affect fluorescence properties of both probes, thereby profoundly complicating interpretation of FRET data. In this study, we assess the effects protein folding has on fluorescence properties of Alexa Fluor 488 (A488), which is commonly used as FRET donor. Here, A488 is covalently attached to Cys69 of apoflavodoxin from Azotobacter vinelandii. Although coupling of A488 slightly destabilizes apoflavodoxin, the three-state folding of this protein, which involves a molten globule intermediate, is unaffected. Upon folding of apoflavodoxin, fluorescence emission intensity of A488 changes significantly. To illuminate the molecular sources of this alteration, we applied steady state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. The results obtained show that tryptophans cause folding-induced changes in quenching of Alexa dye. Compared to unfolded protein, static quenching of A488 is increased in the molten globule. Upon populating the native state both static and dynamic quenching of A488 decrease considerably. We show that fluorescence quenching of Alexa Fluor dyes is a sensitive reporter of conformational changes during protein folding. PMID:23056480

  14. Effects of tethering a multistate folding protein to a surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Shuai; Knotts, Thomas A.

    2011-05-01

    Protein/surface interactions are important in a variety of fields and devices, yet fundamental understanding of the relevant phenomena remains fragmented due to resolution limitations of experimental techniques. Molecular simulation has provided useful answers, but such studies have focused on proteins that fold through a two-state process. This study uses simulation to show how surfaces can affect proteins which fold through a multistate process by investigating the folding mechanism of lysozyme (PDB ID: 7LZM). The results demonstrate that in the bulk 7LZM folds through a process with four stable states: the folded state, the unfolded state, and two stable intermediates. The folding mechanism remains the same when the protein is tethered to a surface at most residues; however, in one case the folding mechanism changes in such a way as to eliminate one of the intermediates. An analysis of the molecular configurations shows that tethering at this site is advantageous for protein arrays because the active site is both presented to the bulk phase and stabilized. Taken as a whole, the results offer hope that rational design of protein arrays is possible once the behavior of the protein on the surface is ascertained.

  15. Effects of tethering a multistate folding protein to a surface.

    PubMed

    Wei, Shuai; Knotts, Thomas A

    2011-05-14

    Protein/surface interactions are important in a variety of fields and devices, yet fundamental understanding of the relevant phenomena remains fragmented due to resolution limitations of experimental techniques. Molecular simulation has provided useful answers, but such studies have focused on proteins that fold through a two-state process. This study uses simulation to show how surfaces can affect proteins which fold through a multistate process by investigating the folding mechanism of lysozyme (PDB ID: 7LZM). The results demonstrate that in the bulk 7LZM folds through a process with four stable states: the folded state, the unfolded state, and two stable intermediates. The folding mechanism remains the same when the protein is tethered to a surface at most residues; however, in one case the folding mechanism changes in such a way as to eliminate one of the intermediates. An analysis of the molecular configurations shows that tethering at this site is advantageous for protein arrays because the active site is both presented to the bulk phase and stabilized. Taken as a whole, the results offer hope that rational design of protein arrays is possible once the behavior of the protein on the surface is ascertained.

  16. Fluorescence of Alexa fluor dye tracks protein folding.

    PubMed

    Lindhoud, Simon; Westphal, Adrie H; Visser, Antonie J W G; Borst, Jan Willem; van Mierlo, Carlo P M

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is an important tool for the characterization of protein folding. Often, a protein is labeled with appropriate fluorescent donor and acceptor probes and folding-induced changes in Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) are monitored. However, conformational changes of the protein potentially affect fluorescence properties of both probes, thereby profoundly complicating interpretation of FRET data. In this study, we assess the effects protein folding has on fluorescence properties of Alexa Fluor 488 (A488), which is commonly used as FRET donor. Here, A488 is covalently attached to Cys69 of apoflavodoxin from Azotobacter vinelandii. Although coupling of A488 slightly destabilizes apoflavodoxin, the three-state folding of this protein, which involves a molten globule intermediate, is unaffected. Upon folding of apoflavodoxin, fluorescence emission intensity of A488 changes significantly. To illuminate the molecular sources of this alteration, we applied steady state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. The results obtained show that tryptophans cause folding-induced changes in quenching of Alexa dye. Compared to unfolded protein, static quenching of A488 is increased in the molten globule. Upon populating the native state both static and dynamic quenching of A488 decrease considerably. We show that fluorescence quenching of Alexa Fluor dyes is a sensitive reporter of conformational changes during protein folding.

  17. Design of Enhanced Performance Folded Cascoded Operational Transconductance Amplifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soni, Priyanka; Singh, B. P.; Bhardwaj, Monika

    2010-11-01

    This paper presents a modified folded cascode transconductance amplifier. Inclusion of an extra stage and compensation network in the proposed amplifier enhanced the performance over the conventional folded. The proposed circuit offers good trade-off on the conflicting performance parameters such as bandwidth, slew rate, d.c. gain, phase margin and settling time. The simulation has been carried out on Tanner EDA tool on TSMC 180 nm technology.

  18. Protein folding, protein structure and the origin of life: Theoretical methods and solutions of dynamical problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, D. L.

    1982-01-01

    Theoretical methods and solutions of the dynamics of protein folding, protein aggregation, protein structure, and the origin of life are discussed. The elements of a dynamic model representing the initial stages of protein folding are presented. The calculation and experimental determination of the model parameters are discussed. The use of computer simulation for modeling protein folding is considered.

  19. Unfolded protein ensembles, folding trajectories, and refolding rate prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, A.; Sin, B. K.; Mohazab, A. R.; Plotkin, S. S.

    2013-09-01

    Computer simulations can provide critical information on the unfolded ensemble of proteins under physiological conditions, by explicitly characterizing the geometrical properties of the diverse conformations that are sampled in the unfolded state. A general computational analysis across many proteins has not been implemented however. Here, we develop a method for generating a diverse conformational ensemble, to characterize properties of the unfolded states of intrinsically disordered or intrinsically folded proteins. The method allows unfolded proteins to retain disulfide bonds. We examined physical properties of the unfolded ensembles of several proteins, including chemical shifts, clustering properties, and scaling exponents for the radius of gyration with polymer length. A problem relating simulated and experimental residual dipolar couplings is discussed. We apply our generated ensembles to the problem of folding kinetics, by examining whether the ensembles of some proteins are closer geometrically to their folded structures than others. We find that for a randomly selected dataset of 15 non-homologous 2- and 3-state proteins, quantities such as the average root mean squared deviation between the folded structure and unfolded ensemble correlate with folding rates as strongly as absolute contact order. We introduce a new order parameter that measures the distance travelled per residue, which naturally partitions into a smooth "laminar" and subsequent "turbulent" part of the trajectory. This latter conceptually simple measure with no fitting parameters predicts folding rates in 0 M denaturant with remarkable accuracy (r = -0.95, p = 1 × 10-7). The high correlation between folding times and sterically modulated, reconfigurational motion supports the rapid collapse of proteins prior to the transition state as a generic feature in the folding of both two-state and multi-state proteins. This method for generating unfolded ensembles provides a powerful approach to

  20. Polymer Uncrossing and Knotting in Protein Folding, and Their Role in Minimal Folding Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Mohazab, Ali R.; Plotkin, Steven S.

    2013-01-01

    We introduce a method for calculating the extent to which chain non-crossing is important in the most efficient, optimal trajectories or pathways for a protein to fold. This involves recording all unphysical crossing events of a ghost chain, and calculating the minimal uncrossing cost that would have been required to avoid such events. A depth-first tree search algorithm is applied to find minimal transformations to fold , , , and knotted proteins. In all cases, the extra uncrossing/non-crossing distance is a small fraction of the total distance travelled by a ghost chain. Different structural classes may be distinguished by the amount of extra uncrossing distance, and the effectiveness of such discrimination is compared with other order parameters. It was seen that non-crossing distance over chain length provided the best discrimination between structural and kinetic classes. The scaling of non-crossing distance with chain length implies an inevitable crossover to entanglement-dominated folding mechanisms for sufficiently long chains. We further quantify the minimal folding pathways by collecting the sequence of uncrossing moves, which generally involve leg, loop, and elbow-like uncrossing moves, and rendering the collection of these moves over the unfolded ensemble as a multiple-transformation “alignment”. The consensus minimal pathway is constructed and shown schematically for representative cases of an , , and knotted protein. An overlap parameter is defined between pathways; we find that proteins have minimal overlap indicating diverse folding pathways, knotted proteins are highly constrained to follow a dominant pathway, and proteins are somewhere in between. Thus we have shown how topological chain constraints can induce dominant pathway mechanisms in protein folding. PMID:23365638

  1. In situ protein folding and activation in bacterial inclusion bodies.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Montalban, Nuria; Natalello, Antonino; García-Fruitós, Elena; Villaverde, Antonio; Doglia, Silvia Maria

    2008-07-01

    Recent observations indicate that bacterial inclusion bodies formed in absence of the main chaperone DnaK result largely enriched in functional, properly folded recombinant proteins. Unfortunately, the molecular basis of this intriguing fact, with obvious biotechnological interest, remains unsolved. We have explored here two non-excluding physiological mechanisms that could account for this observation, namely selective removal of inactive polypeptides from inclusion bodies or in situ functional activation of the embedded proteins. By combining structural and functional analysis, we have not observed any preferential selection of inactive and misfolded protein species by the dissagregating machinery during inclusion body disintegration. Instead, our data strongly support that folding intermediates aggregated as inclusion bodies could complete their natural folding process once deposited in protein clusters, which conduces to significant functional activation. In addition, in situ folding and protein activation in inclusion bodies is negatively regulated by the chaperone DnaK.

  2. THEORY OF PROTEIN FOLDING: The Energy Landscape Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onuchic, Jose Nelson; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Wolynes, Peter G.

    1997-10-01

    The energy landscape theory of protein folding is a statistical description of a protein's potential surface. It assumes that folding occurs through organizing an ensemble of structures rather than through only a few uniquely defined structural intermediates. It suggests that the most realistic model of a protein is a minimally frustrated heteropolymer with a rugged funnel-like landscape biased toward the native structure. This statistical description has been developed using tools from the statistical mechanics of disordered systems, polymers, and phase transitions of finite systems. We review here its analytical background and contrast the phenomena in homopolymers, random heteropolymers, and protein-like heteropolymers that are kinetically and thermodynamically capable of folding. The connection between these statistical concepts and the results of minimalist models used in computer simulations is discussed. The review concludes with a brief discussion of how the theory helps in the interpretation of results from fast folding experiments and in the practical task of protein structure prediction.

  3. Targeting Fold Stiffness to Design Enhanced Origami Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buskohl, Philip; Bazzan, Giorgio; Abbott, Andrew; Durstock, Michael; Vaia, Richard

    2014-03-01

    Structures with adaptive geometry are increasingly of interest for actuation, sensing and packaging applications. Origami structures, by definition, can ``shape-shift'' between multiple geometric configurations that are predefined by a pattern of folds. Plastic deformation and local failure at the fold lines transform an originally homogenous material into a grid with locally tailored mechanical properties that bias the response of the overall structure to external loading. Typically, origami structures focus on uniformly stiff fold lines with rigid facets. In this study, we discuss how localized variations in stiffness can influence global properties, including energy budget to transition from flat to folded structure, the preferred path through configuration space, and the final mechanical response of the folded architecture. A simple, bi-stable origami fold pattern is laser machined into polypropylene sheets of different compliance and the critical load of the transition is measured. We model the structure as a truss with bar elongation, folding, and facet bending in order to predict ways to enhance or mitigate the critical load. Targeting local folding properties to modify global performance directly extends to the analysis of more complex architectures.

  4. Protein folding by distributed computing and the denatured state ensemble.

    PubMed

    Marianayagam, Neelan J; Fawzi, Nicolas L; Head-Gordon, Teresa

    2005-11-15

    The distributed computing (DC) paradigm in conjunction with the folding@home (FH) client server has been used to study the folding kinetics of small peptides and proteins, giving excellent agreement with experimentally measured folding rates, although pathways sampled in these simulations are not always consistent with the folding mechanism. In this study, we use a coarse-grain model of protein L, whose two-state kinetics have been characterized in detail by using long-time equilibrium simulations, to rigorously test a FH protocol using approximately 10,000 short-time, uncoupled folding simulations starting from an extended state of the protein. We show that the FH results give non-Poisson distributions and early folding events that are unphysical, whereas longer folding events experience a correct barrier to folding but are not representative of the equilibrium folding ensemble. Using short-time, uncoupled folding simulations started from an equilibrated denatured state ensemble (DSE), we also do not get agreement with the equilibrium two-state kinetics because of overrepresented folding events arising from higher energy subpopulations in the DSE. The DC approach using uncoupled short trajectories can make contact with traditionally measured experimental rates and folding mechanism when starting from an equilibrated DSE, when the simulation time is long enough to sample the lowest energy states of the unfolded basin and the simulated free-energy surface is correct. However, the DC paradigm, together with faster time-resolved and single-molecule experiments, can also reveal the breakdown in the two-state approximation due to observation of folding events from higher energy subpopulations in the DSE.

  5. Simulating protein folding and aggregation on the 10 second timescale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Vijay

    2007-03-01

    Understanding how proteins self-assemble or ``fold'' is a fundamental problem in biophysics. Moreover, the ability to understand and quantitatively predict folding kinetics would have many implications, especially in the area of diseases related to protein misfolding, such as Alzheimer's Disease. However, there are many challenges to simulating folding, most notably the great computational challenges of simulating protein folding with models with sufficient accuracy to make quantitative predictions of experiments. In my talk, I will discuss our recent work to combine distributed computing with a new theoretical technique (Markov State Models) in order to simulate folding on long timescales as well as the direct and quantitative experimental tests of these methods. I will conclude with the application of these methods to the study of the Abeta peptide, whose aggregation has been directly implicated as the toxic element in Alzheimer's Disease.

  6. Viral capsid proteins are segregated in structural fold space.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shanshan; Brooks, Charles L

    2013-01-01

    Viral capsid proteins assemble into large, symmetrical architectures that are not found in complexes formed by their cellular counterparts. Given the prevalence of the signature jelly-roll topology in viral capsid proteins, we are interested in whether these functionally unique capsid proteins are also structurally unique in terms of folds. To explore this question, we applied a structure-alignment based clustering of all protein chains in VIPERdb filtered at 40% sequence identity to identify distinct capsid folds, and compared the cluster medoids with a non-redundant subset of protein domains in the SCOP database, not including the viral capsid entries. This comparison, using Template Modeling (TM)-score, identified 2078 structural "relatives" of capsid proteins from the non-capsid set, covering altogether 210 folds following the definition in SCOP. The statistical significance of the 210 folds shared by two sets of the same sizes, estimated from 10,000 permutation tests, is less than 0.0001, which is an upper bound on the p-value. We thus conclude that viral capsid proteins are segregated in structural fold space. Our result provides novel insight on how structural folds of capsid proteins, as opposed to their surface chemistry, might be constrained during evolution by requirement of the assembled cage-like architecture. Also importantly, our work highlights a guiding principle for virus-based nanoplatform design in a wide range of biomedical applications and materials science.

  7. Viral Capsid Proteins Are Segregated in Structural Fold Space

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Shanshan; Brooks, Charles L.

    2013-01-01

    Viral capsid proteins assemble into large, symmetrical architectures that are not found in complexes formed by their cellular counterparts. Given the prevalence of the signature jelly-roll topology in viral capsid proteins, we are interested in whether these functionally unique capsid proteins are also structurally unique in terms of folds. To explore this question, we applied a structure-alignment based clustering of all protein chains in VIPERdb filtered at 40% sequence identity to identify distinct capsid folds, and compared the cluster medoids with a non-redundant subset of protein domains in the SCOP database, not including the viral capsid entries. This comparison, using Template Modeling (TM)-score, identified 2078 structural “relatives” of capsid proteins from the non-capsid set, covering altogether 210 folds following the definition in SCOP. The statistical significance of the 210 folds shared by two sets of the same sizes, estimated from 10,000 permutation tests, is less than 0.0001, which is an upper bound on the p-value. We thus conclude that viral capsid proteins are segregated in structural fold space. Our result provides novel insight on how structural folds of capsid proteins, as opposed to their surface chemistry, might be constrained during evolution by requirement of the assembled cage-like architecture. Also importantly, our work highlights a guiding principle for virus-based nanoplatform design in a wide range of biomedical applications and materials science. PMID:23408879

  8. Combining valosin-containing protein (VCP) inhibition and suberanilohydroxamic acid (SAHA) treatment additively enhances the folding, trafficking, and function of epilepsy-associated γ-aminobutyric acid, type A (GABAA) receptors.

    PubMed

    Han, Dong-Yun; Di, Xiao-Jing; Fu, Yan-Lin; Mu, Ting-Wei

    2015-01-02

    GABAA receptors are the primary inhibitory ion channels in the mammalian central nervous system. The A322D mutation in the α1 subunit results in its excessive endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation at the expense of plasma membrane trafficking, leading to autosomal dominant juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Presumably, valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 extracts misfolded subunits from the endoplasmic reticulum membrane to the cytosolic proteasome for degradation. Here we showed that inhibiting VCP using Eeyarestatin I reduces the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of the α1(A322D) subunit without an apparent effect on its dynamin-1 dependent endocytosis and that this treatment enhances its trafficking. Furthermore, coapplication of Eeyarestatin I and suberanilohydroxamic acid, a known small molecule that promotes chaperone-assisted folding, yields an additive restoration of surface expression of α1(A322D) subunits in HEK293 cells and neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. Consequently, this combination significantly increases GABA-induced chloride currents in whole-cell patch clamping experiments than either chemical compound alone in HEK293 cells. Our findings suggest that VCP inhibition without stress induction, together with folding enhancement, represents a new strategy to restore proteostasis of misfolding-prone GABAA receptors and, therefore, a potential remedy for idiopathic epilepsy. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  9. Transient misfolding dominates multidomain protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Borgia, Alessandro; Kemplen, Katherine R.; Borgia, Madeleine B.; Soranno, Andrea; Shammas, Sarah; Wunderlich, Bengt; Nettels, Daniel; Best, Robert B.; Clarke, Jane; Schuler, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Neighbouring domains of multidomain proteins with homologous tandem repeats have divergent sequences, probably as a result of evolutionary pressure to avoid misfolding and aggregation, particularly at the high cellular protein concentrations. Here we combine microfluidic-mixing single-molecule kinetics, ensemble experiments and molecular simulations to investigate how misfolding between the immunoglobulin-like domains of titin is prevented. Surprisingly, we find that during refolding of tandem repeats, independent of sequence identity, more than half of all molecules transiently form a wide range of misfolded conformations. Simulations suggest that a large fraction of these misfolds resemble an intramolecular amyloid-like state reported in computational studies. However, for naturally occurring neighbours with low sequence identity, these transient misfolds disappear much more rapidly than for identical neighbours. We thus propose that evolutionary sequence divergence between domains is required to suppress the population of long-lived, potentially harmful misfolded states, whereas large populations of transient misfolded states appear to be tolerated. PMID:26572969

  10. Transient misfolding dominates multidomain protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borgia, Alessandro; Kemplen, Katherine R.; Borgia, Madeleine B.; Soranno, Andrea; Shammas, Sarah; Wunderlich, Bengt; Nettels, Daniel; Best, Robert B.; Clarke, Jane; Schuler, Benjamin

    2015-11-01

    Neighbouring domains of multidomain proteins with homologous tandem repeats have divergent sequences, probably as a result of evolutionary pressure to avoid misfolding and aggregation, particularly at the high cellular protein concentrations. Here we combine microfluidic-mixing single-molecule kinetics, ensemble experiments and molecular simulations to investigate how misfolding between the immunoglobulin-like domains of titin is prevented. Surprisingly, we find that during refolding of tandem repeats, independent of sequence identity, more than half of all molecules transiently form a wide range of misfolded conformations. Simulations suggest that a large fraction of these misfolds resemble an intramolecular amyloid-like state reported in computational studies. However, for naturally occurring neighbours with low sequence identity, these transient misfolds disappear much more rapidly than for identical neighbours. We thus propose that evolutionary sequence divergence between domains is required to suppress the population of long-lived, potentially harmful misfolded states, whereas large populations of transient misfolded states appear to be tolerated.

  11. Learning generative models for protein fold families.

    PubMed

    Balakrishnan, Sivaraman; Kamisetty, Hetunandan; Carbonell, Jaime G; Lee, Su-In; Langmead, Christopher James

    2011-04-01

    We introduce a new approach to learning statistical models from multiple sequence alignments (MSA) of proteins. Our method, called GREMLIN (Generative REgularized ModeLs of proteINs), learns an undirected probabilistic graphical model of the amino acid composition within the MSA. The resulting model encodes both the position-specific conservation statistics and the correlated mutation statistics between sequential and long-range pairs of residues. Existing techniques for learning graphical models from MSA either make strong, and often inappropriate assumptions about the conditional independencies within the MSA (e.g., Hidden Markov Models), or else use suboptimal algorithms to learn the parameters of the model. In contrast, GREMLIN makes no a priori assumptions about the conditional independencies within the MSA. We formulate and solve a convex optimization problem, thus guaranteeing that we find a globally optimal model at convergence. The resulting model is also generative, allowing for the design of new protein sequences that have the same statistical properties as those in the MSA. We perform a detailed analysis of covariation statistics on the extensively studied WW and PDZ domains and show that our method out-performs an existing algorithm for learning undirected probabilistic graphical models from MSA. We then apply our approach to 71 additional families from the PFAM database and demonstrate that the resulting models significantly out-perform Hidden Markov Models in terms of predictive accuracy.

  12. Azatryptophans as tools to study polarity requirements for folding of green fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Hoesl, Michael Georg; Larregola, Maud; Cui, Haissi; Budisa, Nediljko

    2010-10-01

    Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein and its widely used mutants enhanced green fluorescent protein and enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (ECFP) are ideal target proteins to study protein folding. The spectral signals of their chromophores are directly correlated with the folding status of the surrounding protein matrix. Previous studies revealed that tryptophan at position 57 (Trp57) plays a crucial role for the green fluorescent protein's structural and functional integrity. To precisely dissect its role in ECFP folding, we performed its substitution with the isosteric analogs 4-azatryptophan [(4-Aza)Trp] and 7-azatryptophan [(7-Aza)Trp]. Although Trp is moderately hydrophobic, these isosteric analogs are hydrophilic, which makes them an almost ideal tool to study the role of Trp57 in ECFP folding. We achieved high-level expression of both (4-Aza)Trp-ECFP and (7-Aza)Trp-ECFP. However, great portions (70-90%) of protein samples were insoluble and did not contain a maturated chromophore. All attempts to refold the insoluble protein fractions failed. Nevertheless, low amounts of fully labeled, soluble, chromophore containing fractions with altered spectral features were also isolated and identified. The most probable reason for the high yield of misfolding is the introduction of strong hydrophilicity at position 57 which strongly interferes with productive and efficient folding of ECFP. In addition, the results support a strong correlation between translational kinetics of non-canonical amino acids in the ribosome and in vivo folding of the related modified protein sequence.

  13. SVM-Fold: a tool for discriminative multi-class protein fold and superfamily recognition

    PubMed Central

    Melvin, Iain; Ie, Eugene; Kuang, Rui; Weston, Jason; Stafford, William Noble; Leslie, Christina

    2007-01-01

    Background Predicting a protein's structural class from its amino acid sequence is a fundamental problem in computational biology. Much recent work has focused on developing new representations for protein sequences, called string kernels, for use with support vector machine (SVM) classifiers. However, while some of these approaches exhibit state-of-the-art performance at the binary protein classification problem, i.e. discriminating between a particular protein class and all other classes, few of these studies have addressed the real problem of multi-class superfamily or fold recognition. Moreover, there are only limited software tools and systems for SVM-based protein classification available to the bioinformatics community. Results We present a new multi-class SVM-based protein fold and superfamily recognition system and web server called SVM-Fold, which can be found at . Our system uses an efficient implementation of a state-of-the-art string kernel for sequence profiles, called the profile kernel, where the underlying feature representation is a histogram of inexact matching k-mer frequencies. We also employ a novel machine learning approach to solve the difficult multi-class problem of classifying a sequence of amino acids into one of many known protein structural classes. Binary one-vs-the-rest SVM classifiers that are trained to recognize individual structural classes yield prediction scores that are not comparable, so that standard "one-vs-all" classification fails to perform well. Moreover, SVMs for classes at different levels of the protein structural hierarchy may make useful predictions, but one-vs-all does not try to combine these multiple predictions. To deal with these problems, our method learns relative weights between one-vs-the-rest classifiers and encodes information about the protein structural hierarchy for multi-class prediction. In large-scale benchmark results based on the SCOP database, our code weighting approach significantly improves

  14. Identifying folding nucleus based on residue contact networks of proteins.

    PubMed

    Li, Jie; Wang, Jun; Wang, Wei

    2008-06-01

    In the native structure of a protein, all the residues are tightly parked together in a specific order following its folding and every residue contacts with some spatially neighbor residues. A residue contact network can be constructed by defining the residues as nodes and the native contacts as edges. During the folding of small single-domain proteins, there is a set of contacts (or bonds), defined as the folding nucleus (FN), which is formed around the transition state, i.e., a rate-limiting barrier located at about the middle between the unfolded states and the native state on the free energy landscape. Such a FN plays an essential role in the folding dynamics and the residues, which form the related contacts called as folding nucleus residues (FNRs). In this work, the FNRs in proteins are identified by using quantities which characterize the topology of residue contact networks of proteins. By comparing the specificities of residues with the network quantities K(R), L(R), and D(R), up to 90% FNRs of six typical proteins found experimentally are identified. It is found that the FNRs behave the full-closeness centrals rather than degree or closeness centers in the residue contact network, implying that they are important to the folding cooperativity of proteins. Our study shows that the FNRs can be identified solely from the native structures of proteins based on the analysis of residue contact network without any knowledge of the transition state ensemble. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. How cooperative are protein folding and unfolding transitions?

    PubMed

    Malhotra, Pooja; Udgaonkar, Jayant B

    2016-11-01

    A thermodynamically and kinetically simple picture of protein folding envisages only two states, native (N) and unfolded (U), separated by a single activation free energy barrier, and interconverting by cooperative two-state transitions. The folding/unfolding transitions of many proteins occur, however, in multiple discrete steps associated with the formation of intermediates, which is indicative of reduced cooperativity. Furthermore, much advancement in experimental and computational approaches has demonstrated entirely non-cooperative (gradual) transitions via a continuum of states and a multitude of small energetic barriers between the N and U states of some proteins. These findings have been instrumental towards providing a structural rationale for cooperative versus noncooperative transitions, based on the coupling between interaction networks in proteins. The cooperativity inherent in a folding/unfolding reaction appears to be context dependent, and can be tuned via experimental conditions which change the stabilities of N and U. The evolution of cooperativity in protein folding transitions is linked closely to the evolution of function as well as the aggregation propensity of the protein. A large activation energy barrier in a fully cooperative transition can provide the kinetic control required to prevent the accumulation of partially unfolded forms, which may promote aggregation. Nevertheless, increasing evidence for barrier-less "downhill" folding, as well as for continuous "uphill" unfolding transitions, indicate that gradual non-cooperative processes may be ubiquitous features on the free energy landscape of protein folding.

  16. Solitons and protein folding: An In Silico experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilieva, N.; Dai, J.; Sieradzan, A.; Niemi, A.

    2015-10-01

    Protein folding [1] is the process of formation of a functional 3D structure from a random coil — the shape in which amino-acid chains leave the ribosome. Anfinsen's dogma states that the native 3D shape of a protein is completely determined by protein's amino acid sequence. Despite the progress in understanding the process rate and the success in folding prediction for some small proteins, with presently available physics-based methods it is not yet possible to reliably deduce the shape of a biologically active protein from its amino acid sequence. The protein-folding problem endures as one of the most important unresolved problems in science; it addresses the origin of life itself. Furthermore, a wrong fold is a common cause for a protein to lose its function or even endanger the living organism. Soliton solutions of a generalized discrete non-linear Schrödinger equation (GDNLSE) obtained from the energy function in terms of bond and torsion angles κ and τ provide a constructive theoretical framework for describing protein folds and folding patterns [2]. Here we study the dynamics of this process by means of molecular-dynamics simulations. The soliton manifestation is the pattern helix-loop-helix in the secondary structure of the protein, which explains the importance of understanding loop formation in helical proteins. We performed in silico experiments for unfolding one subunit of the core structure of gp41 from the HIV envelope glycoprotein (PDB ID: 1AIK [3]) by molecular-dynamics simulations with the MD package GROMACS. We analyzed 80 ns trajectories, obtained with one united-atom and two different all-atom force fields, to justify the side-chain orientation quantification scheme adopted in the studies and to eliminate force-field based artifacts. Our results are compatible with the soliton model of protein folding and provide first insight into soliton-formation dynamics.

  17. Hierarchical classification of protein folds using a novel ensemble classifier.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chen; Zou, Ying; Qin, Ji; Liu, Xiangrong; Jiang, Yi; Ke, Caihuan; Zou, Quan

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of biological information from protein sequences is important for the study of cellular functions and interactions, and protein fold recognition plays a key role in the prediction of protein structures. Unfortunately, the prediction of protein fold patterns is challenging due to the existence of compound protein structures. Here, we processed the latest release of the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP, version 1.75) database and exploited novel techniques to impressively increase the accuracy of protein fold classification. The techniques proposed in this paper include ensemble classifying and a hierarchical framework, in the first layer of which similar or redundant sequences were deleted in two manners; a set of base classifiers, fused by various selection strategies, divides the input into seven classes; in the second layer of which, an analogous ensemble method is adopted to predict all protein folds. To our knowledge, it is the first time all protein folds can be intelligently detected hierarchically. Compared with prior studies, our experimental results demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of our proposed method, which achieved a success rate of 74.21%, which is much higher than results obtained with previous methods (ranging from 45.6% to 70.5%). When applied to the second layer of classification, the prediction accuracy was in the range between 23.13% and 46.05%. This value, which may not be remarkably high, is scientifically admirable and encouraging as compared to the relatively low counts of proteins from most fold recognition programs. The web server Hierarchical Protein Fold Prediction (HPFP) is available at http://datamining.xmu.edu.cn/software/hpfp.

  18. Hierarchical Classification of Protein Folds Using a Novel Ensemble Classifier

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Ji; Liu, Xiangrong; Jiang, Yi; Ke, Caihuan; Zou, Quan

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of biological information from protein sequences is important for the study of cellular functions and interactions, and protein fold recognition plays a key role in the prediction of protein structures. Unfortunately, the prediction of protein fold patterns is challenging due to the existence of compound protein structures. Here, we processed the latest release of the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP, version 1.75) database and exploited novel techniques to impressively increase the accuracy of protein fold classification. The techniques proposed in this paper include ensemble classifying and a hierarchical framework, in the first layer of which similar or redundant sequences were deleted in two manners; a set of base classifiers, fused by various selection strategies, divides the input into seven classes; in the second layer of which, an analogous ensemble method is adopted to predict all protein folds. To our knowledge, it is the first time all protein folds can be intelligently detected hierarchically. Compared with prior studies, our experimental results demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of our proposed method, which achieved a success rate of 74.21%, which is much higher than results obtained with previous methods (ranging from 45.6% to 70.5%). When applied to the second layer of classification, the prediction accuracy was in the range between 23.13% and 46.05%. This value, which may not be remarkably high, is scientifically admirable and encouraging as compared to the relatively low counts of proteins from most fold recognition programs. The web server Hierarchical Protein Fold Prediction (HPFP) is available at http://datamining.xmu.edu.cn/software/hpfp. PMID:23437146

  19. Protein folding simulations and structure predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Yuko

    2001-12-01

    In complex systems such as spin glasses and proteins, conventional simulations in the canonical ensemble will get trapped in states of energy local minima. We employ the simulated annealing method and generalized-ensemble algorithms in order to overcome this multiple-minima problem. Besides simulated annealing, three well-known generalized-ensemble algorithms, namely, multicanonical algorithm, simulated tempering, and replica-exchange method, are described. We then present three new generalized-ensemble algorithms based on the combinations of the three methods.

  20. Desolvation effects and topology-dependent protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Allison; Liu, Zhirong; Chan, Hue Sun

    2007-03-01

    As a protein folds, water molecules must be excluded from the hydrophobic core, and thus desolvation barriers between the protein's constituents must be crossed in order to reach the final folded state. Previous research on continuum Go-like protein models has demonstrated that pairwise-additive desolvation potentials lead to more thermodynamically and kinetically cooperative folding/unfolding transitions (Z. Liu and H. S. Chan, Phys. Biol. 2, S75-S85, 2005). The present work focuses on the role of this elementary desolvation potential in improving predictions of the well-known topology-folding rate relationship (K. W. Plaxco et al, J. Mol. Biol. 277, 985-994, 1998) of small single-domain proteins. Recent computational studies without desolvation barriers have shown (S. Wallin and H. S. Chan, J. Phys.: Condens. Matt. 18, S307-S328, 2006) that the observed correlation between topological parameters and folding rates is because these parameters may be proxies for rate-determining properties of the transition state, such as the activation free energy δG^ and activation conformational entropy δS^. Including the desolvation barrier in the model results in stronger correlations between measures of topology and simulated folding rates / transition state properties, reinforcing the theory that even simple representations of the desolvation effect are important for understanding crucial features of protein folding.

  1. Molecular Origins of Internal Friction Effects on Protein Folding Rates

    PubMed Central

    Sirur, Anshul

    2014-01-01

    Recent experiments on protein folding dynamics have revealed strong evidence for internal friction effects. That is, observed relaxation times are not simply proportional to the solvent viscosity as might be expected if the solvent were the only source of friction. However, a molecular interpretation of this remarkable phenomenon is currently lacking. Here, we use all-atom simulations of peptide and protein folding in explicit solvent, to probe the origin of the unusual viscosity dependence. We find that an important contribution to this effect, explaining the viscosity dependence of helix formation and the folding of a helix-containing protein, is the insensitivity of torsion angle isomerization to solvent friction. The influence of this landscape roughness can, in turn, be quantitatively explained by a rate theory including memory friction. This insensitivity of local barrier crossing to solvent friction is expected to contribute to the viscosity dependence of folding rates in larger proteins. PMID:24986114

  2. Folding and self-assembly of a small protein complex

    PubMed Central

    Sieradzan, Adam K.; Liwo, Adam; Hansmann, Ulrich H.E.

    2012-01-01

    The synthetic homotetrameric ββα (BBAT1) protein possesses a stable quaternary structure with a ββα fold. Because of its small size (a total of 84 residues), the homotetramer is an excellent model system with which to study the self-assembly and protein-protein interactions. We find from replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations with the coarse-grain UNRES force field that the folding and association pathway consists of three well-separated steps, where that association to a tetramer precedes and facilitates folding of the four chains. At room temperature the tetramer exists in an ensemble of diverse structures. The crystal structure becomes energetically favored only when the molecule is put in a dense and crystal-like environment. The observed picture of folding promoted by association may mirror the mechanism according to which intrinsically unfolded proteins assume their functional structure. PMID:24039552

  3. Nonsymmetric Two-Body Score Function for Protein Fold Recognition:

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heo, Muyoung; Cheon, Mookyung; Chang, Iksoo

    The usual two-body score (energy) function to recognize native folds of proteins is Miyazawa-Jernigan (MJ) pairwise-contact function. The pairwise-contact parameters between two amino acids in MJ function are symmetric in a sense that a directional order of amino acids sequence along the backbone of a protein is ignored in constructing score parameters. Here we report that we succeeded in constructing a nonsymmetric two-body score function, capturing a directional order of amino acids sequence, by a perceptron learning and a protein threading. We considered pairs of two adjacent amino acids that are separated by two consecutive peptide bonds with the backbone directionality from the N-terminus to the C-terminus of a protein. We also considered the local environmental character, such as the secondary structures and the hydrophobicity (solvation), of amino acids in protein structures. The score is a corresponding propensity for a directional alignment of these two adjacent amino acids with their local environments. The resulting score function simultaneously recognized native folds of 1006 proteins covering all representative proteins with a homology less than 30% among them. The quality of this score function was validated by a threading test of new distinct 382 proteins with a homology less than 90% among them, and it entailed a high success ratio for recognizing native folds of 364 (95.3%) proteins. It showed a good feasibility of designing protein score functions for protein fold recognition by a perceptron learning and a protein threading.

  4. Mechanical Modeling and Computer Simulation of Protein Folding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prigozhin, Maxim B.; Scott, Gregory E.; Denos, Sharlene

    2014-01-01

    In this activity, science education and modern technology are bridged to teach students at the high school and undergraduate levels about protein folding and to strengthen their model building skills. Students are guided from a textbook picture of a protein as a rigid crystal structure to a more realistic view: proteins are highly dynamic…

  5. Mechanical Modeling and Computer Simulation of Protein Folding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prigozhin, Maxim B.; Scott, Gregory E.; Denos, Sharlene

    2014-01-01

    In this activity, science education and modern technology are bridged to teach students at the high school and undergraduate levels about protein folding and to strengthen their model building skills. Students are guided from a textbook picture of a protein as a rigid crystal structure to a more realistic view: proteins are highly dynamic…

  6. Basic units of protein structure, folding, and function.

    PubMed

    Berezovsky, Igor N; Guarnera, Enrico; Zheng, Zejun

    2017-09-01

    Study of the hierarchy of domain structure with alternative sets of domains and analysis of discontinuous domains, consisting of remote segments of the polypeptide chain, raised a question about the minimal structural unit of the protein domain. The hypothesis on the decisive role of the polypeptide backbone in determining the elementary units of globular proteins have led to the discovery of closed loops. It is reviewed here how closed loops form the loop-n-lock structure of proteins, providing the foundation for stability and designability of protein folds/domain and underlying their co-translational folding. Simplified protein sequences are considered here with the aim to explore the basic principles that presumably dominated the folding and stability of proteins in the early stages of structural evolution. Elementary functional loops (EFLs), closed loops with one or few catalytic residues, are, in turn, units of the protein function. They are apparent descendants of the prebiotic ring-like peptides, which gave rise to the first functional folds/domains being fused in the beginning of the evolution of protein structure. It is also shown how evolutionary relations between protein functional superfamilies and folds delineated with the help of EFLs can contribute to establishing the rules for design of desired enzymatic functions. Generalized descriptors of the elementary functions are proposed to be used as basic units in the future computational design. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Engineering the protein folding landscape in gram-negative bacteria.

    PubMed

    Mansell, Thomas J; Fisher, Adam C; DeLisa, Matthew P

    2008-04-01

    Gram-negative bacteria, especially Escherichia coli, are often the preferred hosts for recombinant protein production because of their fast doubling times, ability to grow to high cell density, propensity for high recombinant protein titers and straightforward protein purification techniques. The utility of simple bacteria in such studies continues to improve as a result of an ever-increasing body of knowledge regarding their native protein biogenesis machinery. From translation on the ribosome to interaction with cytosolic accessory factors to transport across the inner membrane into the periplasmic space, cellular proteins interact with many different types of cellular machinery and each interaction can have a profound effect on the protein folding process. This review addresses key aspects of cellular protein folding, solubility and expression in E. coli with particular focus on the elegant biological machinery that orchestrates the transition from nascent polypeptide to folded, functional protein. Specifically highlighted are a variety of different techniques to intentionally alter the folding environment of the cell as a means to understand and engineer intracellular protein folding and stability.

  8. Thermodynamics of protein folding: a random matrix formulation.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Pragya

    2010-10-20

    The process of protein folding from an unfolded state to a biologically active, folded conformation is governed by many parameters, e.g. the sequence of amino acids, intermolecular interactions, the solvent, temperature and chaperon molecules. Our study, based on random matrix modeling of the interactions, shows, however, that the evolution of the statistical measures, e.g. Gibbs free energy, heat capacity, and entropy, is single parametric. The information can explain the selection of specific folding pathways from an infinite number of possible ways as well as other folding characteristics observed in computer simulation studies.

  9. Solitons and protein folding: An In Silico experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Ilieva, N.; Dai, J.; Sieradzan, A.; Niemi, A.

    2015-10-28

    Protein folding [1] is the process of formation of a functional 3D structure from a random coil — the shape in which amino-acid chains leave the ribosome. Anfinsen’s dogma states that the native 3D shape of a protein is completely determined by protein’s amino acid sequence. Despite the progress in understanding the process rate and the success in folding prediction for some small proteins, with presently available physics-based methods it is not yet possible to reliably deduce the shape of a biologically active protein from its amino acid sequence. The protein-folding problem endures as one of the most important unresolved problems in science; it addresses the origin of life itself. Furthermore, a wrong fold is a common cause for a protein to lose its function or even endanger the living organism. Soliton solutions of a generalized discrete non-linear Schrödinger equation (GDNLSE) obtained from the energy function in terms of bond and torsion angles κ and τ provide a constructive theoretical framework for describing protein folds and folding patterns [2]. Here we study the dynamics of this process by means of molecular-dynamics simulations. The soliton manifestation is the pattern helix–loop–helix in the secondary structure of the protein, which explains the importance of understanding loop formation in helical proteins. We performed in silico experiments for unfolding one subunit of the core structure of gp41 from the HIV envelope glycoprotein (PDB ID: 1AIK [3]) by molecular-dynamics simulations with the MD package GROMACS. We analyzed 80 ns trajectories, obtained with one united-atom and two different all-atom force fields, to justify the side-chain orientation quantification scheme adopted in the studies and to eliminate force-field based artifacts. Our results are compatible with the soliton model of protein folding and provide first insight into soliton-formation dynamics.

  10. Origination of the Protein Fold Repertoire from Oily Pluripotent Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Mannige, Ranjan V.

    2014-01-01

    While the repertoire of protein folds that exists today underlies most of life’s capabilities, our mechanistic picture of protein fold origination is incomplete. This paper discusses a hypothetical mechanism for the emergence of the protein fold repertoire from highly dynamic and collapsed peptides, exemplified by peptides with high oil content or hydrophobicity. These peptides are called pluripotent to emphasize their capacity to evolve into numerous folds transiently available to them. As evidence, the paper will discuss previous simulation work on the superior fold evolvability of oily peptides, trace (“fossil”) evidence within proteomes seen today, and a general relationship between protein dynamism and evolvability. Aside from implications on the origination of protein folds, the hypothesis implies that the vanishing utility of a random peptide in protein origination may be relatively exaggerated, as some random peptides with a certain composition (e.g., oily) may fare better than others. In later sections, the hypothesis is discussed in the context of existing discussions regarding the spontaneous origination of biomolecules. PMID:28250375

  11. Folding propensity of intrinsically disordered proteins by osmotic stress

    SciTech Connect

    Mansouri, Amanda L.; Grese, Laura N.; Rowe, Erica L.; Pino, James C.; Chennubhotla, S. Chakra; Ramanathan, Arvind; O'Neill, Hugh Michael; Berthelier, Valerie; Stanley, Christopher B.

    2016-10-11

    Proteins imparted with intrinsic disorder conduct a range of essential cellular functions. To better understand the folding and hydration properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), we used osmotic stress to induce conformational changes in nuclear co-activator binding domain (NCBD) and activator for thyroid hormone and retinoid receptor (ACTR). Osmotic stress was applied by the addition of small and polymeric osmolytes, where we discovered that water contributions to NCBD folding always exceeded those for ACTR. Both NCBD and ACTR were found to gain a-helical structure with increasing osmotic stress, consistent with their folding upon NCBD/ACTR complex formation. Using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), we further characterized NCBD structural changes with the osmolyte ethylene glycol. Here a large reduction in overall size initially occurred before substantial secondary structural change. In conclusion, by focusing on folding propensity, and linked hydration changes, we uncover new insights that may be important for how IDP folding contributes to binding.

  12. Predicting folding-unfolding transitions in proteins without a priori knowledge of the folded state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okan, Osman; Turgut, Deniz; Garcia, Angel; Ozisik, Rahmi

    2013-03-01

    The common computational method of studying folding transitions in proteins is to compare simulated conformations against the folded structure, but this method obviously requires the folded structure to be known beforehand. In the current study, we show that the use of bond orientational order parameter (BOOP) Ql [Steinhardt PJ, Nelson DR, Ronchetti M, Phys. Rev. B 1983, 28, 784] is a viable alternative to the commonly adopted root mean squared distance (RMSD) measure in probing conformational transitions. Replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations of the trp-cage protein (with 20 residues) in TIP-3P water were used to compare BOOP against RMSD. The results indicate that the correspondence between BOOP and RMSD time series become stronger with increasing l. We finally show that robust linear models that incorporate different Ql can be parameterized from a given replica run and can be used to study other replica trajectories. This work is partially supported by NSF DUE-1003574.

  13. Orchestration of secretory protein folding by ER chaperones

    PubMed Central

    Gidalevitz, Tali; Stevens, Fred; Argon, Yair

    2013-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum is a major compartment of protein biogenesis in the cell, dedicated to production of secretory, membrane and organelle proteins. The secretome has distinct structural and post-translational characteristics, since folding in the ER occurs in an environment that is distinct in terms of its ionic composition, dynamics and requirements for quality contol. The folding machinery in the ER therefore includes chaperones and folding enzymes that introduce, monitor and react to disulfide bonds, glycans, and fluctuations of luminal calcium. We describe the major chaperone networks in the lumen and discuss how they have distinct modes of operation that enable cells to accomplish highly efficient production of the secretome. PMID:23507200

  14. Thermally triggered self-assembly of folded proteins into vesicles.

    PubMed

    Park, Won Min; Champion, Julie A

    2014-12-31

    We report thermally triggered self-assembly of folded proteins into vesicles that incorporates globular proteins as building blocks. Leucine zipper coiled coils were combined with either globular proteins or elastin-like polypeptides as recombinant fusion proteins, which form "rod-coil" and "globule-rod-coil" protein complex amphiphiles. In aqueous solution, they self-assembled into hollow vesicles via temperature-responsive inverse phase transition. The characteristic of the protein vesicle membranes enables preferential encapsulation of simultaneously formed protein coacervate. Furthermore, the type of encapsulated cargo extends to small molecules and nanoparticles. Our approach offers a versatile strategy to create protein vesicles as vehicles with biological functionality.

  15. Getting Folded: Chaperone proteins in muscle development, maintenance and disease

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Daniel A.; Carland, Carmen R.; Guo, Yiming; Bernstein, Sanford I.

    2014-01-01

    Chaperone proteins are critical for protein folding and stability, and hence are necessary for normal cellular organization and function. Recent studies have begun to interrogate the role of this specialized class of proteins in muscle biology. During development, chaperone-mediated folding of client proteins enables their integration into nascent sarcomeres. In addition to assisting with muscle differentiation, chaperones play a key role in maintenance of muscle tissues. Further, disruption of the chaperone network can result in neuromuscular disease. In this review, we discuss how chaperones are involved in myofibrillogenesis, sarcomere maintenance and muscle disorders. We also consider the possibilities of therapeutically targeting chaperones to treat muscle disease. PMID:25125177

  16. Fast Protein Translation Can Promote Co- and Posttranslational Folding of Misfolding-Prone Proteins.

    PubMed

    Trovato, Fabio; O'Brien, Edward P

    2017-05-09

    Chemical kinetic modeling has previously been used to predict that fast-translating codons can enhance cotranslational protein folding by helping to avoid misfolded intermediates. Consistent with this prediction, protein aggregation in yeast and worms was observed to increase when translation was globally slowed down, possibly due to increased cotranslational misfolding. Observation of similar behavior in molecular simulations would confirm predictions from the simpler chemical kinetic model and provide a molecular perspective on cotranslational folding, misfolding, and the impact of translation speed on these processes. All-atom simulations cannot reach the timescales relevant to protein synthesis, and most conventional structure-based coarse-grained models do not allow for nonnative structure formation. Here, we introduce a protocol to incorporate misfolding using the functional forms of publicly available force fields. With this model we create two artificial proteins that are capable of undergoing structural transitions between a native and a misfolded conformation and simulate their synthesis by the ribosome. Consistent with the chemical kinetic predictions, we find that rapid synthesis of misfolding-prone nascent-chain segments increases the fraction of folded proteins by kinetically partitioning more molecules through on-pathway intermediates, decreasing the likelihood of sampling misfolded conformations. Novel to this study, to our knowledge, we observe that differences in protein dynamics, arising from different translation-elongation schedules, can persist long after the nascent protein has been released from the ribosome, and that a sufficient level of energetic frustration is needed for fast-translating codons to be beneficial for folding. These results provide further evidence that fast-translating codons can be as biologically important as pause sites in coordinating cotranslational folding. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier

  17. A molecular imaging biosensor detects in vivo protein folding and misfolding.

    PubMed

    Sheahan, Anjali V; Sekar, Thillai V; Chen, Kai; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy; Massoud, Tarik F

    2016-07-01

    Aberrant protein folding represents the molecular basis of many important human diseases. Although the discovery of new anti-misfolding drugs is a major priority in molecular therapeutics, there is currently no generalizable protein folding assay for use in cell-based high throughput screening (HTS) of chemical libraries, or for in vivo imaging. We molecularly engineered a bioluminescence-based biosensor composed of rationally split Firefly luciferase reporter fragments flanking a test protein, and used this in a protein-fragment complementation assay to quantitatively measure folding of the test protein. We comprehensively validated this biosensor in vitro, in cells, and by optically imaging protein folding and misfolding in living mice using several test proteins including enhanced green fluorescent protein, Renilla luciferase, Gaussia luciferase, and SIRT1. Applications of this novel biosensor are potentially far-reaching in both cell-based HTS approaches to discover new anti-misfolding drugs, and when using the same biosensor in validation studies of drug candidates in small animal models. Novel anti-misfolding drugs are needed as molecular therapeutics for many diseases. We developed first in vivo imaging protein folding biosensor to aid drug discovery. Biosensor created by flanking a test protein with rationally split Firefly luciferase. Biosensor validated by detecting folding of test proteins EGFP, Rluc, Gluc, and SIRT1. Generalizable molecular biosensor for translational applications in drug screening.

  18. Folding and Stabilization of Native-Sequence-Reversed Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuanzhao; Weber, Jeffrey K; Zhou, Ruhong

    2016-01-01

    Though the problem of sequence-reversed protein folding is largely unexplored, one might speculate that reversed native protein sequences should be significantly more foldable than purely random heteropolymer sequences. In this article, we investigate how the reverse-sequences of native proteins might fold by examining a series of small proteins of increasing structural complexity (α-helix, β-hairpin, α-helix bundle, and α/β-protein). Employing a tandem protein structure prediction algorithmic and molecular dynamics simulation approach, we find that the ability of reverse sequences to adopt native-like folds is strongly influenced by protein size and the flexibility of the native hydrophobic core. For β-hairpins with reverse-sequences that fail to fold, we employ a simple mutational strategy for guiding stable hairpin formation that involves the insertion of amino acids into the β-turn region. This systematic look at reverse sequence duality sheds new light on the problem of protein sequence-structure mapping and may serve to inspire new protein design and protein structure prediction protocols. PMID:27113844

  19. Folding and Stabilization of Native-Sequence-Reversed Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yuanzhao; Weber, Jeffrey K.; Zhou, Ruhong

    2016-04-01

    Though the problem of sequence-reversed protein folding is largely unexplored, one might speculate that reversed native protein sequences should be significantly more foldable than purely random heteropolymer sequences. In this article, we investigate how the reverse-sequences of native proteins might fold by examining a series of small proteins of increasing structural complexity (α-helix, β-hairpin, α-helix bundle, and α/β-protein). Employing a tandem protein structure prediction algorithmic and molecular dynamics simulation approach, we find that the ability of reverse sequences to adopt native-like folds is strongly influenced by protein size and the flexibility of the native hydrophobic core. For β-hairpins with reverse-sequences that fail to fold, we employ a simple mutational strategy for guiding stable hairpin formation that involves the insertion of amino acids into the β-turn region. This systematic look at reverse sequence duality sheds new light on the problem of protein sequence-structure mapping and may serve to inspire new protein design and protein structure prediction protocols.

  20. Self-consistent calculation of protein folding pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orioli, S.; a Beccara, S.; Faccioli, P.

    2017-08-01

    We introduce an iterative algorithm to efficiently simulate protein folding and other conformational transitions, using state-of-the-art all-atom force fields. Starting from the Langevin equation, we obtain a self-consistent stochastic equation of motion, which directly yields the reaction pathways. From the solution of this set of equations we derive a stochastic estimate of the reaction coordinate. We validate this approach against the results of plain MD simulations of the folding of a small protein, which were performed on the Anton supercomputer. In order to explore the computational efficiency of this algorithm, we apply it to generate a folding pathway of a protein that consists of 130 amino acids and has a folding rate of the order of s-1.

  1. Modern Analysis of Protein Folding by Differential Scanning Calorimetry.

    PubMed

    Ibarra-Molero, Beatriz; Naganathan, Athi N; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M; Muñoz, Victor

    2016-01-01

    Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is a very powerful tool for investigating protein folding and stability because its experimental output reflects the energetics of all conformations that become minimally populated during thermal unfolding. Accordingly, analysis of DSC experiments with simple thermodynamic models has been key for developing our understanding of protein stability during the past five decades. The discovery of ultrafast folding proteins, which have naturally broad conformational ensembles and minimally cooperative unfolding, opens the possibility of probing the complete folding free energy landscape, including those conformations at the top of the barrier to folding, via DSC. Exploiting this opportunity requires high-quality experiments and the implementation of novel analytical methods based on statistical mechanics. Here, we cover the recent exciting developments in this front, describing the new analytical procedures in detail as well as providing experimental guidelines for performing such analysis. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The Energy Computation Paradox and ab initio Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Faver, John C.; Benson, Mark L.; He, Xiao; Roberts, Benjamin P.; Wang, Bing; Marshall, Michael S.; Sherrill, C. David; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2011-01-01

    The routine prediction of three-dimensional protein structure from sequence remains a challenge in computational biochemistry. It has been intuited that calculated energies from physics-based scoring functions are able to distinguish native from nonnative folds based on previous performance with small proteins and that conformational sampling is the fundamental bottleneck to successful folding. We demonstrate that as protein size increases, errors in the computed energies become a significant problem. We show, by using error probability density functions, that physics-based scores contain significant systematic and random errors relative to accurate reference energies. These errors propagate throughout an entire protein and distort its energy landscape to such an extent that modern scoring functions should have little chance of success in finding the free energy minima of large proteins. Nonetheless, by understanding errors in physics-based score functions, they can be reduced in a post-hoc manner, improving accuracy in energy computation and fold discrimination. PMID:21541343

  3. Protein folding in HP model on hexagonal lattices with diagonals

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Three dimensional structure prediction of a protein from its amino acid sequence, known as protein folding, is one of the most studied computational problem in bioinformatics and computational biology. Since, this is a hard problem, a number of simplified models have been proposed in literature to capture the essential properties of this problem. In this paper we introduce the hexagonal lattices with diagonals to handle the protein folding problem considering the well researched HP model. We give two approximation algorithms for protein folding on this lattice. Our first algorithm is a 53-approximation algorithm, which is based on the strategy of partitioning the entire protein sequence into two pieces. Our next algorithm is also based on partitioning approaches and improves upon the first algorithm. PMID:24564789

  4. Topology and structural self-organization in folded proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundgren, M.; Krokhotin, Andrey; Niemi, Antti J.

    2013-10-01

    Topological methods are indispensable in theoretical studies of particle physics, condensed matter physics, and gravity. These powerful techniques have also been applied to biological physics. For example, knowledge of DNA topology is pivotal to the understanding as to how living cells function. Here, the biophysical repertoire of topological methods is extended, with the aim to understand and characterize the global structure of a folded protein. For this, the elementary concept of winding number of a vector field on a plane is utilized to introduce a topological quantity called the folding index of a crystallographic protein. It is observed that in the case of high resolution protein crystals, the folding index, when evaluated over the entire length of the crystallized protein backbone, has a very clear and strong propensity towards integer values. The observation proposes that the way how a protein folds into its biologically active conformation is a structural self-organization process with a topological facet that relates to the concept of solitons. It is proposed that the folding index has a potential to become a useful tool for the global, topological characterization of the folding pathways.

  5. Intermediates and the folding of proteins L and G

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Scott; Head-Gordon, Teresa

    2003-07-01

    We use a minimalist protein model, in combination with a sequence design strategy, to determine differences in primary structure for proteins L and G that are responsible for the two proteins folding through distinctly different folding mechanisms. We find that the folding of proteins L and G are consistent with a nucleation-condensation mechanism, each of which is described as helix-assisted {beta}-1 and {beta}-2 hairpin formation, respectively. We determine that the model for protein G exhibits an early intermediate that precedes the rate-limiting barrier of folding and which draws together misaligned secondary structure elements that are stabilized by hydrophobic core contacts involving the third {beta}-strand, and presages the later transition state in which the correct strand alignment of these same secondary structure elements is restored. Finally the validity of the targeted intermediate ensemble for protein G was analyzed by fitting the kinetic data to a two-step first order reversible reaction, proving that protein G folding involves an on-pathway early intermediate, and should be populated and therefore observable by experiment.

  6. From Helix–Coil Transitions to Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Scheraga, Harold A.

    2009-01-01

    An evolution of procedures to simulate protein structure and folding pathways is described. From an initial focus on the helix–coil transition and on hydrogen-bonding and hydrophobic interactions, our original attempts to determine protein structure and folding pathways were based on an experimental approach. Experiments on the oxidative folding of reduced bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A) led to a mechanism by which the molecule folded to the native structure by a minimum of four different pathways. The experiments with RNase A were followed by development of a molecular mechanics approach, first, making use of global optimization procedures and then with molecular dynamics (MD), evolving from an all-atom to a united-residue model. This hierarchical MD approach facilitated probing of the folding trajectory to longer time scales than with all-atom MD, and hence led to the determination of complete folding trajectories, thus far for a protein containing as many as 75 amino acid residues. With increasing refinement of the computational procedures, the computed results are coming closer to experimental observations, providing an understanding as to how physics directs the folding process. PMID:18008324

  7. Assembling a Correctly Folded and Functional Heptahelical Membrane Protein by Protein Trans-splicing*

    PubMed Central

    Mehler, Michaela; Eckert, Carl Elias; Busche, Alena; Kulhei, Jennifer; Michaelis, Jonas; Becker-Baldus, Johanna; Wachtveitl, Josef; Dötsch, Volker; Glaubitz, Clemens

    2015-01-01

    Protein trans-splicing using split inteins is well established as a useful tool for protein engineering. Here we show, for the first time, that this method can be applied to a membrane protein under native conditions. We provide compelling evidence that the heptahelical proteorhodopsin can be assembled from two separate fragments consisting of helical bundles A and B and C, D, E, F, and G via a splicing site located in the BC loop. The procedure presented here is on the basis of dual expression and ligation in vivo. Global fold, stability, and photodynamics were analyzed in detergent by CD, stationary, as well as time-resolved optical spectroscopy. The fold within lipid bilayers has been probed by high field and dynamic nuclear polarization-enhanced solid-state NMR utilizing a 13C-labeled retinal cofactor and extensively 13C-15N-labeled protein. Our data show unambiguously that the ligation product is identical to its non-ligated counterpart. Furthermore, our data highlight the effects of BC loop modifications onto the photocycle kinetics of proteorhodopsin. Our data demonstrate that a correctly folded and functionally intact protein can be produced in this artificial way. Our findings are of high relevance for a general understanding of the assembly of membrane proteins for elucidating intramolecular interactions, and they offer the possibility of developing novel labeling schemes for spectroscopic applications. PMID:26405032

  8. Learning To Fold Proteins Using Energy Landscape Theory

    PubMed Central

    Schafer, N.P.; Kim, B.L.; Zheng, W.; Wolynes, P.G.

    2014-01-01

    This review is a tutorial for scientists interested in the problem of protein structure prediction, particularly those interested in using coarse-grained molecular dynamics models that are optimized using lessons learned from the energy landscape theory of protein folding. We also present a review of the results of the AMH/AMC/AMW/AWSEM family of coarse-grained molecular dynamics protein folding models to illustrate the points covered in the first part of the article. Accurate coarse-grained structure prediction models can be used to investigate a wide range of conceptual and mechanistic issues outside of protein structure prediction; specifically, the paper concludes by reviewing how AWSEM has in recent years been able to elucidate questions related to the unusual kinetic behavior of artificially designed proteins, multidomain protein misfolding, and the initial stages of protein aggregation. PMID:25308991

  9. Chaperone networks: Tipping the balance in protein folding diseases

    PubMed Central

    Voisine, Cindy; Pedersen, Jesper Søndergaard; Morimoto, Richard I.

    2012-01-01

    Adult-onset neurodegeneration and other protein conformational diseases are associated with the appearance, persistence, and accumulation of misfolded and aggregation prone proteins. To protect the proteome from long-term damage, the cell expresses a highly integrated protein homeostasis (proteostasis) machinery to ensure that proteins are properly expressed, folded, and cleared, and to recognize damaged proteins. Molecular chaperones have a central role in proteostasis as they have been shown to be essential to prevent the accumulation of alternate folded proteotoxic states as occurs in protein conformation diseases exemplified by neurodegeneration. Studies using invertebrate models expressing proteins associated with Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and Parkinson's disease have provided insights into the genetic networks and stress signaling pathways that regulate the proteostasis machinery to prevent cellular dysfunction, tissue pathology, and organismal failure. These events appear to be further amplified by aging and provide evidence that age-related failures in proteostasis may be a common element in many diseases. PMID:20472062

  10. Protein folding: Vexing debates on a fundamental problem.

    PubMed

    Gianni, Stefano; Jemth, Per

    2016-05-01

    The folding of proteins has been at the heart of protein chemistry and biophysics ever since the pioneering experiments by the labs of Fred Richards and Christian Anfinsen. But, despite nearly 60 years of intense research, there are unresolved issues and a lively debate regarding some aspects of this fundamental problem. In this review we give a personal account on some key topics in the field: (i) the nature of the denatured state of a protein, (ii) nucleation sites in the folding reaction, and (iii) the time it takes for individual molecules to traverse the transition state.

  11. Engineering chimaeric proteins from fold fragments: 'hopeful monsters' in protein design.

    PubMed

    Höcker, Birte

    2013-10-01

    Modern highly complex proteins evolved from much simpler and less specialized subunits. The same concept can be applied in protein engineering to construct new well-folded proteins. Hybrid proteins or chimaeras can be built from contemporary protein fragments through illegitimate recombination. Even parts from different globular folds can be fitted together using rational design methodologies. Furthermore, intrinsic functional properties encoded in the fold fragments allow rapid adaptation of the new proteins and thus provide interesting starting scaffolds for further redesign.

  12. Electrostatically accelerated encounter and folding for facile recognition of intrinsically disordered proteins.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Debabani; Zhang, Weihong; Chen, Jianhan

    2013-01-01

    Achieving facile specific recognition is essential for intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) that are involved in cellular signaling and regulation. Consideration of the physical time scales of protein folding and diffusion-limited protein-protein encounter has suggested that the frequent requirement of protein folding for specific IDP recognition could lead to kinetic bottlenecks. How IDPs overcome such potential kinetic bottlenecks to viably function in signaling and regulation in general is poorly understood. Our recent computational and experimental study of cell-cycle regulator p27 (Ganguly et al., J. Mol. Biol. (2012)) demonstrated that long-range electrostatic forces exerted on enriched charges of IDPs could accelerate protein-protein encounter via "electrostatic steering" and at the same time promote "folding-competent" encounter topologies to enhance the efficiency of IDP folding upon encounter. Here, we further investigated the coupled binding and folding mechanisms and the roles of electrostatic forces in the formation of three IDP complexes with more complex folded topologies. The surface electrostatic potentials of these complexes lack prominent features like those observed for the p27/Cdk2/cyclin A complex to directly suggest the ability of electrostatic forces to facilitate folding upon encounter. Nonetheless, similar electrostatically accelerated encounter and folding mechanisms were consistently predicted for all three complexes using topology-based coarse-grained simulations. Together with our previous analysis of charge distributions in known IDP complexes, our results support a prevalent role of electrostatic interactions in promoting efficient coupled binding and folding for facile specific recognition. These results also suggest that there is likely a co-evolution of IDP folded topology, charge characteristics, and coupled binding and folding mechanisms, driven at least partially by the need to achieve fast association kinetics for cellular

  13. Prediction of the protein folding core: application to the immunoglobulin fold.

    PubMed

    Prudhomme, Nicolas; Chomilier, Jacques

    2009-01-01

    We propose an algorithm that allows predicting residues important for the formation of the structure of globular proteins. It relies on a simulation that detects the amino acids presenting a maximum number of neighbours during the early steps of the folding process. They have been called MIR (Most Interacting Residues). Independently, description of the protein structures in fragments with closed ends shows the correlation between these extremities and the core of the globules. These fragments are of rather constant length, typically between 20 and 25 amino acids, and we have previously shown that their extremities are preferentially occupied by MIR. Introduction of rules derived from this fragment analysis of tertiary structures allows to smooth the distribution of MIR, for a better match between TEF ends and MIR. In order to assess this prediction of the folding core, a large family of structures has been used, with sequences as different as possible. A dataset of 56 immunoglobulin structures of various functions but common fold has been used in this study. This fold was chosen because it is one of the most populated with a large amount of data available on its nucleus. In the immunoglobulin domain, "functional and structural load is clearly separated: loops are responsible for binding and recognition while interactions between several residues of the buried core provide stability and fast folding"[1]. We then determined the positions susceptible of high importance for the folding process to occur and compared them to published data, either to High Throw Out Order (HTOO), Conservatism of Conservatism (CoC) or Phi value experiments. It results a reasonable agreement between the positions that we predict and experimental data. Besides, our prediction goes beyond the simple use of a null solvent accessibility of amino acids as a criterion to predict the core. We find the same quality of our prediction on the flavodoxin like superfamily.

  14. Accurate prediction of cellular co-translational folding indicates proteins can switch from post- to co-translational folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nissley, Daniel A.; Sharma, Ajeet K.; Ahmed, Nabeel; Friedrich, Ulrike A.; Kramer, Günter; Bukau, Bernd; O'Brien, Edward P.

    2016-02-01

    The rates at which domains fold and codons are translated are important factors in determining whether a nascent protein will co-translationally fold and function or misfold and malfunction. Here we develop a chemical kinetic model that calculates a protein domain's co-translational folding curve during synthesis using only the domain's bulk folding and unfolding rates and codon translation rates. We show that this model accurately predicts the course of co-translational folding measured in vivo for four different protein molecules. We then make predictions for a number of different proteins in yeast and find that synonymous codon substitutions, which change translation-elongation rates, can switch some protein domains from folding post-translationally to folding co-translationally--a result consistent with previous experimental studies. Our approach explains essential features of co-translational folding curves and predicts how varying the translation rate at different codon positions along a transcript's coding sequence affects this self-assembly process.

  15. On the polymer physics origins of protein folding thermodynamics.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Mark P; Paul, Wolfgang; Binder, Kurt

    2016-11-07

    A remarkable feature of the spontaneous folding of many small proteins is the striking similarity in the thermodynamics of the folding process. This process is characterized by simple two-state thermodynamics with large and compensating changes in entropy and enthalpy and a funnel-like free energy landscape with a free-energy barrier that varies linearly with temperature. One might attribute the commonality of this two-state folding behavior to features particular to these proteins (e.g., chain length, hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance, attributes of the native state) or one might suspect that this similarity in behavior has a more general polymer-physics origin. Here we show that this behavior is also typical for flexible homopolymer chains with sufficiently short range interactions. Two-state behavior arises from the presence of a low entropy ground (folded) state separated from a set of high entropy disordered (unfolded) states by a free energy barrier. This homopolymer model exhibits a funneled free energy landscape that reveals a complex underlying dynamics involving competition between folding and non-folding pathways. Despite the presence of multiple pathways, this simple physics model gives the robust result of two-state thermodynamics for both the cases of folding from a basin of expanded coil states and from a basin of compact globule states.

  16. On the polymer physics origins of protein folding thermodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Mark P.; Paul, Wolfgang; Binder, Kurt

    2016-11-01

    A remarkable feature of the spontaneous folding of many small proteins is the striking similarity in the thermodynamics of the folding process. This process is characterized by simple two-state thermodynamics with large and compensating changes in entropy and enthalpy and a funnel-like free energy landscape with a free-energy barrier that varies linearly with temperature. One might attribute the commonality of this two-state folding behavior to features particular to these proteins (e.g., chain length, hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance, attributes of the native state) or one might suspect that this similarity in behavior has a more general polymer-physics origin. Here we show that this behavior is also typical for flexible homopolymer chains with sufficiently short range interactions. Two-state behavior arises from the presence of a low entropy ground (folded) state separated from a set of high entropy disordered (unfolded) states by a free energy barrier. This homopolymer model exhibits a funneled free energy landscape that reveals a complex underlying dynamics involving competition between folding and non-folding pathways. Despite the presence of multiple pathways, this simple physics model gives the robust result of two-state thermodynamics for both the cases of folding from a basin of expanded coil states and from a basin of compact globule states.

  17. Stable folding core in the folding transition state of an alpha-helical integral membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Curnow, Paul; Di Bartolo, Natalie D; Moreton, Kathleen M; Ajoje, Oluseye O; Saggese, Nicholas P; Booth, Paula J

    2011-08-23

    Defining the structural features of a transition state is important in understanding a folding reaction. Here, we use Φ-value and double mutant analyses to probe the folding transition state of the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin. We focus on the final C-terminal helix, helix G, of this seven transmembrane helical protein. Φ-values could be derived for 12 amino acid residues in helix G, most of which have low or intermediate values, suggesting that native structure is disrupted at these amino acid positions in the transition state. Notably, a cluster of residues between E204 and M209 all have Φ-values close to zero. Disruption of helix G is further confirmed by a low Φ-value of 0.2 between residues T170 on helix F and S226 on helix G, suggesting the absence of a native hydrogen bond between helices F and G. Φ-values for paired mutations involved in four interhelical hydrogen bonds revealed that all but one of these bonds is absent in the transition state. The unstructured helix G contrasts with Φ-values along helix B that are generally high, implying native structure in helix B in the transition state. Thus helix B seems to constitute part of a stable folding nucleus while the consolidation of helix G is a relatively late folding event. Polarization of secondary structure correlates with sequence position, with a structured helix B near the N terminus contrasting with an unstructured C-terminal helix G.

  18. Probing the physical determinants of thermal expansion of folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Dellarole, Mariano; Kobayashi, Kei; Rouget, Jean-Baptiste; Caro, José Alfredo; Roche, Julien; Islam, Mohammad M; Garcia-Moreno E, Bertrand; Kuroda, Yutaka; Royer, Catherine A

    2013-10-24

    The magnitude and sign of the volume change upon protein unfolding are strongly dependent on temperature. This temperature dependence reflects differences in the thermal expansivity of the folded and unfolded states. The factors that determine protein molar expansivities and the large differences in thermal expansivity for proteins of similar molar volume are not well understood. Model compound studies have suggested that a major contribution is made by differences in the molar volume of water molecules as they transfer from the protein surface to the bulk upon heating. The expansion of internal solvent-excluded voids upon heating is another possible contributing factor. Here, the contribution from hydration density to the molar thermal expansivity of a protein was examined by comparing bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor and variants with alanine substitutions at or near the protein-water interface. Variants of two of these proteins with an additional mutation that unfolded them under native conditions were also examined. A modest decrease in thermal expansivity was observed in both the folded and unfolded states for the alanine variants compared with the parent protein, revealing that large changes can be made to the external polarity of a protein without causing large ensuing changes in thermal expansivity. This modest effect is not surprising, given the small molar volume of the alanine residue. Contributions of the expansion of the internal void volume were probed by measuring the thermal expansion for cavity-containing variants of a highly stable form of staphylococcal nuclease. Significantly larger (2-3-fold) molar expansivities were found for these cavity-containing proteins relative to the reference protein. Taken together, these results suggest that a key determinant of the thermal expansivities of folded proteins lies in the expansion of internal solvent-excluded voids.

  19. A deterministic algorithm for constrained enumeration of transmembrane protein folds.

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, William Michael; Young, Malin M.; Sale, Kenneth L.; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Schoeniger, Joseph S.

    2004-07-01

    A deterministic algorithm for enumeration of transmembrane protein folds is presented. Using a set of sparse pairwise atomic distance constraints (such as those obtained from chemical cross-linking, FRET, or dipolar EPR experiments), the algorithm performs an exhaustive search of secondary structure element packing conformations distributed throughout the entire conformational space. The end result is a set of distinct protein conformations, which can be scored and refined as part of a process designed for computational elucidation of transmembrane protein structures.

  20. Macromolecular Crowding Modulates Folding Mechanism of α/β Protein Apoflavodoxin

    PubMed Central

    Homouz, Dirar; Stagg, Loren; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla; Cheung, Margaret S.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Protein dynamics in cells may be different from those in dilute solutions in vitro, because the environment in cells is highly concentrated with other macromolecules. This volume exclusion because of macromolecular crowding is predicted to affect both equilibrium and kinetic processes involving protein conformational changes. To quantify macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding mechanisms, we investigated the folding energy landscape of an α/β protein, apoflavodoxin, in the presence of inert macromolecular crowding agents, using in silico and in vitro approaches. By means of coarse-grained molecular simulations and topology-based potential interactions, we probed the effects of increased volume fractions of crowding agents (ϕc) as well as of crowding agent geometry (sphere or spherocylinder) at high ϕc. Parallel kinetic folding experiments with purified Desulfovibro desulfuricans apoflavodoxin in vitro were performed in the presence of Ficoll (sphere) and Dextran (spherocylinder) synthetic crowding agents. In conclusion, we identified the in silico crowding conditions that best enhance protein stability, and discovered that upon manipulation of the crowding conditions, folding routes experiencing topological frustrations can be either enhanced or relieved. Our test-tube experiments confirmed that apoflavodoxin's time-resolved folding path is modulated by crowding agent geometry. Macromolecular crowding effects may be a tool for the manipulation of protein-folding and function in living cells. PMID:19167312

  1. Thermodynamic stability and folding of proteins from hyperthermophilic organisms.

    PubMed

    Luke, Kathryn A; Higgins, Catherine L; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla

    2007-08-01

    Life grows almost everywhere on earth, including in extreme environments and under harsh conditions. Organisms adapted to high temperatures are called thermophiles (growth temperature 45-75 degrees C) and hyperthermophiles (growth temperature >or= 80 degrees C). Proteins from such organisms usually show extreme thermal stability, despite having folded structures very similar to their mesostable counterparts. Here, we summarize the current data on thermodynamic and kinetic folding/unfolding behaviors of proteins from hyperthermophilic microorganisms. In contrast to thermostable proteins, rather few (i.e. less than 20) hyperthermostable proteins have been thoroughly characterized in terms of their in vitro folding processes and their thermodynamic stability profiles. Examples that will be discussed include co-chaperonin proteins, iron-sulfur-cluster proteins, and DNA-binding proteins from hyperthermophilic bacteria (i.e. Aquifex and Theromotoga) and archea (e.g. Pyrococcus, Thermococcus, Methanothermus and Sulfolobus). Despite the small set of studied systems, it is clear that super-slow protein unfolding is a dominant strategy to allow these proteins to function at extreme temperatures.

  2. Improved method for predicting protein fold patterns with ensemble classifiers.

    PubMed

    Chen, W; Liu, X; Huang, Y; Jiang, Y; Zou, Q; Lin, C

    2012-01-27

    Protein folding is recognized as a critical problem in the field of biophysics in the 21st century. Predicting protein-folding patterns is challenging due to the complex structure of proteins. In an attempt to solve this problem, we employed ensemble classifiers to improve prediction accuracy. In our experiments, 188-dimensional features were extracted based on the composition and physical-chemical property of proteins and 20-dimensional features were selected using a coupled position-specific scoring matrix. Compared with traditional prediction methods, these methods were superior in terms of prediction accuracy. The 188-dimensional feature-based method achieved 71.2% accuracy in five cross-validations. The accuracy rose to 77% when we used a 20-dimensional feature vector. These methods were used on recent data, with 54.2% accuracy. Source codes and dataset, together with web server and software tools for prediction, are available at: http://datamining.xmu.edu.cn/main/~cwc/ProteinPredict.html.

  3. An Introduction to Research in Protein Folding for Undergraduates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Colleen M.

    1997-11-01

    The objective of this article is to introduce students to current research activity on protein folding via experimentation and a literature survey. Major effort in the field of biophysical chemistry today is focused on elucidating those factors controlling the transformation of a protein from a nascent polypeptide chain to a unique, functionally active three-dimensional structure. The possible involvement of misfolded or aggregated proteins in diseases such as Altzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, and cataracts as well as various neurodegenerative diseases has increased the incentive to solve the "protein folding problem". In this experiment the guanidine-hydrochloride induced protein unfolding of horse heart metmyoglobin is monitored spectrophotometrically via the protein fluorescence emission. The data are analyzed using a simple thermodynamic model which assumes a two-state system and fitted using nonlinear curve fitting. Background information on protein structure, protein fluorescence, simple models for folding, and the use of chaotropic agents is also presented. The experiment is suitable for students in advanced undergraduate chemistry courses such as physical or biophysical chemistry.

  4. Periodic and stochastic thermal modulation of protein folding kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Platkov, Max; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-07-21

    Chemical reactions are usually observed either by relaxation of a bulk sample after applying a sudden external perturbation, or by intrinsic fluctuations of a few molecules. Here we show that the two ideas can be combined to measure protein folding kinetics, either by periodic thermal modulation, or by creating artificial thermal noise that greatly exceeds natural thermal fluctuations. We study the folding reaction of the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase driven by periodic temperature waveforms. As the temperature waveform unfolds and refolds the protein, its fluorescence color changes due to FRET (Förster resonant Energy Transfer) of two donor/acceptor fluorophores labeling the protein. We adapt a simple model of periodically driven kinetics that nicely fits the data at all temperatures and driving frequencies: The phase shifts of the periodic donor and acceptor fluorescence signals as a function of driving frequency reveal reaction rates. We also drive the reaction with stochastic temperature waveforms that produce thermal fluctuations much greater than natural fluctuations in the bulk. Such artificial thermal noise allows the recovery of weak underlying signals due to protein folding kinetics. This opens up the possibility for future detection of a stochastic resonance for protein folding subject to noise with controllable amplitude.

  5. Periodic and stochastic thermal modulation of protein folding kinetics.

    PubMed

    Platkov, Max; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-07-21

    Chemical reactions are usually observed either by relaxation of a bulk sample after applying a sudden external perturbation, or by intrinsic fluctuations of a few molecules. Here we show that the two ideas can be combined to measure protein folding kinetics, either by periodic thermal modulation, or by creating artificial thermal noise that greatly exceeds natural thermal fluctuations. We study the folding reaction of the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase driven by periodic temperature waveforms. As the temperature waveform unfolds and refolds the protein, its fluorescence color changes due to FRET (Förster resonant Energy Transfer) of two donor/acceptor fluorophores labeling the protein. We adapt a simple model of periodically driven kinetics that nicely fits the data at all temperatures and driving frequencies: The phase shifts of the periodic donor and acceptor fluorescence signals as a function of driving frequency reveal reaction rates. We also drive the reaction with stochastic temperature waveforms that produce thermal fluctuations much greater than natural fluctuations in the bulk. Such artificial thermal noise allows the recovery of weak underlying signals due to protein folding kinetics. This opens up the possibility for future detection of a stochastic resonance for protein folding subject to noise with controllable amplitude.

  6. Dali/FSSP classification of three-dimensional protein folds.

    PubMed

    Holm, L; Sander, C

    1997-01-01

    The FSSP database presents a continuously updated structural classification of three-dimensional protein folds. It is derived using an automatic structure comparison program (Dali) for the all-against-all comparison of over 6000 three-dimensional coordinate sets in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Sequence-related protein families are covered by a representative set of 813 protein chains. Hierachical clustering based on structural similarities yields a fold tree that defines 253 fold classes. For each representative protein chain, there is a database entry containing structure-structure alignments with its structural neighbours in the PDB. The database is accessible online through World Wide Web browsers and by anonymous ftp (file transfer protocol). The overview of fold space and the individual data sets provide a rich source of information for the study of both divergent and convergent aspects of molecular evolution, and define useful test sets and a standard of truth for assessing the correctness of sequence-sequence or sequence-structure alignments.

  7. Dynamics of protein folding: probing the kinetic network of folding-unfolding transitions with experiment and theory.

    PubMed

    Buchner, Ginka S; Murphy, Ronan D; Buchete, Nicolae-Viorel; Kubelka, Jan

    2011-08-01

    The problem of spontaneous folding of amino acid chains into highly organized, biologically functional three-dimensional protein structures continues to challenge the modern science. Understanding how proteins fold requires characterization of the underlying energy landscapes as well as the dynamics of the polypeptide chains in all stages of the folding process. In recent years, important advances toward these goals have been achieved owing to the rapidly growing interdisciplinary interest and significant progress in both experimental techniques and theoretical methods. Improvements in the experimental time resolution led to determination of the timescales of the important elementary events in folding, such as formation of secondary structure and tertiary contacts. Sensitive single molecule methods made possible probing the distributions of the unfolded and folded states and following the folding reaction of individual protein molecules. Discovery of proteins that fold in microseconds opened the possibility of atomic-level theoretical simulations of folding and their direct comparisons with experimental data, as well as of direct experimental observation of the barrier-less folding transition. The ultra-fast folding also brought new questions, concerning the intrinsic limits of the folding rates and experimental signatures of barrier-less "downhill" folding. These problems will require novel approaches for even more detailed experimental investigations of the folding dynamics as well as for the analysis of the folding kinetic data. For theoretical simulations of folding, a main challenge is how to extract the relevant information from overwhelmingly detailed atomistic trajectories. New theoretical methods have been devised to allow a systematic approach towards a quantitative analysis of the kinetic network of folding-unfolding transitions between various configuration states of a protein, revealing the transition states and the associated folding pathways at

  8. Persistent homology analysis of protein structure, flexibility and folding

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Kelin; Wei, Guo-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Proteins are the most important biomolecules for living organisms. The understanding of protein structure, function, dynamics and transport is one of most challenging tasks in biological science. In the present work, persistent homology is, for the first time, introduced for extracting molecular topological fingerprints (MTFs) based on the persistence of molecular topological invariants. MTFs are utilized for protein characterization, identification and classification. The method of slicing is proposed to track the geometric origin of protein topological invariants. Both all-atom and coarse-grained representations of MTFs are constructed. A new cutoff-like filtration is proposed to shed light on the optimal cutoff distance in elastic network models. Based on the correlation between protein compactness, rigidity and connectivity, we propose an accumulated bar length generated from persistent topological invariants for the quantitative modeling of protein flexibility. To this end, a correlation matrix based filtration is developed. This approach gives rise to an accurate prediction of the optimal characteristic distance used in protein B-factor analysis. Finally, MTFs are employed to characterize protein topological evolution during protein folding and quantitatively predict the protein folding stability. An excellent consistence between our persistent homology prediction and molecular dynamics simulation is found. This work reveals the topology-function relationship of proteins. PMID:24902720

  9. Arsenic(III) species inhibit oxidative protein folding in vitro.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Danny; Rancy, Pumtiwitt C; Nagarkar, Radhika P; Schneider, Joel P; Thorpe, Colin

    2009-01-20

    The success of arsenic trioxide in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia has renewed interest in the cellular targets of As(III) species. The effects of arsenicals are usually attributed to their ability to bind vicinal thiols or thiol selenols in prefolded proteins thereby compromising cellular function. The present studies suggest an additional, more pleiotropic, contribution to the biological effects of arsenicals. As(III) species, by avid coordination to the cysteine residues of unfolded reduced proteins, can compromise protein folding pathways. Three representative As(III) compounds (arsenite, monomethylarsenous acid (MMA), and an aryl arsenical (PSAO)) have been tested with three reduced secreted proteins (lysozyme, ribonuclease A, and riboflavin binding protein (RfBP)). Using absorbance, fluorescence, and pre-steady-state methods, we show that arsenicals bind tightly to low micromolar concentrations of these unfolded proteins with stoichiometries of 1 As(III) per 2 thiols for MMA and PSAO and 1 As(III) for every 3 thiols with arsenite. Arsenicals, at 10 microM, strongly disrupt the oxidative folding of RfBP even in the presence of 5 mM reduced glutathione, a competing ligand for As(III) species. MMA catalyzes the formation of amyloid-like monodisperse fibrils using reduced RNase. These in vitro data show that As(III) species can slow, or even derail, protein folding pathways. In vivo, the propensity of As(III) species to bind to unfolded cysteine-containing proteins may contribute to oxidative and protein folding stresses that are prominent features of the cellular response to arsenic exposure.

  10. Genomic determinants of protein folding thermodynamics in prokaryotic organisms.

    PubMed

    Bastolla, Ugo; Moya, Andrés; Viguera, Enrique; van Ham, Roeland C H J

    2004-11-05

    Here we investigate how thermodynamic properties of orthologous proteins are influenced by the genomic environment in which they evolve. We performed a comparative computational study of 21 protein families in 73 prokaryotic species and obtained the following main results. (i) Protein stability with respect to the unfolded state and with respect to misfolding are anticorrelated. There appears to be a trade-off between these two properties, which cannot be optimized simultaneously. (ii) Folding thermodynamic parameters are strongly correlated with two genomic features, genome size and G+C composition. In particular, the normalized energy gap, an indicator of folding efficiency in statistical mechanical models of protein folding, is smaller in proteins of organisms with a small genome size and a compositional bias towards A+T. Such genomic features are characteristic for bacteria with an intracellular lifestyle. We interpret these correlations in light of mutation pressure and natural selection. A mutational bias toward A+T at the DNA level translates into a mutational bias toward more hydrophobic (and in general more interactive) proteins, a consequence of the structure of the genetic code. Increased hydrophobicity renders proteins more stable against unfolding but less stable against misfolding. Proteins with high hydrophobicity and low stability against misfolding occur in organisms with reduced genomes, like obligate intracellular bacteria. We argue that they are fixed because these organisms experience weaker purifying selection due to their small effective population sizes. This interpretation is supported by the observation of a high expression level of chaperones in these bacteria. Our results indicate that the mutational spectrum of a genome and the strength of selection significantly influence protein folding thermodynamics.

  11. Probing the folding intermediate of Bacillus subtilis RNase P protein by nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yu-Chu; Franch, William R; Oas, Terrence G

    2010-11-09

    Protein folding intermediates are often imperative for overall folding processes and consequent biological functions. However, the low population and transient nature of the intermediate states often hinder their biochemical and biophysical characterization. Previous studies have demonstrated that Bacillus subtilis ribonuclease P protein (P protein) is conformationally heterogeneous and folds with multiphasic kinetics, indicating the presence of an equilibrium and kinetic intermediate in its folding mechanism. In this study, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used to study the ensemble corresponding to this intermediate (I). The results indicate that the N-terminal and C-terminal helical regions are mostly unfolded in I. 1H−15N heteronuclear single-quantum coherence NMR spectra collected as a function of pH suggest that the protonation of His 22 may play a major role in the energetics of the equilibria among the unfolded, intermediate, and folded state ensembles of P protein. NMR paramagnetic relaxation enhancement experiments were also used to locate the small anion binding sites in both the intermediate and folded ensembles. The results for the folded protein are consistent with the previously modeled binding regions. These structural insights suggest a possible role for I in the RNase P holoenzyme assembly process.

  12. Collective aspects of protein folding illustrated by a toy model

    SciTech Connect

    Stillinger, F.H.; Head-Gordon, T.

    1995-09-01

    A simple toy model for polypeptides serves as a testbed to illuminate some nonlocal, or collective, aspects of protein folding phenomena. The model is two dimensional and has only two amino acids, but involves a continuous range of backbone bend angles. Global potential energy minima and their folding structures have been determined for leading members of two special and contrasting polypeptide sequences, center doped and Fibonacci, named descriptively for their primary structures. The results display the presence of spontaneous symmetry breaking, elastic strain, and substantial conformational variation for specific embedded amino acid strings. We conclude that collective variables generated by the primary amino acid structure may be required for fully effective protein folding predictors, including those based on neural networks.

  13. Effect of surfaces in modulating protein folding mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, Joan

    2014-03-01

    Protein-surface interactions are ubiquitous in the crowded cytosol, where proteins encounter a variety of surfaces, ranging from membranes surfaces, to the surfaces presented by chaperone molecules. Protein-surface interactions are also at the heart of a number of emerging technologies, including protein micro-arrays, biosensors and biomaterials. The effect of surfaces on protein structure and stability can vary substantially depending on the chemical composition of the surface. In this talk, I will present detailed atomistic simulations of the folding of a small beta-sheet protein in the presence of graphite and titanium oxide surfaces. The role of water-mediated and direct protein-surface interactions in governing protein conformations will be discussed.

  14. Detecting Selection on Protein Stability through Statistical Mechanical Models of Folding and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bastolla, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    The properties of biomolecules depend both on physics and on the evolutionary process that formed them. These two points of view produce a powerful synergism. Physics sets the stage and the constraints that molecular evolution has to obey, and evolutionary theory helps in rationalizing the physical properties of biomolecules, including protein folding thermodynamics. To complete the parallelism, protein thermodynamics is founded on the statistical mechanics in the space of protein structures, and molecular evolution can be viewed as statistical mechanics in the space of protein sequences. In this review, we will integrate both points of view, applying them to detecting selection on the stability of the folded state of proteins. We will start discussing positive design, which strengthens the stability of the folded against the unfolded state of proteins. Positive design justifies why statistical potentials for protein folding can be obtained from the frequencies of structural motifs. Stability against unfolding is easier to achieve for longer proteins. On the contrary, negative design, which consists in destabilizing frequently formed misfolded conformations, is more difficult to achieve for longer proteins. The folding rate can be enhanced by strengthening short-range native interactions, but this requirement contrasts with negative design, and evolution has to trade-off between them. Finally, selection can accelerate functional movements by favoring low frequency normal modes of the dynamics of the native state that strongly correlate with the functional conformation change. PMID:24970217

  15. Protein folding and misfolding in the neurodegenerative disorders: a review.

    PubMed

    Bolshette, N B; Thakur, K K; Bidkar, A P; Trandafir, C; Kumar, P; Gogoi, R

    2014-03-01

    Protein misfolding is an intrinsic aspect of normal folding within the complex cellular environment. Its effects are minimized in living system by the action of a range of protective mechanisms including molecular chaperones and quality control systems. According to the current growing research, protein misfolding is a recognized key feature of most neurodegenerative diseases. Extensive biochemical, neuropathological, and genetic evidence suggest that the cerebral accumulation of amyloid fibrils is the central event in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. In the first part of this review we have discussed the general course of action of folding and misfolding of the proteins. Later part of this review gives an outline regarding the role of protein misfolding in the molecular and cellular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's and Parkinson along with their treatment possibilities. Finally, we have mentioned about the recent findings in neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Single-domain protein folding: a multi-faceted problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junier, Ivan; Ritort, Felix

    2006-08-01

    We review theoretical approaches, experiments and numerical simulations that have been recently proposed to investigate the folding problem in single-domain proteins. From a theoretical point of view, we emphasize the energy landscape approach. As far as experiments are concerned, we focus on the recent development of single-molecule techniques. In particular, we compare the results obtained with two main techniques: single protein force measurements with optical tweezers and single-molecule fluorescence in studies on the same protein (RNase H). This allows us to point out some controversial issues such as the nature of the denatured and intermediate states and possible folding pathways. After reviewing the various numerical simulation techniques, we show that on-lattice protein-like models can help to understand many controversial issues.

  17. Folding of Aggregated Proteins to Functionally Active Form

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    detergent [31]. The detergent is then removed by washes with cyclodextrin . Because the pro- cedure can be carried out on gravity-flow columns, it can be...capitalizes on the ability of chemicals such as cyclodextrin to prevent the aggregation of renatured protein when denaturants and/or detergents are removed... cyclodextrin . The cyclodextrin is then removed by another solvent exchange and the properly folded protein released from the column. In a variation of this

  18. Size and sequence and the volume change of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Rouget, Jean-Baptiste; Aksel, Tural; Roche, Julien; Saldana, Jean-Louis; Garcia, Angel E; Barrick, Doug; Royer, Catherine A

    2011-04-20

    The application of hydrostatic pressure generally leads to protein unfolding, implying, in accordance with Le Chatelier's principle, that the unfolded state has a smaller molar volume than the folded state. However, the origin of the volume change upon unfolding, ΔV(u), has yet to be determined. We have examined systematically the effects of protein size and sequence on the value of ΔV(u) using as a model system a series of deletion variants of the ankyrin repeat domain of the Notch receptor. The results provide strong evidence in support of the notion that the major contributing factor to pressure effects on proteins is their imperfect internal packing in the folded state. These packing defects appear to be specifically localized in the 3D structure, in contrast to the uniformly distributed effects of temperature and denaturants that depend upon hydration of exposed surface area upon unfolding. Given its local nature, the extent to which pressure globally affects protein structure can inform on the degree of cooperativity and long-range coupling intrinsic to the folded state. We also show that the energetics of the protein's conformations can significantly modulate their volumetric properties, providing further insight into protein stability.

  19. Folding propensity of intrinsically disordered proteins by osmotic stress

    DOE PAGES

    Mansouri, Amanda L.; Grese, Laura N.; Rowe, Erica L.; ...

    2016-10-11

    Proteins imparted with intrinsic disorder conduct a range of essential cellular functions. To better understand the folding and hydration properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), we used osmotic stress to induce conformational changes in nuclear co-activator binding domain (NCBD) and activator for thyroid hormone and retinoid receptor (ACTR). Osmotic stress was applied by the addition of small and polymeric osmolytes, where we discovered that water contributions to NCBD folding always exceeded those for ACTR. Both NCBD and ACTR were found to gain a-helical structure with increasing osmotic stress, consistent with their folding upon NCBD/ACTR complex formation. Using small-angle neutron scatteringmore » (SANS), we further characterized NCBD structural changes with the osmolyte ethylene glycol. Here a large reduction in overall size initially occurred before substantial secondary structural change. In conclusion, by focusing on folding propensity, and linked hydration changes, we uncover new insights that may be important for how IDP folding contributes to binding.« less

  20. Folding propensity of intrinsically disordered proteins by osmotic stress†

    PubMed Central

    Mansouri, Amanda L.; Grese, Laura N.; Rowe, Erica L.; Pino, James C.; Chennubhotla, S. Chakra; Ramanathan, Arvind; O’Neill, Hugh M.; Berthelier, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    Proteins imparted with intrinsic disorder conduct a range of essential cellular functions. To better understand the folding and hydration properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), we used osmotic stress to induce conformational changes in nuclear co-activator binding domain (NCBD) and activator for thyroid hormone and retinoid receptor (ACTR) separate from their mutual binding. Osmotic stress was applied by the addition of small and polymeric osmolytes, where we discovered that water contributions to NCBD folding always exceeded those for ACTR. Both NCBD and ACTR were found to gain α-helical structure with increasing osmotic stress, consistent with their folding upon NCBD/ACTR complex formation. Using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), we further characterized NCBD structural changes with the osmolyte ethylene glycol. Here a large reduction in overall size initially occurred before substantial secondary structural change. By focusing on folding propensity, and linked hydration changes, we uncover new insights that may be important for how IDP folding contributes to binding. PMID:27752679

  1. Visualization of Protein Folding Funnels in Lattice Models

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Antonio B.; Fatore, Francisco M.; Paulovich, Fernando V.; Oliveira, Osvaldo N.; Leite, Vitor B. P.

    2014-01-01

    Protein folding occurs in a very high dimensional phase space with an exponentially large number of states, and according to the energy landscape theory it exhibits a topology resembling a funnel. In this statistical approach, the folding mechanism is unveiled by describing the local minima in an effective one-dimensional representation. Other approaches based on potential energy landscapes address the hierarchical structure of local energy minima through disconnectivity graphs. In this paper, we introduce a metric to describe the distance between any two conformations, which also allows us to go beyond the one-dimensional representation and visualize the folding funnel in 2D and 3D. In this way it is possible to assess the folding process in detail, e.g., by identifying the connectivity between conformations and establishing the paths to reach the native state, in addition to regions where trapping may occur. Unlike the disconnectivity maps method, which is based on the kinetic connections between states, our methodology is based on structural similarities inferred from the new metric. The method was developed in a 27-mer protein lattice model, folded into a 3×3×3 cube. Five sequences were studied and distinct funnels were generated in an analysis restricted to conformations from the transition-state to the native configuration. Consistent with the expected results from the energy landscape theory, folding routes can be visualized to probe different regions of the phase space, as well as determine the difficulty in folding of the distinct sequences. Changes in the landscape due to mutations were visualized, with the comparison between wild and mutated local minima in a single map, which serves to identify different trapping regions. The extension of this approach to more realistic models and its use in combination with other approaches are discussed. PMID:25010343

  2. Combining Optimal Control Theory and Molecular Dynamics for Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Arkun, Yaman; Gur, Mert

    2012-01-01

    A new method to develop low-energy folding routes for proteins is presented. The novel aspect of the proposed approach is the synergistic use of optimal control theory with Molecular Dynamics (MD). In the first step of the method, optimal control theory is employed to compute the force field and the optimal folding trajectory for the atoms of a Coarse-Grained (CG) protein model. The solution of this CG optimization provides an harmonic approximation of the true potential energy surface around the native state. In the next step CG optimization guides the MD simulation by specifying the optimal target positions for the atoms. In turn, MD simulation provides an all-atom conformation whose positions match closely the reference target positions determined by CG optimization. This is accomplished by Targeted Molecular Dynamics (TMD) which uses a bias potential or harmonic restraint in addition to the usual MD potential. Folding is a dynamical process and as such residues make different contacts during the course of folding. Therefore CG optimization has to be reinitialized and repeated over time to accomodate these important changes. At each sampled folding time, the active contacts among the residues are recalculated based on the all-atom conformation obtained from MD. Using the new set of contacts, the CG potential is updated and the CG optimal trajectory for the atoms is recomputed. This is followed by MD. Implementation of this repetitive CG optimization - MD simulation cycle generates the folding trajectory. Simulations on a model protein Villin demonstrate the utility of the method. Since the method is founded on the general tools of optimal control theory and MD without any restrictions, it is widely applicable to other systems. It can be easily implemented with available MD software packages. PMID:22238629

  3. Combining optimal control theory and molecular dynamics for protein folding.

    PubMed

    Arkun, Yaman; Gur, Mert

    2012-01-01

    A new method to develop low-energy folding routes for proteins is presented. The novel aspect of the proposed approach is the synergistic use of optimal control theory with Molecular Dynamics (MD). In the first step of the method, optimal control theory is employed to compute the force field and the optimal folding trajectory for the Cα atoms of a Coarse-Grained (CG) protein model. The solution of this CG optimization provides an harmonic approximation of the true potential energy surface around the native state. In the next step CG optimization guides the MD simulation by specifying the optimal target positions for the Cα atoms. In turn, MD simulation provides an all-atom conformation whose Cα positions match closely the reference target positions determined by CG optimization. This is accomplished by Targeted Molecular Dynamics (TMD) which uses a bias potential or harmonic restraint in addition to the usual MD potential. Folding is a dynamical process and as such residues make different contacts during the course of folding. Therefore CG optimization has to be reinitialized and repeated over time to accomodate these important changes. At each sampled folding time, the active contacts among the residues are recalculated based on the all-atom conformation obtained from MD. Using the new set of contacts, the CG potential is updated and the CG optimal trajectory for the Cα atoms is recomputed. This is followed by MD. Implementation of this repetitive CG optimization-MD simulation cycle generates the folding trajectory. Simulations on a model protein Villin demonstrate the utility of the method. Since the method is founded on the general tools of optimal control theory and MD without any restrictions, it is widely applicable to other systems. It can be easily implemented with available MD software packages.

  4. The oxidative protein folding machinery in plant cells.

    PubMed

    Aller, Isabel; Meyer, Andreas J

    2013-08-01

    Formation of intra-molecular disulfides and concomitant oxidative protein folding is essential for stability and catalytic function of many soluble and membrane-bound proteins in the endomembrane system, the mitochondrial inter-membrane space and the thylakoid lumen. Disulfide generation from free cysteines in nascent polypeptide chains is generally a catalysed process for which distinct pathways exist in all compartments. A high degree of similarities between highly diverse eukaryotic and bacterial systems for generation of protein disulfides indicates functional conservation of key processes throughout evolution. However, while many aspects about molecular function of enzymatic systems promoting disulfide formation have been demonstrated for bacterial and non-plant eukaryotic organisms, it is now clear that the plant machinery for oxidative protein folding displays distinct details, suggesting that the different pathways have been adapted to plant-specific requirements in terms of compartmentation, molecular function and regulation. Here, we aim to evaluate biological diversity by comparing the plant systems for oxidative protein folding to the respective systems from non-plant eukaryotes.

  5. The topomer-sampling model of protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Debe, Derek A.; Carlson, Matt J.; Goddard, William A.

    1999-01-01

    Clearly, a protein cannot sample all of its conformations (e.g., ≈3100 ≈ 1048 for a 100 residue protein) on an in vivo folding timescale (<1 s). To investigate how the conformational dynamics of a protein can accommodate subsecond folding time scales, we introduce the concept of the native topomer, which is the set of all structures similar to the native structure (obtainable from the native structure through local backbone coordinate transformations that do not disrupt the covalent bonding of the peptide backbone). We have developed a computational procedure for estimating the number of distinct topomers required to span all conformations (compact and semicompact) for a polypeptide of a given length. For 100 residues, we find ≈3 × 107 distinct topomers. Based on the distance calculated between different topomers, we estimate that a 100-residue polypeptide diffusively samples one topomer every ≈3 ns. Hence, a 100-residue protein can find its native topomer by random sampling in just ≈100 ms. These results suggest that subsecond folding of modest-sized, single-domain proteins can be accomplished by a two-stage process of (i) topomer diffusion: random, diffusive sampling of the 3 × 107 distinct topomers to find the native topomer (≈0.1 s), followed by (ii) intratopomer ordering: nonrandom, local conformational rearrangements within the native topomer to settle into the precise native state. PMID:10077555

  6. Protein folding, stability, and solvation structure in osmolyte solutions hydrophobicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery Pettitt, B.

    2008-03-01

    The hydrophobic effect between solutes in aqueous solutions plays a central role in our understanding of recognition and folding of proteins and self assembly of lipids. Hydrophobicity induces nonideal solution behavior which plays a role in many aspects of biophysics. Work on the use of small biochemical compounds to crowd protein solutions indicates that a quantitative description of their non-ideal behavior is possible and straightforward. Here, we will show what the structural origin of this non-ideal solution behavior is from expression derived from a semi grand ensemble approach. We discuss the consequences of these findings regarding protein folding stability and solvation in crowded solutions through a structural analysis of the m-value or the change in free energy difference of a macromolecule in solution with respect to the concentration of a third component. This effect has recently been restudied and new mechanisms proposed for its origins in terms of transfer free energies and hydrophobicity.

  7. WeFold: A Coopetition for Protein Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, George A.; Liwo, Adam; Khatib, Firas; Zhou, Hongyi; Chopra, Gaurav; Bacardit, Jaume; Bortot, Leandro O.; Faccioli, Rodrigo A.; Deng, Xin; He, Yi; Krupa, Pawel; Li, Jilong; Mozolewska, Magdalena A.; Sieradzan, Adam K.; Smadbeck, James; Wirecki, Tomasz; Cooper, Seth; Flatten, Jeff; Xu, Kefan; Baker, David; Cheng, Jianlin; Delbem, Alexandre C. B.; Floudas, Christodoulos A.; Keasar, Chen; Levitt, Michael; Popović, Zoran; Scheraga, Harold A.; Skolnick, Jeffrey; Crivelli, Silvia N.; Players, Foldit

    2014-01-01

    The protein structure prediction problem continues to elude scientists. Despite the introduction of many methods, only modest gains were made over the last decade for certain classes of prediction targets. To address this challenge, a social-media based worldwide collaborative effort, named WeFold, was undertaken by thirteen labs. During the collaboration, the labs were simultaneously competing with each other. Here, we present the first attempt at “coopetition” in scientific research applied to the protein structure prediction and refinement problems. The coopetition was possible by allowing the participating labs to contribute different components of their protein structure prediction pipelines and create new hybrid pipelines that they tested during CASP10. This manuscript describes both successes and areas needing improvement as identified throughout the first WeFold experiment and discusses the efforts that are underway to advance this initiative. A footprint of all contributions and structures are publicly accessible at http://www.wefold.org. PMID:24677212

  8. WeFold: a coopetition for protein structure prediction.

    PubMed

    Khoury, George A; Liwo, Adam; Khatib, Firas; Zhou, Hongyi; Chopra, Gaurav; Bacardit, Jaume; Bortot, Leandro O; Faccioli, Rodrigo A; Deng, Xin; He, Yi; Krupa, Pawel; Li, Jilong; Mozolewska, Magdalena A; Sieradzan, Adam K; Smadbeck, James; Wirecki, Tomasz; Cooper, Seth; Flatten, Jeff; Xu, Kefan; Baker, David; Cheng, Jianlin; Delbem, Alexandre C B; Floudas, Christodoulos A; Keasar, Chen; Levitt, Michael; Popović, Zoran; Scheraga, Harold A; Skolnick, Jeffrey; Crivelli, Silvia N

    2014-09-01

    The protein structure prediction problem continues to elude scientists. Despite the introduction of many methods, only modest gains were made over the last decade for certain classes of prediction targets. To address this challenge, a social-media based worldwide collaborative effort, named WeFold, was undertaken by 13 labs. During the collaboration, the laboratories were simultaneously competing with each other. Here, we present the first attempt at "coopetition" in scientific research applied to the protein structure prediction and refinement problems. The coopetition was possible by allowing the participating labs to contribute different components of their protein structure prediction pipelines and create new hybrid pipelines that they tested during CASP10. This manuscript describes both successes and areas needing improvement as identified throughout the first WeFold experiment and discusses the efforts that are underway to advance this initiative. A footprint of all contributions and structures are publicly accessible at http://www.wefold.org. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Invariant patterns in crystal lattices: Implications for protein folding algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    HART,WILLIAM E.; ISTRAIL,SORIN

    2000-06-01

    Crystal lattices are infinite periodic graphs that occur naturally in a variety of geometries and which are of fundamental importance in polymer science. Discrete models of protein folding use crystal lattices to define the space of protein conformations. Because various crystal lattices provide discretizations of the same physical phenomenon, it is reasonable to expect that there will exist invariants across lattices related to fundamental properties of the protein folding process. This paper considers whether performance-guaranteed approximability is such an invariant for HP lattice models. The authors define a master approximation algorithm that has provable performance guarantees provided that a specific sublattice exists within a given lattice. They describe a broad class of crystal lattices that are approximable, which further suggests that approximability is a general property of HP lattice models.

  10. Fold Recognition Using Sequence Fingerprints of Protein Local Substructures

    SciTech Connect

    Kryshtafovych, A A; Hvidsten, T; Komorowski, J; Fidelis, K

    2003-06-04

    A protein local substructure (descriptor) is a set of several short non-overlapping fragments of the polypeptide chain. Each descriptor describes local environment of a particular residue and includes only those segments that are located in the proximity of this residue. Similar descriptors from the representative set of proteins were analyzed to reveal links between the substructures and sequences of their segments. Using detected sequence-based fingerprints specific geometrical conformations are assigned to new sequences. The ability of the approach to recognize correct SCOP folds was tested on 273 sequences from the 49 most popular folds. Good predictions were obtained in 85% of cases. No performance drop was observed with decreasing sequence similarity between target sequences and sequences from the training set of proteins.

  11. Femtomole Mixer for Microsecond Kinetic Studies of Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Hertzog, David E.; Michalet, Xavier; Jäger, Marcus; Kong, Xiangxu; Santiago, Juan G.; Weiss, Shimon; Bakajin, Olgica

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a microfluidic mixer for studying protein folding and other reactions with a mixing time of 8 μs and sample consumption of femtomoles. This device enables us to access conformational changes under conditions far from equilibrium and at previously inaccessible time scales. In this paper, we discuss the design and optimization of the mixer using modeling of convective diffusion phenomena and a characterization of the mixer performance using microparticle image velocimetry, dye quenching, and Förster resonance energy-transfer (FRET) measurements of single-stranded DNA. We also demonstrate the feasibility of measuring fast protein folding kinetics using FRET with acyl-CoA binding protein. PMID:15595857

  12. Folding by Numbers: Primary Sequence Statistics and Their Use in Studying Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Wathen, Brent; Jia, Zongchao

    2009-01-01

    The exponential growth over the past several decades in the quantity of both primary sequence data available and the number of protein structures determined has provided a wealth of information describing the relationship between protein primary sequence and tertiary structure. This growing repository of data has served as a prime source for statistical analysis, where underlying relationships between patterns of amino acids and protein structure can be uncovered. Here, we survey the main statistical approaches that have been used for identifying patterns within protein sequences, and discuss sequence pattern research as it relates to both secondary and tertiary protein structure. Limitations to statistical analyses are discussed, and a context for their role within the field of protein folding is given. We conclude by describing a novel statistical study of residue patterning in β-strands, which finds that hydrophobic (i,i+2) pairing in β-strands occurs more often than expected at locations near strand termini. Interpretations involving β-sheet nucleation and growth are discussed. PMID:19468326

  13. Symmetric structures in the universe of protein folds.

    PubMed

    Guerler, Aysam; Wang, Connie; Knapp, Ernst-Walter

    2009-09-01

    Insights in structural biology can be gained by analyzing protein architectures and characterizing their structural similarities. Current computational approaches enable a comparison of a variety of structural and physicochemical properties in protein space. Here we describe the automated detection of rotational symmetries within a representative set of nearly 10,000 nonhomologous protein structures. To find structural symmetries in proteins initially, equivalent pairs of secondary structure elements (SSE), i.e., alpha-helices and beta-strands, are assigned. Thereby, we also allow SSE pairs to be assigned in reverse sequential order. The results highlight that the generation of symmetric, i.e., repetitive, protein structures is one of nature's major strategies to explore the universe of possible protein folds. This way structurally separated 'islands' of protein folds with a significant amount of symmetry were identified. The complete results of the present study are available at http://agknapp.chemie.fu-berlin.de/gplus, where symmetry analysis of new protein structures can also be performed.

  14. Marginally hydrophobic transmembrane α-helices shaping membrane protein folding.

    PubMed

    De Marothy, Minttu T; Elofsson, Arne

    2015-07-01

    Cells have developed an incredible machinery to facilitate the insertion of membrane proteins into the membrane. While we have a fairly good understanding of the mechanism and determinants of membrane integration, more data is needed to understand the insertion of membrane proteins with more complex insertion and folding pathways. This review will focus on marginally hydrophobic transmembrane helices and their influence on membrane protein folding. These weakly hydrophobic transmembrane segments are by themselves not recognized by the translocon and therefore rely on local sequence context for membrane integration. How can such segments reside within the membrane? We will discuss this in the light of features found in the protein itself as well as the environment it resides in. Several characteristics in proteins have been described to influence the insertion of marginally hydrophobic helices. Additionally, the influence of biological membranes is significant. To begin with, the actual cost for having polar groups within the membrane may not be as high as expected; the presence of proteins in the membrane as well as characteristics of some amino acids may enable a transmembrane helix to harbor a charged residue. The lipid environment has also been shown to directly influence the topology as well as membrane boundaries of transmembrane helices-implying a dynamic relationship between membrane proteins and their environment. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  15. How optimization of potential functions affects protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Hao, M H; Scheraga, H A

    1996-01-01

    The relationship between the optimization of the potential function and the foldability of theoretical protein models is studied based on investigations of a 27-mer cubic-lattice protein model and a more realistic lattice model for the protein crambin. In both the simple and the more complicated systems, optimization of the energy parameters achieves significant improvements in the statistical-mechanical characteristics of the systems and leads to foldable protein models in simulation experiments. The foldability of the protein models is characterized by their statistical-mechanical properties--e.g., by the density of states and by Monte Carlo folding simulations of the models. With optimized energy parameters, a high level of consistency exists among different interactions in the native structures of the protein models, as revealed by a correlation function between the optimized energy parameters and the native structure of the model proteins. The results of this work are relevant to the design of a general potential function for folding proteins by theoretical simulations. PMID:8643516

  16. Energetics-Based Methods for Protein Folding and Stability Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geer, M. Ariel; Fitzgerald, Michael C.

    2014-06-01

    Over the past 15 years, a series of energetics-based techniques have been developed for the thermodynamic analysis of protein folding and stability. These techniques include Stability of Unpurified Proteins from Rates of amide H/D Exchange (SUPREX), pulse proteolysis, Stability of Proteins from Rates of Oxidation (SPROX), slow histidine H/D exchange, lysine amidination, and quantitative cysteine reactivity (QCR). The above techniques, which are the subject of this review, all utilize chemical or enzymatic modification reactions to probe the chemical denaturant- or temperature-induced equilibrium unfolding properties of proteins and protein-ligand complexes. They employ various mass spectrometry-, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)-, and optical spectroscopy-based readouts that are particularly advantageous for high-throughput and in some cases multiplexed analyses. This has created the opportunity to use protein folding and stability measurements in new applications such as in high-throughput screening projects to identify novel protein ligands and in mode-of-action studies to identify protein targets of a particular ligand.

  17. Modeling chain folding in protein-constrained circular DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Martino, J A; Olson, W K

    1998-01-01

    An efficient method for sampling equilibrium configurations of DNA chains binding one or more DNA-bending proteins is presented. The technique is applied to obtain the tertiary structures of minimal bending energy for a selection of dinucleosomal minichromosomes that differ in degree of protein-DNA interaction, protein spacing along the DNA chain contour, and ring size. The protein-bound portions of the DNA chains are represented by tight, left-handed supercoils of fixed geometry. The protein-free regions are modeled individually as elastic rods. For each random spatial arrangement of the two nucleosomes assumed during a stochastic search for the global minimum, the paths of the flexible connecting DNA segments are determined through a numerical solution of the equations of equilibrium for torsionally relaxed elastic rods. The minimal energy forms reveal how protein binding and spacing and plasmid size differentially affect folding and offer new insights into experimental minichromosome systems. PMID:9591675

  18. Work done by titin protein folding assists muscle contraction

    PubMed Central

    Popa, Ionel; Kosuri, Pallav; Linke, Wolfgang A.; Fernández, Julio M.

    2016-01-01

    Current theories of muscle contraction propose that the power stroke of a myosin motor is the sole source of mechanical energy driving the sliding filaments of a contracting muscle. These models exclude titin, the largest protein in the human body, which determines the passive elasticity of muscles. Here, we show that stepwise unfolding/folding of titin Ig domains occurs in the elastic I band region of intact myofibrils at physiological sarcomere lengths and forces of 6-8 pN. We use single molecule techniques to demonstrate that unfolded titin Ig domains undergo a spontaneous stepwise folding contraction at forces below 10 pN, delivering up to 105 zJ of additional contractile energy, which is larger than the mechanical energy delivered by the power stroke of a myosin motor. Thus, it appears inescapable that folding of titin Ig domains is an important, but so far unrecognized contributor to the force generated by a contracting muscle. PMID:26854230

  19. Work Done by Titin Protein Folding Assists Muscle Contraction.

    PubMed

    Rivas-Pardo, Jaime Andrés; Eckels, Edward C; Popa, Ionel; Kosuri, Pallav; Linke, Wolfgang A; Fernández, Julio M

    2016-02-16

    Current theories of muscle contraction propose that the power stroke of a myosin motor is the sole source of mechanical energy driving the sliding filaments of a contracting muscle. These models exclude titin, the largest protein in the human body, which determines the passive elasticity of muscles. Here, we show that stepwise unfolding/folding of titin immunoglobulin (Ig) domains occurs in the elastic I band region of intact myofibrils at physiological sarcomere lengths and forces of 6-8 pN. We use single-molecule techniques to demonstrate that unfolded titin Ig domains undergo a spontaneous stepwise folding contraction at forces below 10 pN, delivering up to 105 zJ of additional contractile energy, which is larger than the mechanical energy delivered by the power stroke of a myosin motor. Thus, it appears inescapable that folding of titin Ig domains is an important, but as yet unrecognized, contributor to the force generated by a contracting muscle.

  20. Marginally hydrophobic transmembrane α-helices shaping membrane protein folding

    PubMed Central

    De Marothy, Minttu T; Elofsson, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Cells have developed an incredible machinery to facilitate the insertion of membrane proteins into the membrane. While we have a fairly good understanding of the mechanism and determinants of membrane integration, more data is needed to understand the insertion of membrane proteins with more complex insertion and folding pathways. This review will focus on marginally hydrophobic transmembrane helices and their influence on membrane protein folding. These weakly hydrophobic transmembrane segments are by themselves not recognized by the translocon and therefore rely on local sequence context for membrane integration. How can such segments reside within the membrane? We will discuss this in the light of features found in the protein itself as well as the environment it resides in. Several characteristics in proteins have been described to influence the insertion of marginally hydrophobic helices. Additionally, the influence of biological membranes is significant. To begin with, the actual cost for having polar groups within the membrane may not be as high as expected; the presence of proteins in the membrane as well as characteristics of some amino acids may enable a transmembrane helix to harbor a charged residue. The lipid environment has also been shown to directly influence the topology as well as membrane boundaries of transmembrane helices—implying a dynamic relationship between membrane proteins and their environment. PMID:25970811

  1. Twin-arginine-dependent translocation of folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Fröbel, Julia; Rose, Patrick; Müller, Matthias

    2012-04-19

    Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) denotes a protein transport pathway in bacteria, archaea and plant chloroplasts, which is specific for precursor proteins harbouring a characteristic twin-arginine pair in their signal sequences. Many Tat substrates receive cofactors and fold prior to translocation. For a subset of them, proofreading chaperones coordinate maturation and membrane-targeting. Tat translocases comprise two kinds of membrane proteins, a hexahelical TatC-type protein and one or two members of the single-spanning TatA protein family, called TatA and TatB. TatC- and TatA-type proteins form homo- and hetero-oligomeric complexes. The subunits of TatABC translocases are predominantly recovered from two separate complexes, a TatBC complex that might contain some TatA, and a homomeric TatA complex. TatB and TatC coordinately recognize twin-arginine signal peptides and accommodate them in membrane-embedded binding pockets. Advanced binding of the signal sequence to the Tat translocase requires the proton-motive force (PMF) across the membranes and might involve a first recruitment of TatA. When targeted in this manner, folded twin-arginine precursors induce homo-oligomerization of TatB and TatA. Ultimately, this leads to the formation of a transmembrane protein conduit that possibly consists of a pore-like TatA structure. The translocation step again is dependent on the PMF.

  2. Twin-arginine-dependent translocation of folded proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fröbel, Julia; Rose, Patrick; Müller, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) denotes a protein transport pathway in bacteria, archaea and plant chloroplasts, which is specific for precursor proteins harbouring a characteristic twin-arginine pair in their signal sequences. Many Tat substrates receive cofactors and fold prior to translocation. For a subset of them, proofreading chaperones coordinate maturation and membrane-targeting. Tat translocases comprise two kinds of membrane proteins, a hexahelical TatC-type protein and one or two members of the single-spanning TatA protein family, called TatA and TatB. TatC- and TatA-type proteins form homo- and hetero-oligomeric complexes. The subunits of TatABC translocases are predominantly recovered from two separate complexes, a TatBC complex that might contain some TatA, and a homomeric TatA complex. TatB and TatC coordinately recognize twin-arginine signal peptides and accommodate them in membrane-embedded binding pockets. Advanced binding of the signal sequence to the Tat translocase requires the proton-motive force (PMF) across the membranes and might involve a first recruitment of TatA. When targeted in this manner, folded twin-arginine precursors induce homo-oligomerization of TatB and TatA. Ultimately, this leads to the formation of a transmembrane protein conduit that possibly consists of a pore-like TatA structure. The translocation step again is dependent on the PMF. PMID:22411976

  3. On the Role of Entropy in the Protein Folding Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppe, Travis

    2011-12-01

    A protein's ultimate function and activity is determined by the unique three-dimensional structure taken by the folding process. Protein malfunction due to misfolding is the culprit of many clinical disorders, such as abnormal protein aggregations. This leads to neurodegenerative disorders like Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease. We focus on a subset of the folding problem, exploring the role and effects of entropy on the process of protein folding. Four major concepts and models are developed and each pertains to a specific aspect of the folding process: entropic forces, conformational states under crowding, aggregation, and macrostate kinetics from microstate trajectories. The exclusive focus on entropy is well-suited for crowding studies, as many interactions are nonspecific. We show how a stabilizing entropic force can arise purely from the motion of crowders in solution. In addition we are able to make a a quantitative prediction of the crowding effect with an implicit crowding approximation using an aspherical scaled-particle theory. In order to investigate the effects of aggregation, we derive a new operator expansion method to solve the Ising/Potts model with external fields over an arbitrary graph. Here the external fields are representative of the entropic forces. We show that this method reduces the problem of calculating the partition function to the solution of recursion relations. Many of the methods employed are coarse-grained approximations. As such, it is useful to have a viable method for extracting macrostate information from time series data. We develop a method to cluster the microstates into physically meaningful macrostates by grouping similar relaxation times from a transition matrix. Overall, the studied topics allow us to understand deeper the complicated process involving proteins.

  4. Statistical mechanics of simple models of protein folding and design.

    PubMed Central

    Pande, V S; Grosberg, A Y; Tanaka, T

    1997-01-01

    It is now believed that the primary equilibrium aspects of simple models of protein folding are understood theoretically. However, current theories often resort to rather heavy mathematics to overcome some technical difficulties inherent in the problem or start from a phenomenological model. To this end, we take a new approach in this pedagogical review of the statistical mechanics of protein folding. The benefit of our approach is a drastic mathematical simplification of the theory, without resort to any new approximations or phenomenological prescriptions. Indeed, the results we obtain agree precisely with previous calculations. Because of this simplification, we are able to present here a thorough and self contained treatment of the problem. Topics discussed include the statistical mechanics of the random energy model (REM), tests of the validity of REM as a model for heteropolymer freezing, freezing transition of random sequences, phase diagram of designed ("minimally frustrated") sequences, and the degree to which errors in the interactions employed in simulations of either folding and design can still lead to correct folding behavior. Images FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 6 PMID:9414231

  5. Prediction of the optimal set of contacts to fold the smallest knotted protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, P.; Jarmolinska, A. I.; Sulkowska, J. I.

    2015-09-01

    Knotted protein chains represent a new motif in protein folds. They have been linked to various diseases, and recent extensive analysis of the Protein Data Bank shows that they constitute 1.5% of all deposited protein structures. Despite thorough theoretical and experimental investigations, the role of knots in proteins still remains elusive. Nonetheless, it is believed that knots play an important role in mechanical and thermal stability of proteins. Here, we perform a comprehensive analysis of native, shadow-specific and non-native interactions which describe free energy landscape of the smallest knotted protein (PDB id 2efv). We show that the addition of shadow-specific contacts in the loop region greatly enhances folding kinetics, while the addition of shadow-specific contacts along the C-terminal region (H3 or H4) results in a new folding route with slower kinetics. By means of direct coupling analysis (DCA) we predict non-native contacts which also can accelerate kinetics. Next, we show that the length of the C-terminal knot tail is responsible for the shape of the free energy barrier, while the influence of the elongation of the N-terminus is not significant. Finally, we develop a concept of a minimal contact map sufficient for 2efv protein to fold and analyze properties of this protein using this map.

  6. Prediction of the optimal set of contacts to fold the smallest knotted protein.

    PubMed

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, P; Jarmolinska, A I; Sulkowska, J I

    2015-09-09

    Knotted protein chains represent a new motif in protein folds. They have been linked to various diseases, and recent extensive analysis of the Protein Data Bank shows that they constitute 1.5% of all deposited protein structures. Despite thorough theoretical and experimental investigations, the role of knots in proteins still remains elusive. Nonetheless, it is believed that knots play an important role in mechanical and thermal stability of proteins. Here, we perform a comprehensive analysis of native, shadow-specific and non-native interactions which describe free energy landscape of the smallest knotted protein (PDB id 2efv). We show that the addition of shadow-specific contacts in the loop region greatly enhances folding kinetics, while the addition of shadow-specific contacts along the C-terminal region (H3 or H4) results in a new folding route with slower kinetics. By means of direct coupling analysis (DCA) we predict non-native contacts which also can accelerate kinetics. Next, we show that the length of the C-terminal knot tail is responsible for the shape of the free energy barrier, while the influence of the elongation of the N-terminus is not significant. Finally, we develop a concept of a minimal contact map sufficient for 2efv protein to fold and analyze properties of this protein using this map.

  7. Saddles of the energy landscape and folding of model proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelani, L.; Ruocco, G.

    2009-07-01

    We numerically investigate the Potential Energy Landscape of an off-lattice β-sheet model protein, looking at saddles and minima probed by the system during the folding process. G {\\bar o} - like (with native-state-dependent force field and funnel-like landscape) and non-G {\\bar o} -like models are considered. In the G {\\bar o} -like case, on varying the temperature, we observe: i) a pronounced peak at the collapse/folding temperature T θsimeTf in the energy elevation of visited saddles from underlying minima, ii) a crossover at the same point of the saddle order. Saddles-based quantities seem then to be good candidates as indicators of the funneled shape of the landscape in protein models.

  8. Nucleation-based prediction of the protein folding rate and its correlation with the folding nucleus size.

    PubMed

    Galzitskaya, Oxana V; Glyakina, Anna V

    2012-12-01

    The problem of protein self-organization is in the focus of current molecular biology studies. Although the general principles are understood, many details remain unclear. Specifically, protein folding rates are of interest because they dictate the rate of protein aggregation which underlies many human diseases. Here we offer predictions of protein folding rates and their correlation with folding nucleus sizes. We calculated free energies of the transition state and sizes of folding nuclei for 84 proteins and peptides whose other parameters were measured at the point of thermodynamic equilibrium between their unfolded and native states. We used the dynamic programming method where each residue was considered to be either as folded as in its native state or completely disordered. The calculated and measured folding rates showed a good correlation at the temperature mid-transition point (the correlation coefficient was 0.75). Also, we pioneered in demonstrating a moderate (-0.57) correlation coefficient between the calculated sizes of folding nuclei and the folding rates. Predictions made by different methods were compared. The established good correlation between the estimated free energy barrier and the experimentally found folding rate of each studied protein/peptide indicates that our model gives reliable results for the considered data set. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. On simplified global nonlinear function for fitness landscape: a case study of inverse protein folding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yun; Hu, Changyu; Dai, Yang; Liang, Jie

    2014-01-01

    The construction of fitness landscape has broad implication in understanding molecular evolution, cellular epigenetic state, and protein structures. We studied the problem of constructing fitness landscape of inverse protein folding or protein design, with the aim to generate amino acid sequences that would fold into an a priori determined structural fold which would enable engineering novel or enhanced biochemistry. For this task, an effective fitness function should allow identification of correct sequences that would fold into the desired structure. In this study, we showed that nonlinear fitness function for protein design can be constructed using a rectangular kernel with a basis set of proteins and decoys chosen a priori. The full landscape for a large number of protein folds can be captured using only 480 native proteins and 3,200 non-protein decoys via a finite Newton method. A blind test of a simplified version of fitness function for sequence design was carried out to discriminate simultaneously 428 native sequences not homologous to any training proteins from 11 million challenging protein-like decoys. This simplified function correctly classified 408 native sequences (20 misclassifications, 95% correct rate), which outperforms several other statistical linear scoring function and optimized linear function. Our results further suggested that for the task of global sequence design of 428 selected proteins, the search space of protein shape and sequence can be effectively parametrized with just about 3,680 carefully chosen basis set of proteins and decoys, and we showed in addition that the overall landscape is not overly sensitive to the specific choice of this set. Our results can be generalized to construct other types of fitness landscape.

  10. On Simplified Global Nonlinear Function for Fitness Landscape: A Case Study of Inverse Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yun; Hu, Changyu; Dai, Yang; Liang, Jie

    2014-01-01

    The construction of fitness landscape has broad implication in understanding molecular evolution, cellular epigenetic state, and protein structures. We studied the problem of constructing fitness landscape of inverse protein folding or protein design, with the aim to generate amino acid sequences that would fold into an a priori determined structural fold which would enable engineering novel or enhanced biochemistry. For this task, an effective fitness function should allow identification of correct sequences that would fold into the desired structure. In this study, we showed that nonlinear fitness function for protein design can be constructed using a rectangular kernel with a basis set of proteins and decoys chosen a priori. The full landscape for a large number of protein folds can be captured using only 480 native proteins and 3,200 non-protein decoys via a finite Newton method. A blind test of a simplified version of fitness function for sequence design was carried out to discriminate simultaneously 428 native sequences not homologous to any training proteins from 11 million challenging protein-like decoys. This simplified function correctly classified 408 native sequences (20 misclassifications, 95% correct rate), which outperforms several other statistical linear scoring function and optimized linear function. Our results further suggested that for the task of global sequence design of 428 selected proteins, the search space of protein shape and sequence can be effectively parametrized with just about 3,680 carefully chosen basis set of proteins and decoys, and we showed in addition that the overall landscape is not overly sensitive to the specific choice of this set. Our results can be generalized to construct other types of fitness landscape. PMID:25110986

  11. Combined approach to the inverse protein folding problem. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Ruben A. Abagyan

    2000-06-01

    The main scientific contribution of the project ''Combined approach to the inverse protein folding problem'' submitted in 1996 and funded by the Department of Energy in 1997 is the formulation and development of the idea of the multilink recognition method for identification of functional and structural homologues of newly discovered genes. This idea became very popular after they first announced it and used it in prediction of the threading targets for the CASP2 competition (Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction).

  12. 4-fold photocurrent enhancement in ultrathin nanoplasmonic perovskite solar cells.

    PubMed

    Cai, Boyuan; Peng, Yong; Cheng, Yi-Bing; Gu, Min

    2015-11-30

    Although perovskite materials have been widely investigated for thin-film photovoltaic devices due to the potential for high efficiency, their high toxicity has pressed the development of a solar cell structure of an ultra-thin absorber layer. But insufficient light absorption could be a result of ultra-thin perovskite films. In this paper, we propose a new nanoplasmonic solar cell that integrates metal nanoparticles at its rear/front surfaces of the perovskite layer. Plasmon-enhanced light scattering and near-field enhancement effects from lumpy sliver nanoparticles result in the photocurrent enhancement for a 50 nm thick absorber, which is higher than that for a 300 nm thick flat perovskite solar cell. We also predict the 4-fold photocurrent enhancement in an ultrathin perovskite solar cell with the absorber thickness of 10 nm. Our results pave a new way for ultrathin high-efficiency solar cells with either a lead-based or a lead-free perovskite absorption layer.

  13. Simulation studies of protein folding/unfolding equilibrium under polar and nonpolar confinement.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jianhui; Garcia, Angel E

    2011-09-28

    We study the equilibrium folding/unfolding thermodynamics of a small globular miniprotein, the Trp cage, that is confined to the interior of a 2 nm radius fullerene ball. The interactions of the fullerene surface are changed from nonpolar to polar to mimic the interior of the GroEL/ES chaperonin that assists proteins to fold in vivo. We find that nonpolar confinement stabilizes the folded state of the protein due to the effects of volume reduction that destabilize the unfolded state and also due to interactions with the fullerene surface. For the Trp cage, polar confinement has a net destabilizing effect that results from the stabilizing confinement and the competitive exclusion effect that keeps the protein away from the surface hydration shell and stronger interactions between charged side chains in the protein and the polar surface that compete against the formation of an ion pair that stabilizes the protein folded state. We show that confinement effects due to volume reduction can be overcome by sequence-specific interactions of the protein side chains with the encapsulating surface. This study shows that there is a complex balance among many competing effects that determine the mechanism of GroEL chaperonin in enhancing the folding rate of polypeptide inside its cavity.

  14. Protein folding on the ribosome studied using NMR spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Waudby, Christopher A.; Launay, Hélène; Cabrita, Lisa D.; Christodoulou, John

    2013-01-01

    NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for the investigation of protein folding and misfolding, providing a characterization of molecular structure, dynamics and exchange processes, across a very wide range of timescales and with near atomic resolution. In recent years NMR methods have also been developed to study protein folding as it might occur within the cell, in a de novo manner, by observing the folding of nascent polypeptides in the process of emerging from the ribosome during synthesis. Despite the 2.3 MDa molecular weight of the bacterial 70S ribosome, many nascent polypeptides, and some ribosomal proteins, have sufficient local flexibility that sharp resonances may be observed in solution-state NMR spectra. In providing information on dynamic regions of the structure, NMR spectroscopy is therefore highly complementary to alternative methods such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, which have successfully characterized the rigid core of the ribosome particle. However, the low working concentrations and limited sample stability associated with ribosome–nascent chain complexes means that such studies still present significant technical challenges to the NMR spectroscopist. This review will discuss the progress that has been made in this area, surveying all NMR studies that have been published to date, and with a particular focus on strategies for improving experimental sensitivity. PMID:24083462

  15. Common fold in helix-hairpin-helix proteins.

    PubMed

    Shao, X; Grishin, N V

    2000-07-15

    Helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) is a widespread motif involved in non-sequence-specific DNA binding. The majority of HhH motifs function as DNA-binding modules, however, some of them are used to mediate protein-protein interactions or have acquired enzymatic activity by incorporating catalytic residues (DNA glycosylases). From sequence and structural analysis of HhH-containing proteins we conclude that most HhH motifs are integrated as a part of a five-helical domain, termed (HhH)(2) domain here. It typically consists of two consecutive HhH motifs that are linked by a connector helix and displays pseudo-2-fold symmetry. (HhH)(2) domains show clear structural integrity and a conserved hydrophobic core composed of seven residues, one residue from each alpha-helix and each hairpin, and deserves recognition as a distinct protein fold. In addition to known HhH in the structures of RuvA, RadA, MutY and DNA-polymerases, we have detected new HhH motifs in sterile alpha motif and barrier-to-autointegration factor domains, the alpha-subunit of Escherichia coli RNA-polymerase, DNA-helicase PcrA and DNA glycosylases. Statistically significant sequence similarity of HhH motifs and pronounced structural conservation argue for homology between (HhH)(2) domains in different protein families. Our analysis helps to clarify how non-symmetric protein motifs bind to the double helix of DNA through the formation of a pseudo-2-fold symmetric (HhH)(2) functional unit.

  16. Engineered genetic selection links in vivo protein folding and stability with asparagine-linked glycosylation.

    PubMed

    Mansell, Thomas J; Guarino, Cassandra; DeLisa, Matthew P

    2013-12-01

    Predicting the structural consequences of site-specific glycosylation remains a major challenge due in part to the lack of convenient experimental tools for rapidly determining how glycosylation influences protein folding. To address this shortcoming, we developed a genetic selection that directly links the in vivo folding of asparagine-linked (N-linked) glycoproteins with antibiotic resistance. Using this assay, we identified three known or putative glycoproteins from Campylobacter jejuni (Peb3, CjaA, and Cj0610c) whose folding was significantly affected by N-glycosylation. We also used the genetic selection to isolate a glycoengineered variant of the Escherichia coli colicin E7 immunity protein (Im7) whose intracellular folding and stability were enhanced as a result of N-glycosylation. In addition to monitoring the effect of glycan attachment on protein folding in living cells, this strategy could easily be extended for optimizing protein folding in vivo and engineering glycosylation enzymes, pathways, and hosts for optimal performance. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Kinetics of chain motions within a protein-folding intermediate

    PubMed Central

    Neuweiler, Hannes; Banachewicz, Wiktor; Fersht, Alan R.

    2010-01-01

    Small proteins can fold remarkably rapidly, even in μs. What limits their rate of folding? The Engrailed homeodomain is a particularly well-characterized example, which folds ultrafast via an intermediate, I, of solved structure. It is a puzzle that the helix2-turn-helix3 motif of the 3-helix bundle forms in approximately 2 μs, but the final docking of preformed helix1 in I requires approximately 20 μs. Simulation and structural data suggest that nonnative interactions may slow down helix docking. Here we report the direct measurement of chain motions in I by using photoinduced electron transfer fluorescence-quenching correlation spectroscopy (PET-FCS). We use a mutant that traps I at physiological ionic strength but refolds at higher ionic strength. A single Trp in helix3 quenches the fluorescence of an extrinsic label on contact with it. We placed the label along the sequence to probe segmental chain motions. At high ionic strength, we found two relaxations for all probed positions on the 2- and 20-μs time scale, corresponding to the known folding processes, and a 200-ns phase attributable to loop closure kinetics in the unfolded state. At low ionic strength, we found only the 2-μs and 200-ns phase for labels in the helix2-turn-helix3 motif of I, because the native state is not significantly populated. But for labels in helix1 we observed an additional approximately 10-μs phase showing that it was moving slowly, with a rate constant similar to that for overall folding under native conditions. Folding was rate-limited by chain motions on a rough energy surface where nonnative interactions constrain motion. PMID:21135210

  18. Protein Folding, Stability, and Solvation Structure in Osmolyte Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Rösgen, Jörg; Pettitt, B. Montgomery; Bolen, David Wayne

    2005-01-01

    An understanding of the impact of the crowded conditions in the cytoplasm on its biomolecules is of clear importance to biochemical, medical, and pharmaceutical science. Our previous work on the use of small biochemical compounds to crowd protein solutions indicates that a quantitative description of their nonideal behavior is possible and straightforward. Here, we show the structural origin of the nonideal solution behavior. We discuss the consequences of these findings regarding protein folding stability and solvation in crowded solutions through a structural analysis of the m-value or the change in free-energy difference of a macromolecule in solution with respect to the concentration of a third component. PMID:16113118

  19. Sphingolipid transfer proteins defined by the GLTP-fold

    PubMed Central

    Malinina, Lucy; Simanshu, Dhirendra K.; Zhai, Xiuhong; Samygina, Valeria R.; Kamlekar, RaviKanth; Kenoth, Roopa; Ochoa-Lizarralde, Borja; Malakhova, Margarita L.; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.

    2015-01-01

    Glycolipid transfer proteins (GLTPs) originally were identified as small (~24 kDa), soluble, amphitropic proteins that specifically accelerate the intermembrane transfer of glycolipids. GLTPs and related homologs now are known to adopt a unique, helically dominated, two-layer ‘sandwich’ architecture defined as the GLTP-fold that provides the structural underpinning for the eukaryotic GLTP superfamily. Recent advances now provide exquisite insights into structural features responsible for lipid headgroup selectivity as well as the adaptability of the hydrophobic compartment for accommodating hydrocarbon chains of differing length and unsaturation. A new understanding of the structural versatility and evolutionary premium placed on the GLTP motif has emerged. Human GLTP-motifs have evolved to function not only as glucosylceramide binding/transferring domains for phosphoinositol 4-phosphate adaptor protein-2 during glycosphingolipid biosynthesis but also as selective binding/transfer proteins for ceramide-1-phosphate. The latter, known as ceramide-l-phosphate transfer protein, recently has been shown to form GLTP-fold while critically regulating Group-IV cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 activity and pro-inflammatory eicosanoid production. PMID:25797198

  20. Redox-Assisted Protein Folding Systems in Eukaryotic Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Haque, Saikh Jaharul; Majumdar, Tanmay

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The cysteine (Cys) residues of proteins play two fundamentally important roles. They serve as sites of post-translational redox modifications as well as influence the conformation of the protein through the formation of disulfide bonds. Recent Advances: Redox-related and redox-associated protein folding in protozoan parasites has been found to be a major mode of regulation, affecting myriad aspects of the parasitic life cycle, host-parasite interactions, and the disease pathology. Available genome sequences of various parasites have begun to complement the classical biochemical and enzymological studies of these processes. In this article, we summarize the reversible Cys disulfide (S-S) bond formation in various classes of strategically important parasitic proteins, and its structural consequence and functional relevance. Critical Issues: Molecular mechanisms of folding remain under-studied and often disconnected from functional relevance. Future Directions: The clinical benefit of redox research will require a comprehensive characterization of the various isoforms and paralogs of the redox enzymes and their concerted effect on the structure and function of the specific parasitic client proteins. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 674–683. PMID:22122448

  1. The protein folding problem: global optimization of the force fields.

    PubMed

    Scheraga, H A; Liwo, A; Oldziej, S; Czaplewski, C; Pillardy, J; Ripoll, D R; Vila, J A; Kazmierkiewicz, R; Saunders, J A; Arnautova, Y A; Jagielska, A; Chinchio, M; Nanias, M

    2004-09-01

    The evolutionary development of a theoretical approach to the protein folding problem, in our laboratory, is traced. The theoretical foundations and the development of a suitable empirical all-atom potential energy function and a global optimization search are examined. Whereas the all-atom approach has thus far succeeded for relatively small molecules and for alpha-helical proteins containing up to 46 residues, it has been necessary to develop a hierarchical approach to treat larger proteins. In the hierarchical approach to single- and multiple-chain proteins, global optimization is carried out for a simplified united residue (UNRES) description of a polypeptide chain to locate the region in which the global minimum lies. Conversion of the UNRES structures in this region to all-atom structures is followed by a local search in this region. The performance of this approach in successive CASP blind tests for predicting protein structure by an ab initio physics-based method is described. Finally, a recent attempt to compute a folding pathway is discussed.

  2. Hydrophobicity – Shake Flasks, Protein Folding and Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Aurijit; Kellogg, Glen E.

    2009-01-01

    Hydrophobic interactions are some of the most important interactions in nature. They are the primary driving force in a number of phenomena. This is mostly an entropic effect and can account for a number of biophysical events such as protein-protein or protein-ligand binding that are of immense importance in drug design. The earliest studies on this phenomenon can be dated back to the end of the 19th century when Meyer and Overton independently correlated the hydrophobic nature of gases to their anesthetic potency. Since then, significant progress has been made in this realm of science. This review briefly traces the history of hydrophobicity research along with the theoretical estimation of partition coefficients. Finally, the application of hydrophobicity estimation methods in the field of drug design and protein folding is discussed. PMID:19929828

  3. Folding a protein by discretizing its backbone torsional dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Ariel

    1999-05-01

    The aim of this work is to provide a coarse codification of local conformational constraints associated with each folding motif of a peptide chain in order to obtain a rough solution to the protein folding problem. This is accomplished by implementing a discretized version of the soft-mode dynamics on a personal computer (PC). Our algorithm mimics a parallel process as it evaluates concurrent folding possibilities by pattern recognition. It may be implemented in a PC as a sequence of perturbation-translation-renormalization (p-t-r) cycles performed on a matrix of local topological constraints (LTM). This requires suitable representational tools and a periodic quenching of the dynamics required for renormalization. We introduce a description of the peptide chain based on a local discrete variable the values of which label the basins of attraction of the Ramachandran map for each residue. Thus, the local variable indicates the basin in which the torsional coordinates of each residue lie at a given time. In addition, a coding of local topological constraints associated with each secondary and tertiary structural motif is introduced. Our treatment enables us to adopt a computation time step of 81 ps, a value far larger than hydrodynamic drag time scales. Folding pathways are resolved as transitions between patterns of locally encoded structural signals that change within the 10 μs-100 ms time scale range. These coarse folding pathways are generated by the periodic search for structural patterns in the time-evolving LTM. Each pattern is recorded as a contact matrix, an operation subject to a renormalization feedback loop. The validity of our approach is tested vis-a-vis experimentally-probed folding pathways eventually generating tertiary interactions in proteins which recover their active structure under in vitro renaturation conditions. As an illustration, we focus on determining significant folding intermediates and late kinetic bottlenecks that occur within the

  4. Protein GB1 Folding and Assembly from Structural Elements

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Mikael C.; Xue, Wei-Feng; Linse, Sara

    2009-01-01

    Folding of the Protein G B1 domain (PGB1) shifts with increasing salt concentration from a cooperative assembly of inherently unstructured subdomains to an assembly of partly pre-folded structures. The salt-dependence of pre-folding contributes to the stability minimum observed at physiological salt conditions. Our conclusions are based on a study in which the reconstitution of PGB1 from two fragments was studied as a function of salt concentrations and temperature using circular dichroism spectroscopy. Salt was found to induce an increase in β-hairpin structure for the C-terminal fragment (residues 41 – 56), whereas no major salt effect on structure was observed for the isolated N-terminal fragment (residues 1 – 41). In line with the increasing evidence on the interrelation between fragment complementation and stability of the corresponding intact protein, we also find that salt effects on reconstitution can be predicted from salt dependence of the stability of the intact protein. Our data show that our variant (which has the mutations T2Q, N8D, N37D and reconstitutes in a manner similar to the wild type) displays the lowest equilibrium association constant around physiological salt concentration, with higher affinity observed both at lower and higher salt concentration. This corroborates the salt effects on the stability towards denaturation of the intact protein, for which the stability at physiological salt is lower compared to both lower and higher salt concentrations. Hence we conclude that reconstitution reports on molecular factors that govern the native states of proteins. PMID:19468325

  5. Common fold in helix–hairpin–helix proteins

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Xuguang; Grishin, Nick V.

    2000-01-01

    Helix–hairpin–helix (HhH) is a widespread motif involved in non-sequence-specific DNA binding. The majority of HhH motifs function as DNA-binding modules, however, some of them are used to mediate protein–protein interactions or have acquired enzymatic activity by incorporating catalytic residues (DNA glycosylases). From sequence and structural analysis of HhH-containing proteins we conclude that most HhH motifs are integrated as a part of a five-helical domain, termed (HhH)2 domain here. It typically consists of two consecutive HhH motifs that are linked by a connector helix and displays pseudo-2-fold symmetry. (HhH)2 domains show clear structural integrity and a conserved hydrophobic core composed of seven residues, one residue from each α-helix and each hairpin, and deserves recognition as a distinct protein fold. In addition to known HhH in the structures of RuvA, RadA, MutY and DNA-polymerases, we have detected new HhH motifs in sterile alpha motif and barrier-to-autointegration factor domains, the α-subunit of Escherichia coli RNA-polymerase, DNA-helicase PcrA and DNA glyco­s­y­lases. Statistically significant sequence similarity of HhH motifs and pronounced structural conservation argue for homology between (HhH)2 domains in different protein families. Our analysis helps to clarify how non-symmetric protein motifs bind to the double helix of DNA through the formation of a pseudo-2-fold symmetric (HhH)2 functional unit. PMID:10908318

  6. Energetic Frustrations in Protein Folding at Residue Resolution: A Homologous Simulation Study of Im9 Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yunxiang; Ming, Dengming

    2014-01-01

    Energetic frustration is becoming an important topic for understanding the mechanisms of protein folding, which is a long-standing big biological problem usually investigated by the free energy landscape theory. Despite the significant advances in probing the effects of folding frustrations on the overall features of protein folding pathways and folding intermediates, detailed characterizations of folding frustrations at an atomic or residue level are still lacking. In addition, how and to what extent folding frustrations interact with protein topology in determining folding mechanisms remains unclear. In this paper, we tried to understand energetic frustrations in the context of protein topology structures or native-contact networks by comparing the energetic frustrations of five homologous Im9 alpha-helix proteins that share very similar topology structures but have a single hydrophilic-to-hydrophobic mutual mutation. The folding simulations were performed using a coarse-grained Gō-like model, while non-native hydrophobic interactions were introduced as energetic frustrations using a Lennard-Jones potential function. Energetic frustrations were then examined at residue level based on φ-value analyses of the transition state ensemble structures and mapped back to native-contact networks. Our calculations show that energetic frustrations have highly heterogeneous influences on the folding of the four helices of the examined structures depending on the local environment of the frustration centers. Also, the closer the introduced frustration is to the center of the native-contact network, the larger the changes in the protein folding. Our findings add a new dimension to the understanding of protein folding the topology determination in that energetic frustrations works closely with native-contact networks to affect the protein folding. PMID:24498176

  7. Comparison of the Folding Mechanism of Highly Homologous Proteins in the Lipid-binding Protein Family

    EPA Science Inventory

    The folding mechanism of two closely related proteins in the intracellular lipid binding protein family, human bile acid binding protein (hBABP) and rat bile acid binding protein (rBABP) were examined. These proteins are 77% identical (93% similar) in sequence Both of these singl...

  8. Comparison of the Folding Mechanism of Highly Homologous Proteins in the Lipid-binding Protein Family

    EPA Science Inventory

    The folding mechanism of two closely related proteins in the intracellular lipid binding protein family, human bile acid binding protein (hBABP) and rat bile acid binding protein (rBABP) were examined. These proteins are 77% identical (93% similar) in sequence Both of these singl...

  9. Coarse semiempirical solution to the protein folding problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Ariel; Colubri, Andrés; Appignanesi, Gustavo; Burastero, Teresita

    2001-04-01

    We introduce a semiempirical theory leading to the ab initio prediction of conducive folding pathways and coarsely resolved native backbone geometries of proteins suddenly exposed to in vitro renaturation conditions. The underlying model incorporates a discrete codification of local steric hindrances of the peptide backbone. We first determine a time-evolving finite set of local torsional constraints upon which large-scale organization is built. Thus, the torsional state of the chain is topologically represented by viewing the ( Φ, Ψ)-state of each residue modulo the basin of attraction to which it belongs in the Ramachandran plot. A grammar to combine such coarsely defined torsional states (topologies) and translate them into meaningful patterns of long-range interactions is developed. An algorithm for structure prediction is shown to emerge once this grammar is combined with prescriptions for the time evolution of topological patterns. This algorithm is rooted in the fact that local contributions to the potential energy may be subsumed into time-evolving conformational constraints coarsely defining sets of restricted backbone geometries responsible for framing the patterns of nonbonded interactions. The predictive power of the algorithm is established by obtaining stable topologies of small proteins, which prove to be compatible with their native folds, and computing ab-initio folding pathways for mammalian ubiquitin that ultimately yield a stable structural pattern reproducing its native features.

  10. Coupled Protein Diffusion and Folding in the Cell

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Minghao; Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-01-01

    When a protein unfolds in the cell, its diffusion coefficient is affected by its increased hydrodynamic radius and by interactions of exposed hydrophobic residues with the cytoplasmic matrix, including chaperones. We characterize protein diffusion by photobleaching whole cells at a single point, and imaging the concentration change of fluorescent-labeled protein throughout the cell as a function of time. As a folded reference protein we use green fluorescent protein. The resulting region-dependent anomalous diffusion is well characterized by 2-D or 3-D diffusion equations coupled to a clustering algorithm that accounts for position-dependent diffusion. Then we study diffusion of a destabilized mutant of the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) and of its stable control inside the cell. Unlike the green fluorescent protein control's diffusion coefficient, PGK's diffusion coefficient is a non-monotonic function of temperature, signaling ‘sticking’ of the protein in the cytosol as it begins to unfold. The temperature-dependent increase and subsequent decrease of the PGK diffusion coefficient in the cytosol is greater than a simple size-scaling model suggests. Chaperone binding of the unfolding protein inside the cell is one plausible candidate for even slower diffusion of PGK, and we test the plausibility of this hypothesis experimentally, although we do not rule out other candidates. PMID:25436502

  11. Predictive energy landscapes for folding membrane protein assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truong, Ha H.; Kim, Bobby L.; Schafer, Nicholas P.; Wolynes, Peter G.

    2015-12-01

    We study the energy landscapes for membrane protein oligomerization using the Associative memory, Water mediated, Structure and Energy Model with an implicit membrane potential (AWSEM-membrane), a coarse-grained molecular dynamics model previously optimized under the assumption that the energy landscapes for folding α-helical membrane protein monomers are funneled once their native topology within the membrane is established. In this study we show that the AWSEM-membrane force field is able to sample near native binding interfaces of several oligomeric systems. By predicting candidate structures using simulated annealing, we further show that degeneracies in predicting structures of membrane protein monomers are generally resolved in the folding of the higher order assemblies as is the case in the assemblies of both nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and V-type Na+-ATPase dimers. The physics of the phenomenon resembles domain swapping, which is consistent with the landscape following the principle of minimal frustration. We revisit also the classic Khorana study of the reconstitution of bacteriorhodopsin from its fragments, which is the close analogue of the early Anfinsen experiment on globular proteins. Here, we show the retinal cofactor likely plays a major role in selecting the final functional assembly.

  12. Consistency in structural energetics of protein folding and peptide recognition.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, C.; Cornette, J. L.; Delisi, C.

    1997-01-01

    We report a new free energy decomposition that includes structure-derived atomic contact energies for the desolvation component, and show that it applies equally well to the analysis of single-domain protein folding and to the binding of flexible peptides to proteins. Specifically, we selected the 17 single-domain proteins for which the three-dimensional structures and thermodynamic unfolding free energies are available. By calculating all terms except the backbone conformational entropy change and comparing the result to the experimentally measured free energy, we estimated that the mean entropy gain by the backbone chain upon unfolding (delta Sbb) is 5.3 cal/K per mole of residue, and that the average backbone entropy for glycine is 6.7 cal/K. Both numbers are in close agreement with recent estimates made by entirely different methods, suggesting a promising degree of consistency between data obtained from disparate sources. In addition, a quantitative analysis of the folding free energy indicates that the unfavorable backbone entropy for each of the proteins is balanced predominantly by favorable backbone interactions. Finally, because the binding of flexible peptides to receptors is physically similar to folding, the free energy function should, in principle, be equally applicable to flexible docking. By combining atomic contact energies, electrostatics, and sequence-dependent backbone entropy, we calculated a priori the free energy changes associated with the binding of four different peptides to HLA-A2, 1 MHC molecule and found agreement with experiment to within 10% without parameter adjustment. PMID:9144777

  13. Effect of protein backbone folding on the stability of protein-ligand complexes.

    PubMed

    Estrada, Ernesto; Uriarte, Eugenio; Vilar, Santiago

    2006-01-01

    The role played by the degree of folding of protein backbones in explaining the binding energetics of protein-ligand interactions has been studied. We analyzed the protein/peptide interactions in the RNase-S system in which amino acids at two positions of the peptide S have been mutated. The global degree of folding of the protein S correlates in a significant way with the free energy and enthalpy of the protein-peptide interactions. A much better correlation is found with the local contribution to the degree of folding of one amino acid residue: Thr36. This residue is shown to have a destabilizing interaction with Lys41, which interacts directly with peptide S. Another system, consisting of the interactions of small organic molecules with HIV-1 protease was also studied. In this case, the global change in the degree of folding of the protease backbone does not explain the binding energetics of protein-ligand interactions. However, a significant correlation is observed between the free energy of binding and the contribution of two amino acid residues in the HVI-1 protease: Gly49 and Ile66. In general, it was observed that the changes in the degree of folding are not restricted to the binding site of the protein chain but are distributed along the whole protein backbone. This study provides a basis for further consideration of the degree of folding as a parameter for empirical structural parametrizations of the binding energetics of protein folding and binding.

  14. Accurate prediction of cellular co-translational folding indicates proteins can switch from post- to co-translational folding

    PubMed Central

    Nissley, Daniel A.; Sharma, Ajeet K.; Ahmed, Nabeel; Friedrich, Ulrike A.; Kramer, Günter; Bukau, Bernd; O'Brien, Edward P.

    2016-01-01

    The rates at which domains fold and codons are translated are important factors in determining whether a nascent protein will co-translationally fold and function or misfold and malfunction. Here we develop a chemical kinetic model that calculates a protein domain's co-translational folding curve during synthesis using only the domain's bulk folding and unfolding rates and codon translation rates. We show that this model accurately predicts the course of co-translational folding measured in vivo for four different protein molecules. We then make predictions for a number of different proteins in yeast and find that synonymous codon substitutions, which change translation-elongation rates, can switch some protein domains from folding post-translationally to folding co-translationally—a result consistent with previous experimental studies. Our approach explains essential features of co-translational folding curves and predicts how varying the translation rate at different codon positions along a transcript's coding sequence affects this self-assembly process. PMID:26887592

  15. Exploring energy landscapes of protein folding and aggregation.

    PubMed

    Mousseau, Normand; Derreumaux, Philippe

    2008-05-01

    Human diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob's are associated with misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins into amyloid fibrils sharing a generic cross-beta structure. The self-assembly process is complex, but once a nucleus is formed, rapid fibril formation occurs. Insight into the structures of the oligomers during the lag phase, varying between hours and days, is very difficult experimentally because these species are transient, and numerically using all-atom molecular dynamics because the time scale explored is on the order of 10-100 ns. It is therefore important to develop simplified protein models and alternative methods to sample more efficiently the conformational space. In the past few years, we have developed the activation-relaxation technique (ART nouveau) coupled to the OPEP coarse-grained force field. This review reports the application of ART-OPEP on protein folding and aggregation.

  16. Dynamic Complexes in the Chaperonin-Mediated Protein Folding Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Celeste; Jebara, Fady; Nisemblat, Shahar; Azem, Abdussalam

    2016-01-01

    The GroEL–GroES chaperonin system is probably one of the most studied chaperone systems at the level of the molecular mechanism. Since the first reports of a bacterial gene involved in phage morphogenesis in 1972, these proteins have stimulated intensive research for over 40 years. During this time, detailed structural and functional studies have yielded constantly evolving concepts of the chaperonin mechanism of action. Despite of almost three decades of research on this oligomeric protein, certain aspects of its function remain controversial. In this review, we highlight one central aspect of its function, namely, the active intermediates of its reaction cycle, and present how research to this day continues to change our understanding of chaperonin-mediated protein folding. PMID:28008398

  17. Protein folding in the cell envelope of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    De Geyter, Jozefien; Tsirigotaki, Alexandra; Orfanoudaki, Georgia; Zorzini, Valentina; Economou, Anastassios; Karamanou, Spyridoula

    2016-07-26

    While the entire proteome is synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes, almost half associates with, localizes in or crosses the bacterial cell envelope. In Escherichia coli a variety of mechanisms are important for taking these polypeptides into or across the plasma membrane, maintaining them in soluble form, trafficking them to their correct cell envelope locations and then folding them into the right structures. The fidelity of these processes must be maintained under various environmental conditions including during stress; if this fails, proteases are called in to degrade mislocalized or aggregated proteins. Various soluble, diffusible chaperones (acting as holdases, foldases or pilotins) and folding catalysts are also utilized to restore proteostasis. These responses can be general, dealing with multiple polypeptides, with functional overlaps and operating within redundant networks. Other chaperones are specialized factors, dealing only with a few exported proteins. Several complex machineries have evolved to deal with binding to, integration in and crossing of the outer membrane. This complex protein network is responsible for fundamental cellular processes such as cell wall biogenesis; cell division; the export, uptake and degradation of molecules; and resistance against exogenous toxic factors. The underlying processes, contributing to our fundamental understanding of proteostasis, are a treasure trove for the development of novel antibiotics, biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.

  18. Nonequilibrium single molecule protein folding in a coaxial mixer.

    PubMed

    Hamadani, Kambiz M; Weiss, Shimon

    2008-07-01

    We have developed a continuous-flow mixing device suitable for monitoring bioconformational reactions at the single-molecule level with a response time of approximately 10 ms under single-molecule flow conditions. Its coaxial geometry allows three-dimensional hydrodynamic focusing of sample fluids to diffraction-limited dimensions where diffusional mixing is rapid and efficient. The capillary-based design enables rapid in-lab construction of mixers without the need for expensive lithography-based microfabrication facilities. In-line filtering of sample fluids using granulated silica particles virtually eliminates clogging and extends the lifetime of each device to many months. In this article, to determine both the distance-to-time transfer function and the instrument response function of the device we characterize its fluid flow and mixing properties using both fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy velocimetry and finite element fluid dynamics simulations. We then apply the mixer to single molecule FRET protein folding studies of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor protein 2. By transiently populating the unfolded state of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor Protein 2 (CI2) under nonequilibrium in vitro refolding conditions, we spatially and temporally resolve the denaturant-dependent nonspecific collapse of the unfolded state from the barrier-limited folding transition of CI2. Our results are consistent with previous CI2 mixing results that found evidence for a heterogeneous unfolded state consisting of cis- and trans-proline conformers.

  19. Mapping the Geometric Evolution of Protein Folding Motor.

    PubMed

    Jerath, Gaurav; Hazam, Prakash Kishore; Shekhar, Shashi; Ramakrishnan, Vibin

    2016-01-01

    Polypeptide chain has an invariant main-chain and a variant side-chain sequence. How the side-chain sequence determines fold in terms of its chemical constitution has been scrutinized extensively and verified periodically. However, a focussed investigation on the directive effect of side-chain geometry may provide important insights supplementing existing algorithms in mapping the geometrical evolution of protein chains and its structural preferences. Geometrically, folding of protein structure may be envisaged as the evolution of its geometric variables: ϕ, and ψ dihedral angles of polypeptide main-chain directed by χ1, and χ2 of side chain. In this work, protein molecule is metaphorically modelled as a machine with 4 rotors ϕ, ψ, χ1 and χ2, with its evolution to the functional fold is directed by combinations of its rotor directions. We observe that differential rotor motions lead to different secondary structure formations and the combinatorial pattern is unique and consistent for particular secondary structure type. Further, we found that combination of rotor geometries of each amino acid is unique which partly explains how different amino acid sequence combinations have unique structural evolution and functional adaptation. Quantification of these amino acid rotor preferences, resulted in the generation of 3 substitution matrices, which later on plugged in the BLAST tool, for evaluating their efficiency in aligning sequences. We have employed BLOSUM62 and PAM30 as standard for primary evaluation. Generation of substitution matrices is a logical extension of the conceptual framework we attempted to build during the development of this work. Optimization of matrices following the conventional routines and possible application with biologically relevant data sets are beyond the scope of this manuscript, though it is a part of the larger project design.

  20. Mapping the Geometric Evolution of Protein Folding Motor

    PubMed Central

    Hazam, Prakash Kishore; Shekhar, Shashi

    2016-01-01

    Polypeptide chain has an invariant main-chain and a variant side-chain sequence. How the side-chain sequence determines fold in terms of its chemical constitution has been scrutinized extensively and verified periodically. However, a focussed investigation on the directive effect of side-chain geometry may provide important insights supplementing existing algorithms in mapping the geometrical evolution of protein chains and its structural preferences. Geometrically, folding of protein structure may be envisaged as the evolution of its geometric variables: ϕ, and ψ dihedral angles of polypeptide main-chain directed by χ1, and χ2 of side chain. In this work, protein molecule is metaphorically modelled as a machine with 4 rotors ϕ, ψ, χ1 and χ2, with its evolution to the functional fold is directed by combinations of its rotor directions. We observe that differential rotor motions lead to different secondary structure formations and the combinatorial pattern is unique and consistent for particular secondary structure type. Further, we found that combination of rotor geometries of each amino acid is unique which partly explains how different amino acid sequence combinations have unique structural evolution and functional adaptation. Quantification of these amino acid rotor preferences, resulted in the generation of 3 substitution matrices, which later on plugged in the BLAST tool, for evaluating their efficiency in aligning sequences. We have employed BLOSUM62 and PAM30 as standard for primary evaluation. Generation of substitution matrices is a logical extension of the conceptual framework we attempted to build during the development of this work. Optimization of matrices following the conventional routines and possible application with biologically relevant data sets are beyond the scope of this manuscript, though it is a part of the larger project design. PMID:27716851

  1. Identification of cooperative folding units in a set of native proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Wallqvist, A.; Smythers, G. W.; Covell, D. G.

    1997-01-01

    Cooperative unfolding penalties are calculated by statistically evaluating an ensemble of denatured states derived from native structures. The ensemble of denatured states is determined by dividing the native protein into short contiguous segments and defining all possible combinations of native, i.e., interacting, and non-native, i.e., non-interacting, segments. We use a novel knowledge-based scoring function, derived from a set of non-homologous proteins in the Protein Data Bank, to describe the interactions among residues. This procedure is used for the structural identification of cooperative folding cores for four globular proteins: bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, horse heart cytochrome c, French bean plastocyanin, and staphylococcal nuclease. The theoretical folding units are shown to correspond to regions that exhibit enhanced stability against denaturation as determined from experimental hydrogen exchange protection factors. Using a sequence similarity score for related sequences, we show that, in addition to residues necessary for enzymatic function, those amino acids comprising structurally important folding cores are also preferentially conserved during evolution. This implies that the identified folding cores may be part of an array of fundamental structural folding units. PMID:9260276

  2. Microsecond Microfluidic Mixing for Investigation of Protein Folding Kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Hertzog, D E; Santiago, J G; Bakajin, O

    2005-02-10

    We have developed and characterized a mixer to study the reaction kinetics of protein folding on a microsecond timescale. The mixer uses hydrodynamic focusing of pressure-driven flow in a microfluidic channel to reduce diffusion times as first demonstrated by Knight et al.[1]. Features of the mixer include 1 {micro}s mixing times, sample consumptions of order 1 nl/s, loading sample volumes on the order of microliters, and the ability to manufacture in fused silica for compatibility with most spectroscopic methods.

  3. Microsecond Microfluidic Mixing for Investigation of Protein Folding Kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Hertzog, D E; Santiago, J G; Bakajin, O

    2003-06-25

    We have developed and characterized a mixer to study the reaction kinetics of protein folding on a microsecond timescale. The mixer uses hydrodynamic focusing of pressure-driven flow in a microfluidic channel to reduce diffusion times as first demonstrated by Knight et al.[1]. Features of the mixer include 1 {micro}s mixing times, sample consumptions of order 1 nl/s, loading sample volumes on the order of microliters, and the ability to manufacture in fused silica for compatibility with most spectroscopic methods.

  4. Heuristic algorithm for off-lattice protein folding problem*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mao; Huang, Wen-qi

    2006-01-01

    Enlightened by the law of interactions among objects in the physical world, we propose a heuristic algorithm for solving the three-dimensional (3D) off-lattice protein folding problem. Based on a physical model, the problem is converted from a nonlinear constraint-satisfied problem to an unconstrained optimization problem which can be solved by the well-known gradient method. To improve the efficiency of our algorithm, a strategy was introduced to generate initial configuration. Computational results showed that this algorithm could find states with lower energy than previously proposed ground states obtained by nPERM algorithm for all chains with length ranging from 13 to 55. PMID:16365919

  5. Dynamic Folding Pathway Models of the Trp-Cage Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seung-Yeon

    2013-01-01

    Using action-derived molecular dynamics (ADMD), we study the dynamic folding pathway models of the Trp-cage protein by providing its sequential conformational changes from its initial disordered structure to the final native structure at atomic details. We find that the numbers of native contacts and native hydrogen bonds are highly correlated, implying that the native structure of Trp-cage is achieved through the concurrent formations of native contacts and native hydrogen bonds. In early stage, an unfolded state appears with partially formed native contacts (~40%) and native hydrogen bonds (~30%). Afterward, the folding is initiated by the contact of the side chain of Tyr3 with that of Trp6, together with the formation of the N-terminal α-helix. Then, the C-terminal polyproline structure docks onto the Trp6 and Tyr3 rings, resulting in the formations of the hydrophobic core of Trp-cage and its near-native state. Finally, the slow adjustment processes of the near-native states into the native structure are dominant in later stage. The ADMD results are in agreement with those of the experimental folding studies on Trp-cage and consistent with most of other computational studies. PMID:23865078

  6. Water mediation in protein folding and molecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Levy, Yaakov; Onuchic, José N

    2006-01-01

    Water is essential for life in many ways, and without it biomolecules might no longer truly be biomolecules. In particular, water is important to the structure, stability, dynamics, and function of biological macromolecules. In protein folding, water mediates the collapse of the chain and the search for the native topology through a funneled energy landscape. Water actively participates in molecular recognition by mediating the interactions between binding partners and contributes to either enthalpic or entropic stabilization. Accordingly, water must be included in recognition and structure prediction codes to capture specificity. Thus water should not be treated as an inert environment, but rather as an integral and active component of biomolecular systems, where it has both dynamic and structural roles. Focusing on water sheds light on the physics and function of biological machinery and self-assembly and may advance our understanding of the natural design of proteins and nucleic acids.

  7. Energy optimization for off-lattice protein folding.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wenqi; Chen, Mao; Lü, Zhipeng

    2006-10-01

    Two three-dimensional AB off-lattice protein models consisting of hydrophobic and hydrophilic monomers are studied in this paper. By incorporating an extra energy contribution into the original energy function, the protein folding is converted from a constraint optimization problem into an unconstrained one which can be solved by the well-known gradient method. From the initial configurations randomly generated by the heuristic strategy proposed in this paper, our algorithm can find better results than those by nPERM for the four Fibonacci sequences. Based on the initial configurations obtained by energy landscape paving (ELP) routine, some of our results for the lowest energies are better than the best values reported in the literature.

  8. Species-specific protein sequence and fold optimizations

    PubMed Central

    Dumontier, Michel; Michalickova, Katerina; Hogue, Christopher WV

    2002-01-01

    Background An organism's ability to adapt to its particular environmental niche is of fundamental importance to its survival and proliferation. In the largest study of its kind, we sought to identify and exploit the amino-acid signatures that make species-specific protein adaptation possible across 100 complete genomes. Results Environmental niche was determined to be a significant factor in variability from correspondence analysis using the amino acid composition of over 360,000 predicted open reading frames (ORFs) from 17 archae, 76 bacteria and 7 eukaryote complete genomes. Additionally, we found clusters of phylogenetically unrelated archae and bacteria that share similar environments by amino acid composition clustering. Composition analyses of conservative, domain-based homology modeling suggested an enrichment of small hydrophobic residues Ala, Gly, Val and charged residues Asp, Glu, His and Arg across all genomes. However, larger aromatic residues Phe, Trp and Tyr are reduced in folds, and these results were not affected by low complexity biases. We derived two simple log-odds scoring functions from ORFs (CG) and folds (CF) for each of the complete genomes. CF achieved an average cross-validation success rate of 85 ± 8% whereas the CG detected 73 ± 9% species-specific sequences when competing against all other non-redundant CG. Continuously updated results are available at . Conclusion Our analysis of amino acid compositions from the complete genomes provides stronger evidence for species-specific and environmental residue preferences in genomic sequences as well as in folds. Scoring functions derived from this work will be useful in future protein engineering experiments and possibly in identifying horizontal transfer events. PMID:12487631

  9. Thermodynamics of folding and association of lattice-model proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cellmer, Troy; Bratko, Dusan; Prausnitz, John M.; Blanch, Harvey

    2005-05-01

    Closely related to the "protein folding problem" is the issue of protein misfolding and aggregation. Protein aggregation has been associated with the pathologies of nearly 20 human diseases and presents serious difficulties during the manufacture of pharmaceutical proteins. Computational studies of multiprotein systems have recently emerged as a powerful complement to experimental efforts aimed at understanding the mechanisms of protein aggregation. We describe the thermodynamics of systems containing two lattice-model 64-mers. A parallel tempering algorithm abates problems associated with glassy systems and the weighted histogram analysis method improves statistical quality. The presence of a second chain has a substantial effect on single-chain conformational preferences. The melting temperature is substantially reduced, and the increase in the population of unfolded states is correlated with an increase in interactions between chains. The transition from two native chains to a non-native aggregate is entropically favorable. Non-native aggregates receive ˜25% of their stabilizing energy from intraprotein contacts not found in the lowest-energy structure. Contact maps show that for non-native dimers, nearly 50% of the most probable interprotein contacts involve pairs of residues that form native contacts, suggesting that a domain-swapping mechanism is involved in self-association.

  10. Methyl Transfer by Substrate Signaling from a Knotted Protein Fold

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Thomas; Sakaguchi, Reiko; Perlinska, Agata P.; Lahoud, Georges; Ito, Takuhiro; Taylor, Erika A.; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki; Sulkowska, Joanna I.; Hou, Ya-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Proteins with knotted configurations are restricted in conformational space relative to unknotted proteins. Little is known if knotted proteins have sufficient dynamics to communicate between spatially separated substrate-binding sites. In bacteria, TrmD is a methyl transferase that uses a knotted protein fold to catalyze methyl transfer from S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) to G37-tRNA. The product m1G37-tRNA is essential for life as a determinant to maintain protein synthesis reading-frame. Using an integrated approach of structure, kinetic, and computational analysis, we show here that the structurally constrained TrmD knot is required for its catalytic activity. Unexpectedly, the TrmD knot has complex internal movements that respond to AdoMet binding and signaling. Most of the signaling propagates the free energy of AdoMet binding to stabilize tRNA binding and to assemble the active site. This work demonstrates new principles of knots as an organized structure that captures the free energies of substrate binding to facilitate catalysis. PMID:27571175

  11. Expanding the proteome: disordered and alternatively folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Dyson, H Jane

    2011-11-01

    Proteins provide much of the scaffolding for life, as well as undertaking a variety of essential catalytic reactions. These characteristic functions have led us to presuppose that proteins are in general functional only when well structured and correctly folded. As we begin to explore the repertoire of possible protein sequences inherent in the human and other genomes, two stark facts that belie this supposition become clear: firstly, the number of apparent open reading frames in the human genome is significantly smaller than appears to be necessary to code for all of the diverse proteins in higher organisms, and secondly that a significant proportion of the protein sequences that would be coded by the genome would not be expected to form stable three-dimensional (3D) structures. Clearly the genome must include coding for a multitude of alternative forms of proteins, some of which may be partly or fully disordered or incompletely structured in their functional states. At the same time as this likelihood was recognized, experimental studies also began to uncover examples of important protein molecules and domains that were incompletely structured or completely disordered in solution, yet remained perfectly functional. In the ensuing years, we have seen an explosion of experimental and genome-annotation studies that have mapped the extent of the intrinsic disorder phenomenon and explored the possible biological rationales for its widespread occurrence. Answers to the question 'why would a particular domain need to be unstructured?' are as varied as the systems where such domains are found. This review provides a survey of recent new directions in this field, and includes an evaluation of the role not only of intrinsically disordered proteins but also of partially structured and highly dynamic members of the disorder-order continuum.

  12. Expanding the proteome: disordered and alternatively-folded proteins

    PubMed Central

    Dyson, H. Jane

    2011-01-01

    Proteins provide much of the scaffolding for life, as well as undertaking a variety of essential catalytic reactions. These characteristic functions have led us to presuppose that proteins are in general functional only when well-structured and correctly folded. As we begin to explore the repertoire of possible protein sequences inherent in the human and other genomes, two stark facts that belie this supposition become clear: firstly, the number of apparent open reading frames in the human genome is significantly smaller than appears to be necessary to code for all of the diverse proteins in higher organisms, and secondly that a significant proportion of the protein sequences that would be coded by the genome would not be expected to form stable three-dimensional structures. Clearly the genome must include coding for a multitude of alternative forms of proteins, some of which may be partly or fully disordered or incompletely structured in their functional states. At the same time as this likelihood was recognized, experimental studies also began to uncover examples of important protein molecules and domains that were incompletely structured or completely disordered in solution, yet remained perfectly functional. In the ensuing years, we have seen an explosion of experimental and genome-annotation studies that have mapped the extent of the intrinsic disorder phenomenon and explored the possible biological rationales for its widespread occurrence. Answers to the question “why would a particular domain need to be unstructured?” are as varied as the systems where such domains are found. This review provides a survey of recent new directions in this field, and includes an evaluation of the role not only of intrinsically disordered proteins but of partially structured and highly dynamic members of the disorder-order continuum. PMID:21729349

  13. Efficient fold-change detection based on protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Buijsman, W; Sheinman, M

    2014-02-01

    Various biological sensory systems exhibit a response to a relative change of the stimulus, often referred to as fold-change detection. In the past few years, fold-change detecting mechanisms, based on transcriptional networks, have been proposed. Here we present a fold-change detecting mechanism, based on protein-protein interactions, consisting of two interacting proteins. This mechanism does not consume chemical energy and is not subject to transcriptional and translational noise, in contrast to previously proposed mechanisms. We show by analytical and numerical calculations that the mechanism is robust and can have a fast, precise, and efficient response for parameters that are relevant to eukaryotic cells.

  14. Efficient fold-change detection based on protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buijsman, W.; Sheinman, M.

    2014-02-01

    Various biological sensory systems exhibit a response to a relative change of the stimulus, often referred to as fold-change detection. In the past few years, fold-change detecting mechanisms, based on transcriptional networks, have been proposed. Here we present a fold-change detecting mechanism, based on protein-protein interactions, consisting of two interacting proteins. This mechanism does not consume chemical energy and is not subject to transcriptional and translational noise, in contrast to previously proposed mechanisms. We show by analytical and numerical calculations that the mechanism is robust and can have a fast, precise, and efficient response for parameters that are relevant to eukaryotic cells.

  15. Protein knotting through concatenation significantly reduces folding stability

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Shang-Te Danny

    2016-01-01

    Concatenation by covalent linkage of two protomers of an intertwined all-helical HP0242 homodimer from Helicobacter pylori results in the first example of an engineered knotted protein. While concatenation does not affect the native structure according to X-ray crystallography, the folding kinetics is substantially slower compared to the parent homodimer. Using NMR hydrogen-deuterium exchange analysis, we showed here that concatenation destabilises significantly the knotted structure in solution, with some regions close to the covalent linkage being destabilised by as much as 5 kcal mol−1. Structural mapping of chemical shift perturbations induced by concatenation revealed a pattern that is similar to the effect induced by concentrated chaotrophic agent. Our results suggested that the design strategy of protein knotting by concatenation may be thermodynamically unfavourable due to covalent constrains imposed on the flexible fraying ends of the template structure, leading to rugged free energy landscape with increased propensity to form off-pathway folding intermediates. PMID:27982106

  16. Prediction of protein structure: the problem of fold multiplicity.

    PubMed

    Lomize, A L; Pogozheva, I D; Mosberg, H I

    1999-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) models of four CASP3 targets were calculated using a simple modeling procedure that includes prediction of regular secondary structure, analysis of possible beta-sheet topologies, assembly of amphiphilic helices and beta-sheets to bury their nonpolar surfaces, and adjustment of side-chain conformers and loops to provide close packing and saturation of the "hydrogen bond potential" (exposure of all polar groups to water or their involvement in intramolecular hydrogen bonds). It has been found that this approach allows construction of 3D models that, in some cases, properly reproduce the structural class of the protein (such as beta-barrel or beta-sandwich of definite shape and size) and details of tertiary structure (such as pairing of beta-strands), although all four models were more or less incorrect. Remarkably, some models had fewer water-exposed nonpolar side-chains, more hydrogen bonds, and smaller holes than the corresponding native structures (although the models had a larger water-accessible nonpolar surface). The results obtained indicate that hydrophobicity patterns do not unequivocally determine protein folds, and that any ab initio or fold recognition methods that operate with imprecise potential energy functions, or use crude geometrical approximations of the peptide chain, will probably produce many different nonnative structures.

  17. Fold homology detection using sequence fragment composition profiles of proteins.

    PubMed

    Solis, Armando D; Rackovsky, Shalom R

    2010-10-01

    The effectiveness of sequence alignment in detecting structural homology among protein sequences decreases markedly when pairwise sequence identity is low (the so-called "twilight zone" problem of sequence alignment). Alternative sequence comparison strategies able to detect structural kinship among highly divergent sequences are necessary to address this need. Among them are alignment-free methods, which use global sequence properties (such as amino acid composition) to identify structural homology in a rapid and straightforward way. We explore the viability of using tetramer sequence fragment composition profiles in finding structural relationships that lie undetected by traditional alignment. We establish a strategy to recast any given protein sequence into a tetramer sequence fragment composition profile, using a series of amino acid clustering steps that have been optimized for mutual information. Our method has the effect of compressing the set of 160,000 unique tetramers (if using the 20-letter amino acid alphabet) into a more tractable number of reduced tetramers (approximately 15-30), so that a meaningful tetramer composition profile can be constructed. We test remote homology detection at the topology and fold superfamily levels using a comprehensive set of fold homologs, culled from the CATH database that share low pairwise sequence similarity. Using the receiver-operating characteristic measure, we demonstrate potentially significant improvement in using information-optimized reduced tetramer composition, over methods relying only on the raw amino acid composition or on traditional sequence alignment, in homology detection at or below the "twilight zone". 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Fold Homology Detection Using Sequence Fragment Composition Profiles of Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Solis, Armando D.; Rackovsky, Shalom R.

    2010-01-01

    The effectiveness of sequence alignment in detecting structural homology among protein sequences decreases markedly when pairwise sequence identity is low (the so-called “twilight zone” problem of sequence alignment). Alternative sequence comparison strategies able to detect structural kinship among highly divergent sequences are necessary to address this need. Among them are alignment-free methods, which use global sequence properties (such as amino acid composition) to identify structural homology in a rapid and straightforward way. We explore the viability of using tetramer sequence fragment composition profiles in finding structural relationships that lie undetected by traditional alignment. We establish a strategy to recast any given protein sequence into a tetramer sequence fragment composition profile, using a series of amino acid clustering steps that have been optimized for mutual information. Our method has the effect of compressing the set of 160,000 unique tetramers (if using the 20-letter amino acid alphabet) into a more tractable number of reduced tetramers (around 15 to 30), so that a meaningful tetramer composition profile can be constructed. We test remote homology detection at the topology and fold superfamily levels using a comprehensive set of fold homologs, culled from the CATH database, that share low pairwise sequence similarity. Using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) measure, we demonstrate potentially significant improvement in using information-optimized reduced tetramer composition, over methods relying only on the raw amino acid composition or on traditional sequence alignment, in homology detection at or below the “twilight zone”. PMID:20635424

  19. Competition between chemical denaturation and macromolecular crowding effects on the folding dynamics of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samiotakis, Antonios; Cheung, Margaret

    2011-03-01

    It is well known that proteins fold and function in the crowded environment of the cell's interior. In the recent years it has been established that the so-called ``macromolecular crowding'' effect can enhance the folding stability of proteins by destabilizing their unfolded states. On the other hand, chemical and thermal denaturation are often used in experiments as tools to destabilize protein structures when probing a protein's folding landscape. However, little is known about the combined effects of these competing phenomena on proteins. In this work, we use coarse-grained molecular simulations to study the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of the small peptide Trp-cage, in the combined presence of macromolecular crowders and chemical denaturant. With the use of an energy function derived by all-atomistic simulations in the presence of urea, we investigate the thermodynamics and kinetics of Trp-cage's folding mechanism at several concentrations of urea. The effects of the competition between stabilization by macromolecular crowding and destabilization by chemical denaturation will also be discussed. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences (MCB0919974).

  20. Simplified Protein Models: Predicting Folding Pathways and Structure Using Amino Acid Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Aashish N.; Freed, Karl F.; Sosnick, Tobin R.

    2013-07-01

    We demonstrate the ability of simultaneously determining a protein’s folding pathway and structure using a properly formulated model without prior knowledge of the native structure. Our model employs a natural coordinate system for describing proteins and a search strategy inspired by the observation that real proteins fold in a sequential fashion by incrementally stabilizing nativelike substructures or “foldons.” Comparable folding pathways and structures are obtained for the twelve proteins recently studied using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations [K. Lindorff-Larsen, S. Piana, R. O. Dror, D. E. Shaw, Science 334, 517 (2011)], with our calculations running several orders of magnitude faster. We find that nativelike propensities in the unfolded state do not necessarily determine the order of structure formation, a departure from a major conclusion of the molecular dynamics study. Instead, our results support a more expansive view wherein intrinsic local structural propensities may be enhanced or overridden in the folding process by environmental context. The success of our search strategy validates it as an expedient mechanism for folding both in silico and in vivo.

  1. When fast is better: protein folding fundamentals and mechanisms from ultrafast approaches

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Victor; Cerminara, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Protein folding research stalled for decades because conventional experiments indicated that proteins fold slowly and in single strokes, whereas theory predicted a complex interplay between dynamics and energetics resulting in myriad microscopic pathways. Ultrafast kinetic methods turned the field upside down by providing the means to probe fundamental aspects of folding, test theoretical predictions and benchmark simulations. Accordingly, experimentalists could measure the timescales for all relevant folding motions, determine the folding speed limit and confirm that folding barriers are entropic bottlenecks. Moreover, a catalogue of proteins that fold extremely fast (microseconds) could be identified. Such fast-folding proteins cross shallow free energy barriers or fold downhill, and thus unfold with minimal co-operativity (gradually). A new generation of thermodynamic methods has exploited this property to map folding landscapes, interaction networks and mechanisms at nearly atomic resolution. In parallel, modern molecular dynamics simulations have finally reached the timescales required to watch fast-folding proteins fold and unfold in silico. All of these findings have buttressed the fundamentals of protein folding predicted by theory, and are now offering the first glimpses at the underlying mechanisms. Fast folding appears to also have functional implications as recent results connect downhill folding with intrinsically disordered proteins, their complex binding modes and ability to moonlight. These connections suggest that the coupling between downhill (un)folding and binding enables such protein domains to operate analogically as conformational rheostats. PMID:27574021

  2. When fast is better: protein folding fundamentals and mechanisms from ultrafast approaches.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Victor; Cerminara, Michele

    2016-09-01

    Protein folding research stalled for decades because conventional experiments indicated that proteins fold slowly and in single strokes, whereas theory predicted a complex interplay between dynamics and energetics resulting in myriad microscopic pathways. Ultrafast kinetic methods turned the field upside down by providing the means to probe fundamental aspects of folding, test theoretical predictions and benchmark simulations. Accordingly, experimentalists could measure the timescales for all relevant folding motions, determine the folding speed limit and confirm that folding barriers are entropic bottlenecks. Moreover, a catalogue of proteins that fold extremely fast (microseconds) could be identified. Such fast-folding proteins cross shallow free energy barriers or fold downhill, and thus unfold with minimal co-operativity (gradually). A new generation of thermodynamic methods has exploited this property to map folding landscapes, interaction networks and mechanisms at nearly atomic resolution. In parallel, modern molecular dynamics simulations have finally reached the timescales required to watch fast-folding proteins fold and unfold in silico All of these findings have buttressed the fundamentals of protein folding predicted by theory, and are now offering the first glimpses at the underlying mechanisms. Fast folding appears to also have functional implications as recent results connect downhill folding with intrinsically disordered proteins, their complex binding modes and ability to moonlight. These connections suggest that the coupling between downhill (un)folding and binding enables such protein domains to operate analogically as conformational rheostats.

  3. Structural Conservation of the Myoviridae Phage Tail Sheath Protein Fold

    SciTech Connect

    Aksyuk, Anastasia A.; Kurochkina, Lidia P.; Fokine, Andrei; Forouhar, Farhad; Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Tong, Liang; Rossmann, Michael G.

    2012-02-21

    Bacteriophage phiKZ is a giant phage that infects Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. The phiKZ virion consists of a 1450 {angstrom} diameter icosahedral head and a 2000 {angstrom}-long contractile tail. The structure of the whole virus was previously reported, showing that its tail organization in the extended state is similar to the well-studied Myovirus bacteriophage T4 tail. The crystal structure of a tail sheath protein fragment of phiKZ was determined to 2.4 {angstrom} resolution. Furthermore, crystal structures of two prophage tail sheath proteins were determined to 1.9 and 3.3 {angstrom} resolution. Despite low sequence identity between these proteins, all of these structures have a similar fold. The crystal structure of the phiKZ tail sheath protein has been fitted into cryo-electron-microscopy reconstructions of the extended tail sheath and of a polysheath. The structural rearrangement of the phiKZ tail sheath contraction was found to be similar to that of phage T4.

  4. Protein Motions and Folding Investigated by NMR Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Arthur

    2002-03-01

    NMR spin relaxation spectroscopy is a powerful experimental approach for globally characterizing conformational dynamics of proteins in solution. Laboratory frame relaxation measurements are sensitive to overall rotational diffusion and internal motions on picosecond-nanosecond time scales, while rotating frame relaxation measurements are sensitive to chemical exchange processes on microsecond-millisecond time scales. The former approach is illustrated by ^15N laboratory-frame relaxation experiments as a function of temperature for the helical subdomain HP36 of the F-actin-binding headpiece domain of chicken villin. The data are analyzed using the model-free formalism to characterize order parameters and effective correlation times for intramolecular motions of individual ^15N sites. The latter approach is illustrated by ^13C Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill relaxation measurements for the de novo designed α_2D protein and by ^15N rotating-frame relaxation measurements for the peripheral subunit-binding domain (PSBD) from the dihydrolopoamide acetyltransferase component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex from Bacillus stearothermophilus. These experiments are used to determine the folding and unfolding kinetic rate constants for the two proteins. The results for HP36, α_2D, and PSBD illustrate the capability of current NMR methods for characterizing dynamic processes on multiple time scales in proteins.

  5. Protein folding kinetics: barrier effects in chemical and thermal denaturation experiments

    PubMed Central

    Naganathan, Athi N.; Doshi, Urmi; Muñoz, Victor

    2008-01-01

    Recent experimental work on fast protein folding brings about an intriguing paradox. Microsecond-folding proteins are supposed to fold near or at the folding speed limit (downhill folding), but yet their folding behavior seems to comply with classical two-state analyses, which imply the crossing of high free energy barriers. However, close inspection of chemical and thermal denaturation kinetic experiments in fast-folding proteins reveals systematic deviations from two-state behavior. Using a simple one-dimensional free energy surface approach we find that such deviations are indeed diagnostic of marginal folding barriers. Furthermore, the quantitative analysis of available fast-kinetic data indicates that many microsecond-folding proteins fold downhill in native conditions. All of these proteins are then promising candidates for an atom-by-atom analysis of protein folding using nuclear magnetic resonance1. We also find that the diffusion coefficient for protein folding is strongly temperature dependent, corresponding to an activation energy of ~1 kJ.mol−1 per protein residue. As a consequence, the folding speed limit at room temperature is about an order of magnitude slower than the ~ 1μs estimates from high temperature T-jump experiments. Our analysis is quantitatively consistent with the available thermodynamic and kinetic data on two-state folding proteins, and provides a straightforward explanation for the apparent fast-folding paradox. PMID:17419630

  6. Overview of the regulation of disulfide bond formation in Peptide and protein folding.

    PubMed

    Hidaka, Yuji

    2014-04-01

    Disulfide bonds play a critical role in the maintenance of the native conformation of proteins under thermodynamic control. In general, disulfide bond formation is associated with protein folding, and this restricts the formation of folding intermediates such as misbridged disulfide isomers or kinetically trapped conformations, which provide important information related to how proteins fold into their native conformation. Therefore, numerous studies have focused on the structural analysis of folding intermediates in vitro. However, isolating or trapping folding intermediates, as well as the entire proteins, including mutant proteins, is not an easy task. Several chemical methods have recently been developed for examining peptide and protein folding and for producing, e.g., intact, post-translationally modified, or kinetically trapped proteins, or proteins with misbridged disulfide bonds. This overview introduces chemical methods for regulating the formation of disulfide bonds of peptides and proteins in the context of the thermodynamic and kinetic control of peptide and protein folding.

  7. Iron-nucleated Folding of a Metalloprotein in High Urea: Resolution of Metal Binding and Protein Folding Events†

    PubMed Central

    Morleo, Anna; Bonomi, Francesco; Iametti, Stefania; Huang, Victor W.; Kurtz, Donald M.

    2010-01-01

    Addition of iron salts to chaotrope-denatured aporubredoxin (apoRd) leads to nearly quantitative recovery of its single Fe(SCys)4 site and native protein structure without significant dilution of the chaotrope. This “high chaotrope” approach was used to examine iron binding and protein folding events using stopped-flow UV/vis absorption and CD spectroscopies. At 100-fold molar excess ferrous iron over denatured apoRd maintained in 5 M urea, the folded holoFeIIIRd structure was recovered in >90% yield with t1/2 < 10 msec. More modest excesses of iron also gave nearly quantitative holoRd formation in 5 M urea but with chronological resolution of iron binding and protein folding events. The results indicate structural recovery in 5 M urea consists of the minimal sequence: (1) binding of ferrous iron to the unfolded apoRd, (2) rapid formation of a near-native ferrous Fe(SCys)4 site within a protein having no detectable secondary structure, (3) recovery of the ferrous Fe(SCys)4 site chiral environment nearly concomitantly with (4) recovery of the native protein secondary structure. The rate of step 2 (and by inference, step 1) was not saturated even at 100-fold molar excess of iron. Analogous results obtained on Cys→Ser iron ligand variants support formation of an unfolded-Fe(SCys)3 complex between steps 1 and 2, which we propose is the key nucleation event that pulls distal regions of the protein chain together. These results show that folding of chaotrope-denatured apoRd is iron-nucleated and driven by extraordinarily rapid formation of the Fe(SCys)4 site from an essentially random coil apoprotein. This high chaotrope, multi-spectroscopic approach could clarify folding pathways of other [M(SCys)3 or 4]-containing proteins. PMID:20614892

  8. Unexpected fold in the circumsporozoite protein target of malaria vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Doud, Michael B.; Koksal, Adem C.; Mi, Li-Zhi; Song, Gaojie; Lu, Chafen; Springer, Timothy A.

    2012-01-01

    Circumsporozoite (CS) protein is the major surface component of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites and is essential for host cell invasion. A vaccine containing tandem repeats, region III, and thrombospondin type-I repeat (TSR) of CS is efficacious in phase III trials but gives only a 35% reduction in severe malaria in the first year postimmunization. We solved crystal structures showing that region III and TSR fold into a single unit, an “αTSR” domain. The αTSR domain possesses a hydrophobic pocket and core, missing in TSR domains. CS binds heparin, but αTSR does not. Interestingly, polymorphic T-cell epitopes map to specialized αTSR regions. The N and C termini are unexpectedly close, providing clues for sporozoite sheath organization. Elucidation of a unique structure of a domain within CS enables rational design of next-generation subunit vaccines and functional and medicinal chemical investigation of the conserved hydrophobic pocket. PMID:22547819

  9. Unexpected fold in the circumsporozoite protein target of malaria vaccines

    SciTech Connect

    Doud, Michael B.; Koksal, Adem C.; Mi, Li-Zhi; Song, Gaojie; Lu, Chafen; Springer, Timothy A.

    2012-10-09

    Circumsporozoite (CS) protein is the major surface component of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites and is essential for host cell invasion. A vaccine containing tandem repeats, region III, and thrombospondin type-I repeat (TSR) of CS is efficacious in phase III trials but gives only a 35% reduction in severe malaria in the first year postimmunization. We solved crystal structures showing that region III and TSR fold into a single unit, an '{alpha}TSR' domain. The {alpha}TSR domain possesses a hydrophobic pocket and core, missing in TSR domains. CS binds heparin, but {alpha}TSR does not. Interestingly, polymorphic T-cell epitopes map to specialized {alpha}TSR regions. The N and C termini are unexpectedly close, providing clues for sporozoite sheath organization. Elucidation of a unique structure of a domain within CS enables rational design of next-generation subunit vaccines and functional and medicinal chemical investigation of the conserved hydrophobic pocket.

  10. Initial assembly steps of a translocase for folded proteins

    PubMed Central

    Blümmel, Anne-Sophie; Haag, Laura A.; Eimer, Ekaterina; Müller, Matthias; Fröbel, Julia

    2015-01-01

    The so-called Tat (twin-arginine translocation) system transports completely folded proteins across cellular membranes of archaea, prokaryotes and plant chloroplasts. Tat-directed proteins are distinguished by a conserved twin-arginine (RR-) motif in their signal sequences. Many Tat systems are based on the membrane proteins TatA, TatB and TatC, of which TatB and TatC are known to cooperate in binding RR-signal peptides and to form higher-order oligomeric structures. We have now elucidated the fine architecture of TatBC oligomers assembled to form closed intramembrane substrate-binding cavities. The identification of distinct homonymous and heteronymous contacts between TatB and TatC suggest that TatB monomers coalesce into dome-like TatB structures that are surrounded by outer rings of TatC monomers. We also show that these TatBC complexes are approached by TatA protomers through their N-termini, which thereby establish contacts with TatB and membrane-inserted RR-precursors. PMID:26068441

  11. Initial assembly steps of a translocase for folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Blümmel, Anne-Sophie; Haag, Laura A; Eimer, Ekaterina; Müller, Matthias; Fröbel, Julia

    2015-06-11

    The so-called Tat (twin-arginine translocation) system transports completely folded proteins across cellular membranes of archaea, prokaryotes and plant chloroplasts. Tat-directed proteins are distinguished by a conserved twin-arginine (RR-) motif in their signal sequences. Many Tat systems are based on the membrane proteins TatA, TatB and TatC, of which TatB and TatC are known to cooperate in binding RR-signal peptides and to form higher-order oligomeric structures. We have now elucidated the fine architecture of TatBC oligomers assembled to form closed intramembrane substrate-binding cavities. The identification of distinct homonymous and heteronymous contacts between TatB and TatC suggest that TatB monomers coalesce into dome-like TatB structures that are surrounded by outer rings of TatC monomers. We also show that these TatBC complexes are approached by TatA protomers through their N-termini, which thereby establish contacts with TatB and membrane-inserted RR-precursors.

  12. FRAN and RBF-PSO as two components of a hyper framework to recognize protein folds.

    PubMed

    Abbasi, Elham; Ghatee, Mehdi; Shiri, M E

    2013-09-01

    In this paper, an intelligent hyper framework is proposed to recognize protein folds from its amino acid sequence which is a fundamental problem in bioinformatics. This framework includes some statistical and intelligent algorithms for proteins classification. The main components of the proposed framework are the Fuzzy Resource-Allocating Network (FRAN) and the Radial Bases Function based on Particle Swarm Optimization (RBF-PSO). FRAN applies a dynamic method to tune up the RBF network parameters. Due to the patterns complexity captured in protein dataset, FRAN classifies the proteins under fuzzy conditions. Also, RBF-PSO applies PSO to tune up the RBF classifier. Experimental results demonstrate that FRAN improves prediction accuracy up to 51% and achieves acceptable multi-class results for protein fold prediction. Although RBF-PSO provides reasonable results for protein fold recognition up to 48%, it is weaker than FRAN in some cases. However the proposed hyper framework provides an opportunity to use a great range of intelligent methods and can learn from previous experiences. Thus it can avoid the weakness of some intelligent methods in terms of memory, computational time and static structure. Furthermore, the performance of this system can be enhanced throughout the system life-cycle.

  13. Highly Diverse Protein Library Based on the Ubiquitous (β/α)8 Enzyme Fold Yields Well-Structured Proteins Through In Vitro Folding Selection

    PubMed Central

    Golynskiy, Misha V.; Haugner, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Proper protein folding is a prerequisite for protein stability and enzymatic activity. While directed evolution can be a powerful tool to investigate enzymatic function and to isolate novel activities, well-designed libraries of folded proteins are essential. In vitro selection methods are particularly capable of searching for enzymatic activities in libraries of trillions of protein variants, yet high-quality libraries of well-folded enzymes with such high diversity are lacking. We describe the construction and detailed characterization of a folding-enriched protein library based on the ubiquitous (β/α)8 barrel fold found in five of the six enzyme classes. We introduced seven randomized loops on the catalytic face of the monomeric, thermostable (β/α)8 barrel of glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (GDPD) from Thermotoga maritima. We employed an in vitro folding selection based on protease digestion to enrich intermediate libraries containing three to four randomized loops for folded variants and then combined them to assemble the final library (1014 DNA sequences). The resulting library was analyzed using the in vitro protease assay and an in vivo GFP-folding assay and contains ~1012 soluble monomeric protein variants. We isolated six library members and demonstrated that these proteins are soluble, monomeric and show (β/α)8 barrel fold-like secondary and tertiary structure. The quality of the folding-enriched library improved up to 50-fold compared to a control library that was assembled without the folding selection. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first example of combining the ultra-high throughput method mRNA display with a selection for folding. The resulting (β/α)8 barrel libraries provide a valuable starting point to study the unique catalytic capabilities of the (β/α)8 fold, and to isolate novel enzymes. PMID:23956201

  14. Misplaced helix slows down ultrafast pressure-jump protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Prigozhin, Maxim B.; Liu, Yanxin; Wirth, Anna Jean; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Schulten, Klaus; Gruebele, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Using a newly developed microsecond pressure-jump apparatus, we monitor the refolding kinetics of the helix-stabilized five-helix bundle protein λ*YA, the Y22W/Q33Y/G46,48A mutant of λ-repressor fragment 6–85, from 3 μs to 5 ms after a 1,200-bar P-drop. In addition to a microsecond phase, we observe a slower 1.4-ms phase during refolding to the native state. Unlike temperature denaturation, pressure denaturation produces a highly reversible helix-coil-rich state. This difference highlights the importance of the denatured initial condition in folding experiments and leads us to assign a compact nonnative helical trap as the reason for slower P-jump–induced refolding. To complement the experiments, we performed over 50 μs of all-atom molecular dynamics P-drop refolding simulations with four different force fields. Two of the force fields yield compact nonnative states with misplaced α-helix content within a few microseconds of the P-drop. Our overall conclusion from experiment and simulation is that the pressure-denatured state of λ*YA contains mainly residual helix and little β-sheet; following a fast P-drop, at least some λ*YA forms misplaced helical structure within microseconds. We hypothesize that nonnative helix at helix-turn interfaces traps the protein in compact nonnative conformations. These traps delay the folding of at least some of the population for 1.4 ms en route to the native state. Based on molecular dynamics, we predict specific mutations at the helix-turn interfaces that should speed up refolding from the pressure-denatured state, if this hypothesis is correct. PMID:23620522

  15. A Simple and Effective Protein Folding Activity Suitable for Large Lectures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Brian

    2006-01-01

    This article describes a simple and inexpensive hands-on simulation of protein folding suitable for use in large lecture classes. This activity uses a minimum of parts, tools, and skill to simulate some of the fundamental principles of protein folding. The major concepts targeted are that proteins begin as linear polypeptides and fold to…

  16. A Simple and Effective Protein Folding Activity Suitable for Large Lectures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Brian

    2006-01-01

    This article describes a simple and inexpensive hands-on simulation of protein folding suitable for use in large lecture classes. This activity uses a minimum of parts, tools, and skill to simulate some of the fundamental principles of protein folding. The major concepts targeted are that proteins begin as linear polypeptides and fold to…

  17. A new protein folding screen: application to the ligand binding domains of a glutamate and kainate receptor and to lysozyme and carbonic anhydrase.

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, N.; de Lencastre, A.; Gouaux, E.

    1999-01-01

    Production of folded and biologically active protein from Escherichia coli derived inclusion bodies can only be accomplished if a scheme exists for in vitro naturation. Motivated by the need for a rapid and statistically meaningful method of determining and evaluating protein folding conditions, we have designed a new fractional factorial protein folding screen. The screen includes 12 factors shown by previous experiments to enhance protein folding and it incorporates the 12 factors into 16 different folding conditions. By examining a 1/256th fraction of the full factorial, multiple folding conditions were determined for the ligand binding domains from glutamate and kainate receptors, and for lysozyme and carbonic anhydrase B. The impact of each factor on the formation of biologically active material was estimated by calculating factor main effects. Factors and corresponding levels such as pH (8.5) and L-arginine (0.5 M) consistently had a positive effect on protein folding, whereas detergent (0.3 mM lauryl maltoside) and nonpolar additive (0.4 M sucrose) were detrimental to the folding of these four proteins. One of the 16 conditions yielded the most folded material for three out of the four proteins. Our results suggest that this protein folding screen will be generally useful in determining whether other proteins will fold in vitro and, if so, what factors are important. Furthermore, fractional factorial folding screens are well suited to the evaluation of previously untested factors on protein folding. PMID:10422836

  18. Sampling of Protein Folding Transitions: Multicanonical Versus Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We compare the efficiency of multicanonical and replica exchange molecular dynamics for the sampling of folding/unfolding events in simulations of proteins with end-to-end β-sheet. In Go-model simulations of the 75-residue MNK6, we observe improvement factors of 30 in the number of folding/unfolding events of multicanonical molecular dynamics over replica exchange molecular dynamics. As an application, we use this enhanced sampling to study the folding landscape of the 36-residue DS119 with an all-atom physical force field and implicit solvent. Here, we find that the rate-limiting step is the formation of the central helix that then provides a scaffold for the parallel β-sheet formed by the two chain ends. PMID:24198735

  19. A Hooke׳s law-based approach to protein folding rate.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Blanco, Yasser B; Marrero-Ponce, Yovani; Prieto, Pablo J; Salgado, Jesús; García, Yamila; Sotomayor-Torres, Clivia M

    2015-01-07

    Kinetics is a key aspect of the renowned protein folding problem. Here, we propose a comprehensive approach to folding kinetics where a polypeptide chain is assumed to behave as an elastic material described by the Hooke׳s law. A novel parameter called elastic-folding constant results from our model and is suggested to distinguish between protein with two-state and multi-state folding pathways. A contact-free descriptor, named folding degree, is introduced as a suitable structural feature to study protein-folding kinetics. This approach generalizes the observed correlations between varieties of structural descriptors with the folding rate constant. Additionally several comparisons among structural classes and folding mechanisms were carried out showing the good performance of our model with proteins of different types. The present model constitutes a simple rationale for the structural and energetic factors involved in protein folding kinetics.

  20. Efficient conformational space exploration in ab initio protein folding simulation

    PubMed Central

    Ullah, Ahammed; Ahmed, Nasif; Pappu, Subrata Dey; Shatabda, Swakkhar; Ullah, A. Z. M. Dayem; Rahman, M. Sohel

    2015-01-01

    Ab initio protein folding simulation largely depends on knowledge-based energy functions that are derived from known protein structures using statistical methods. These knowledge-based energy functions provide us with a good approximation of real protein energetics. However, these energy functions are not very informative for search algorithms and fail to distinguish the types of amino acid interactions that contribute largely to the energy function from those that do not. As a result, search algorithms frequently get trapped into the local minima. On the other hand, the hydrophobic–polar (HP) model considers hydrophobic interactions only. The simplified nature of HP energy function makes it limited only to a low-resolution model. In this paper, we present a strategy to derive a non-uniform scaled version of the real 20×20 pairwise energy function. The non-uniform scaling helps tackle the difficulty faced by a real energy function, whereas the integration of 20×20 pairwise information overcomes the limitations faced by the HP energy function. Here, we have applied a derived energy function with a genetic algorithm on discrete lattices. On a standard set of benchmark protein sequences, our approach significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods for similar models. Our approach has been able to explore regions of the conformational space which all the previous methods have failed to explore. Effectiveness of the derived energy function is presented by showing qualitative differences and similarities of the sampled structures to the native structures. Number of objective function evaluation in a single run of the algorithm is used as a comparison metric to demonstrate efficiency. PMID:26361554

  1. Efficient conformational space exploration in ab initio protein folding simulation.

    PubMed

    Ullah, Ahammed; Ahmed, Nasif; Pappu, Subrata Dey; Shatabda, Swakkhar; Ullah, A Z M Dayem; Rahman, M Sohel

    2015-08-01

    Ab initio protein folding simulation largely depends on knowledge-based energy functions that are derived from known protein structures using statistical methods. These knowledge-based energy functions provide us with a good approximation of real protein energetics. However, these energy functions are not very informative for search algorithms and fail to distinguish the types of amino acid interactions that contribute largely to the energy function from those that do not. As a result, search algorithms frequently get trapped into the local minima. On the other hand, the hydrophobic-polar (HP) model considers hydrophobic interactions only. The simplified nature of HP energy function makes it limited only to a low-resolution model. In this paper, we present a strategy to derive a non-uniform scaled version of the real 20×20 pairwise energy function. The non-uniform scaling helps tackle the difficulty faced by a real energy function, whereas the integration of 20×20 pairwise information overcomes the limitations faced by the HP energy function. Here, we have applied a derived energy function with a genetic algorithm on discrete lattices. On a standard set of benchmark protein sequences, our approach significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods for similar models. Our approach has been able to explore regions of the conformational space which all the previous methods have failed to explore. Effectiveness of the derived energy function is presented by showing qualitative differences and similarities of the sampled structures to the native structures. Number of objective function evaluation in a single run of the algorithm is used as a comparison metric to demonstrate efficiency.

  2. Folding of newly translated membrane protein CCR5 is assisted by the chaperonin GroEL-GroES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chi, Haixia; Wang, Xiaoqiang; Li, Jiqiang; Ren, Hao; Huang, Fang

    2015-11-01

    The in vitro folding of newly translated human CC chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5), which belongs to the physiologically important family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), has been studied in a cell-free system supplemented with the surfactant Brij-35. The freshly synthesized CCR5 can spontaneously fold into its biologically active state but only slowly and inefficiently. However, on addition of the GroEL-GroES molecular chaperone system, the folding of the nascent CCR5 was significantly enhanced, as was the structural stability and functional expression of the soluble form of CCR5. The chaperonin GroEL was partially effective on its own, but for maximum efficiency both the GroEL and its GroES lid were necessary. These results are direct evidence for chaperone-assisted membrane protein folding and therefore demonstrate that GroEL-GroES may be implicated in the folding of membrane proteins.

  3. Folding of newly translated membrane protein CCR5 is assisted by the chaperonin GroEL-GroES.

    PubMed

    Chi, Haixia; Wang, Xiaoqiang; Li, Jiqiang; Ren, Hao; Huang, Fang

    2015-11-20

    The in vitro folding of newly translated human CC chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5), which belongs to the physiologically important family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), has been studied in a cell-free system supplemented with the surfactant Brij-35. The freshly synthesized CCR5 can spontaneously fold into its biologically active state but only slowly and inefficiently. However, on addition of the GroEL-GroES molecular chaperone system, the folding of the nascent CCR5 was significantly enhanced, as was the structural stability and functional expression of the soluble form of CCR5. The chaperonin GroEL was partially effective on its own, but for maximum efficiency both the GroEL and its GroES lid were necessary. These results are direct evidence for chaperone-assisted membrane protein folding and therefore demonstrate that GroEL-GroES may be implicated in the folding of membrane proteins.

  4. Folding of newly translated membrane protein CCR5 is assisted by the chaperonin GroEL-GroES

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Haixia; Wang, Xiaoqiang; Li, Jiqiang; Ren, Hao; Huang, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The in vitro folding of newly translated human CC chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5), which belongs to the physiologically important family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), has been studied in a cell-free system supplemented with the surfactant Brij-35. The freshly synthesized CCR5 can spontaneously fold into its biologically active state but only slowly and inefficiently. However, on addition of the GroEL-GroES molecular chaperone system, the folding of the nascent CCR5 was significantly enhanced, as was the structural stability and functional expression of the soluble form of CCR5. The chaperonin GroEL was partially effective on its own, but for maximum efficiency both the GroEL and its GroES lid were necessary. These results are direct evidence for chaperone-assisted membrane protein folding and therefore demonstrate that GroEL-GroES may be implicated in the folding of membrane proteins. PMID:26585937

  5. Chemical methods for producing disulfide bonds in peptides and proteins to study folding regulation.

    PubMed

    Okumura, Masaki; Shimamoto, Shigeru; Hidaka, Yuji

    2014-04-01

    Disulfide bonds play a critical role in the folding of secretory and membrane proteins. Oxidative folding reactions of disulfide bond-containing proteins typically require several hours or days, and numerous misbridged disulfide isomers are often observed as intermediates. The rate-determining step in refolding is thought to be the disulfide-exchange reaction from nonnative to native disulfide bonds in folding intermediates, which often precipitate during the refolding process because of their hydrophobic properties. To overcome this, chemical additives or a disulfide catalyst, protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), are generally used in refolding experiments to regulate disulfide-coupled peptide and protein folding. This unit describes such methods in the context of the thermodynamic and kinetic control of peptide and protein folding, including (1) regulation of disulfide-coupled peptides and protein folding assisted by chemical additives, (2) reductive unfolding of disulfide-containing peptides and proteins, and (3) regulation of disulfide-coupled peptide and protein folding using PDI.

  6. Perturbations of the denatured state ensemble: modeling their effects on protein stability and folding kinetics.

    PubMed Central

    Wrabl, J. O.; Shortle, D.

    1996-01-01

    By considering the denatured state of a protein as an ensemble of conformations with varying numbers of sequence-specific interactions, the effects on stability, folding kinetics, and aggregation of perturbing these interactions can be predicted from changes in the molecular partition function. From general considerations, the following conclusions are drawn: (1) A perturbation that enhances a native interaction in denatured state conformations always increases the stability of the native state. (2) A perturbation that promotes a non-native interaction in the denatured state always decreases the stability of the native state. (3) A change in the denatured state ensemble can alter the kinetics of aggregation and folding. (4) The loss (or increase) in stability accompanying two mutations, each of which lowers (or raises) the free energy of the denatured state, will be less than the sum of the effects of the single mutations, except in cases where both mutations affect the same set of partially folded conformations. By modeling the denatured state as the ensemble of all non-native conformations of hydrophobic-polar (HP) chains configured on a square lattice, it can be shown that the stabilization obtained from enhancement of native interactions derives in large measure from the avoidance of non-native interactions in the D state. In addition, the kinetic effects of fixing single native contacts in the denatured state or imposing linear gradients in the HH contact probabilities are found, for some sequences, to significantly enhance the efficiency of folding by a simple hydrophobic zippering algorithm. Again, the dominant mechanism appears to be avoidance of non-native interactions. These results suggest stabilization of native interactions and imposition of gradients in the stability of local structure are two plausible mechanisms involving the denatured state that could play a role in the evolution of protein folding and stability. PMID:8931153

  7. A simple quantitative model of macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding: Application to the murine prion protein(121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2013-06-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. Macromolecular crowding is found to promote a decrease of the entropic cost of folding of proteins that produces an increase of both the stability and the folding rate. The acceleration of the folding rate due to macromolecular crowding is shown to be a topology-dependent effect. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). The differential effect of macromolecular crowding as a function of protein topology suffices to make non-native configurations relatively more accessible.

  8. How the folding rates of two- and multistate proteins depend on the amino acid properties.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jitao T; Huang, Wei; Huang, Shanran R; Li, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Proteins fold by either two-state or multistate kinetic mechanism. We observe that amino acids play different roles in different mechanism. Many residues that are easy to form regular secondary structures (α helices, β sheets and turns) can promote the two-state folding reactions of small proteins. Most of hydrophilic residues can speed up the multistate folding reactions of large proteins. Folding rates of large proteins are equally responsive to the flexibility of partial amino acids. Other properties of amino acids (including volume, polarity, accessible surface, exposure degree, isoelectric point, and phase transfer energy) have contributed little to folding kinetics of the proteins. Cysteine is a special residue, it triggers two-state folding reaction and but inhibits multistate folding reaction. These findings not only provide a new insight into protein structure prediction, but also could be used to direct the point mutations that can change folding rate. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Single-Molecule Protein Folding Experiments Using High-Precision Optical Tweezers.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Junyi; Rebane, Aleksander A; Ma, Lu; Zhang, Yongli

    2017-01-01

    How proteins fold from linear chains of amino acids to delicate three-dimensional structures remains a fundamental biological problem. Single-molecule manipulation based on high-resolution optical tweezers (OT) provides a powerful approach to study protein folding with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. In this method, a single protein or protein complex is tethered between two beads confined in optical traps and pulled. Protein unfolding induced by the mechanical force is counteracted by the spontaneous folding of the protein, reaching a dynamic equilibrium at a characteristic force and rate. The transition is monitored by the accompanying extension change of the protein and used to derive conformations and energies of folding intermediates and their associated transition kinetics. Here, we provide general strategies and detailed protocols to study folding of proteins and protein complexes using optical tweezers, including sample preparation, DNA-protein conjugation and methods of data analysis to extract folding energies and rates from the single-molecule measurements.

  10. Protein folding and protein metallocluster studies using synchrotron small angler X-ray scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Eliezer, D.

    1994-06-01

    Proteins, biological macromolecules composed of amino-acid building blocks, possess unique three dimensional shapes or conformations which are intimately related to their biological function. All of the information necessary to determine this conformation is stored in a protein`s amino acid sequence. The problem of understanding the process by which nature maps protein amino-acid sequences to three-dimensional conformations is known as the protein folding problem, and is one of the central unsolved problems in biophysics today. The possible applications of a solution are broad, ranging from the elucidation of thousands of protein structures to the rational modification and design of protein-based drugs. The scattering of X-rays by matter has long been useful as a tool for the characterization of physical properties of materials, including biological samples. The high photon flux available at synchrotron X-ray sources allows for the measurement of scattering cross-sections of dilute and/or disordered samples. Such measurements do not yield the detailed geometrical information available from crystalline samples, but do allow for lower resolution studies of dynamical processes not observable in the crystalline state. The main focus of the work described here has been the study of the protein folding process using time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering measurements. The original intention was to observe the decrease in overall size which must accompany the folding of a protein from an extended conformation to its compact native state. Although this process proved too fast for the current time-resolution of the technique, upper bounds were set on the probable compaction times of several small proteins. In addition, an interesting and unexpected process was detected, in which the folding protein passes through an intermediate state which shows a tendency to associate. This state is proposed to be a kinetic molten globule folding intermediate.

  11. Folding RaCe: a robust method for predicting changes in protein folding rates upon point mutations.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Priyashree; Naganathan, Athi N; Gromiha, M Michael

    2015-07-01

    Protein engineering methods are commonly employed to decipher the folding mechanism of proteins and enzymes. However, such experiments are exceedingly time and resource intensive. It would therefore be advantageous to develop a simple computational tool to predict changes in folding rates upon mutations. Such a method should be able to rapidly provide the sequence position and chemical nature to modulate through mutation, to effect a particular change in rate. This can be of importance in protein folding, function or mechanistic studies. We have developed a robust knowledge-based methodology to predict the changes in folding rates upon mutations formulated from amino and acid properties using multiple linear regression approach. We benchmarked this method against an experimental database of 790 point mutations from 26 two-state proteins. Mutants were first classified according to secondary structure, accessible surface area and position along the primary sequence. Three prime amino acid features eliciting the best relationship with folding rates change were then shortlisted for each class along with an optimized window length. We obtained a self-consistent mean absolute error of 0.36 s(-1) and a mean Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) of 0.81. Jack-knife test resulted in a MAE of 0.42 s(-1) and a PCC of 0.73. Moreover, our method highlights the importance of outlier(s) detection and studying their implications in the folding mechanism. A web server 'Folding RaCe' has been developed and is available at http://www.iitm.ac.in/bioinfo/proteinfolding/foldingrace.html. gromiha@iitm.ac.in Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Kinetic barriers and the role of topology in protein and RNA folding

    PubMed Central

    Sosnick, Tobin R.

    2008-01-01

    This review compares the folding behavior of proteins and RNAs. Topics covered include the role of topology in the determination of folding rates, major folding events including collapse, properties of denatured states, pathway heterogeneity, and the influence of the mode of initiation on the folding pathway. PMID:18502978

  13. Is the unfolded state the Rosetta Stone of the protein folding problem?

    PubMed

    Hammarström, P; Carlsson, U

    2000-09-24

    Solving the protein folding problem is one of the most challenging tasks in the post genomic era. Identification of folding-initiation sites is very important in order to understand the protein folding mechanism. Detection of residual structure in unfolded proteins can yield important clues to the initiation sites in protein folding. A substantial number of studied proteins possess residual structure in hydrophobic regions clustered together in the protein core. These stable structures can work as seeds in the folding process. In addition, local preferences for secondary structure in the form of turns for beta-sheet initiation and helical turns for alpha-helix formation can guide the folding reaction. In this respect the unfolded states, studied at increasing structural resolution, can be the Rosetta Stone of the protein folding problem.

  14. Single-Molecule Protein Folding Experiments Using High-Precision Optical Tweezers

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Junyi; Rebane, Aleksander A.; Ma, Lu; Zhang, Yongli

    2017-01-01

    Summary How proteins fold from linear chains of amino acids to delicate three dimensional structures remains a fundamental biological problem. Single-molecule manipulation based on high-resolution optical tweezers (OT) provides a powerful approach to study protein folding with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. In this method, a single protein or protein complex is tethered between two beads confined in optical traps and pulled. Protein unfolding induced by the mechanical force is counteracted by the spontaneous folding of the protein, reaching a dynamic equilibrium at a characteristic force and rate. The transition is monitored by the accompanying extension change of the protein and used to derive conformations and energies of folding intermediates and their associated transition kinetics. Here, we provide general strategies and detailed protocols to study folding of proteins and protein complexes using optical tweezers, including methods of data analysis to extract folding energies and rates from the single-molecule measurements. PMID:27844436

  15. Molecular chaperoning function of Ric-8 is to fold nascent heterotrimeric G protein α subunits.

    PubMed

    Chan, Puiyee; Thomas, Celestine J; Sprang, Stephen R; Tall, Gregory G

    2013-03-05

    We have shown that resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase 8 (Ric-8) proteins regulate an early step of heterotrimeric G protein α (Gα) subunit biosynthesis. Here, mammalian and plant cell-free translation systems were used to study Ric-8A action during Gα subunit translation and protein folding. Gα translation rates and overall produced protein amounts were equivalent in mock and Ric-8A-immunodepleted rabbit reticulocyte lysate (RRL). GDP-AlF4(-)-bound Gαi, Gαq, Gα13, and Gαs produced in mock-depleted RRL had characteristic resistance to limited trypsinolysis, showing that these G proteins were folded properly. Gαi, Gαq, and Gα13, but not Gαs produced from Ric-8A-depleted RRL were not protected from trypsinization and therefore not folded correctly. Addition of recombinant Ric-8A to the Ric-8A-depleted RRL enhanced GDP-AlF4(-)-bound Gα subunit trypsin protection. Dramatic results were obtained in wheat germ extract (WGE) that has no endogenous Ric-8 component. WGE-translated Gαq was gel filtered and found to be an aggregate. Ric-8A supplementation of WGE allowed production of Gαq that gel filtered as a ∼100 kDa Ric-8A:Gαq heterodimer. Addition of GTPγS to Ric-8A-supplemented WGE Gαq translation resulted in dissociation of the Ric-8A:Gαq heterodimer and production of functional Gαq-GTPγS monomer. Excess Gβγ supplementation of WGE did not support functional Gαq production. The molecular chaperoning function of Ric-8 is to participate in the folding of nascent G protein α subunits.

  16. The effect of surface tethering on the folding of the src-SH3 protein domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Zhuoyun; Jewett, Andrew I.; Soto, Patricia; Shea, Joan-Emma

    2009-03-01

    The effect of surface tethering on the folding mechanism of the src-SH3 protein domain was investigated using a coarse-grained Gō-type protein model. The protein was tethered at various locations along the protein chain and the thermodynamics and kinetics of folding were studied using replica exchange and constant temperature Langevin dynamics. Our simulations reveal that tethering in a structured part of the transition state can dramatically alter the folding mechanism, while tethering in an unstructured part leaves the folding mechanism unaltered as compared to bulk folding. Interestingly, there is only modest correlation between the tethering effect on the folding mechanism and its effect on thermodynamic stability and folding rates. We suggest locations on the protein at which tethering could be performed in single-molecule experiments so as to leave the folding mechanism unaltered from the bulk.

  17. Flexibility damps macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding dynamics: Application to the murine prion protein (121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the combined effects of protein flexibility and macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. It is found that the increase in stability and folding rate promoted by macromolecular crowding is damped for proteins with highly flexible native structures. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). It is found that the high flexibility of the native isoform of the murine prion protein (121-231) reduces the effects of macromolecular crowding on its folding dynamics. The relevance of these findings for the pathogenic mechanism are discussed.

  18. Smoothing Protein Energy Landscapes by Integrating Folding Models with Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Pritchard-Bell, Ari; Shell, M. Scott

    2011-01-01

    Decades of work has investigated the energy landscapes of simple protein models, but what do the landscapes of real, large, atomically detailed proteins look like? We explore an approach to this problem that systematically extracts simple funnel models of actual proteins using ensembles of structure predictions and physics-based atomic force fields and sampling. Central to our effort are calculations of a quantity called the relative entropy, which quantifies the extent to which a given set of structure decoys and a putative native structure can be projected onto a theoretical funnel description. We examine 86 structure prediction targets and one coupled folding-binding system, and find that in a majority of cases the relative entropy robustly signals which structures are nearest to native (i.e., which appear to lie closest to a funnel bottom). Importantly, the landscape model improves substantially upon purely energetic measures in scoring decoys. Our results suggest that physics-based models—including both folding theories and all-atom force fields—may be successfully integrated with structure prediction efforts. Conversely, detailed predictions of structures and the relative entropy approach enable one to extract coarse topographic features of protein landscapes that may enhance the development and application of simpler folding models. PMID:22067165

  19. Parameter Optimization for the Gaussian Model of Folded Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erman, Burak; Erkip, Albert

    2000-03-01

    Recently, we proposed an analytical model of protein folding (B. Erman, K. A. Dill, J. Chem. Phys, 112, 000, 2000) and showed that this model successfully approximates the known minimum energy configurations of two dimensional HP chains. All attractions (covalent and non-covalent) as well as repulsions were treated as if the monomer units interacted with each other through linear spring forces. Since the governing potential of the linear springs are derived from a Gaussian potential, the model is called the ''Gaussian Model''. The predicted conformations from the model for the hexamer and various 9mer sequences all lie on the square lattice, although the model does not contain information about the lattice structure. Results of predictions for chains with 20 or more monomers also agreed well with corresponding known minimum energy lattice structures. However, these predicted conformations did not lie exactly on the square lattice. In the present work, we treat the specific problem of optimizing the potentials (the strengths of the spring constants) so that the predictions are in better agreement with the known minimum energy structures.

  20. Folding and aggregation of export-defective mutants of the maltose-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Betton, Jean-Michel; Phichith, Denis; Hunke, Sabine

    2002-09-01

    We previously characterized a defective-folding variant of the periplasmic maltose-binding protein, MalE31. To examine the alternative folding pathways open to the MalE31 precursor, we have analyzed the cellular fates of this aggregation-prone protein carrying altered signal sequences. Our results are most easily interpreted by a kinetic competition between exportation, folding, and degradation.

  1. Ethanol stress impairs protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and activates Ire1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, Ken-Ichi; Ishiwata-Kimata, Yuki; Kohno, Kenji; Kimata, Yukio

    2014-01-01

    Impaired protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) evokes the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is triggered in budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, by the ER-located transmembrane protein Ire1. Here, we report that ethanol stress damages protein folding in the ER, causing activation of Ire1 in yeast cells. The UPR likely contributes to the ethanol tolerance of yeast cells.

  2. Distinct folding pathways of two homologous disulfide proteins: bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor and tick anticoagulant peptide.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jui-Yoa

    2011-01-01

    The folding pathways of disulfide proteins vary substantially (Arolas et al., Trends Biochem Sci 31: 292-301, 2006). The diversity is mainly manifested by (a) the extent of heterogeneity of folding intermediates, (b) the extent of presence of native-like intermediates, and (c) the variation of folding kinetics. Even among structurally similar proteins, the difference can be enormous. This is demonstrated in this concise review with two structurally homologous kunitz-type protease inhibitors, bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor and tick anticoagulant peptide, as well as a group of cystine knot proteins. The diversity of their folding mechanisms is illustrated with two different folding techniques: (a) the conventional method of disulfide oxidation (oxidative folding), and (b) the novel method of disulfide scrambling (Chang, J Biol Chem 277: 120-126, 2002). This review also highlights the convergence of folding models concluded form the conventional conformational folding and those obtained by oxidative folding.

  3. Protein folding and conformational stress in microbial cells producing recombinant proteins: a host comparative overview

    PubMed Central

    Gasser, Brigitte; Saloheimo, Markku; Rinas, Ursula; Dragosits, Martin; Rodríguez-Carmona, Escarlata; Baumann, Kristin; Giuliani, Maria; Parrilli, Ermenegilda; Branduardi, Paola; Lang, Christine; Porro, Danilo; Ferrer, Pau; Tutino, Maria Luisa; Mattanovich, Diethard; Villaverde, Antonio

    2008-01-01

    Different species of microorganisms including yeasts, filamentous fungi and bacteria have been used in the past 25 years for the controlled production of foreign proteins of scientific, pharmacological or industrial interest. A major obstacle for protein production processes and a limit to overall success has been the abundance of misfolded polypeptides, which fail to reach their native conformation. The presence of misfolded or folding-reluctant protein species causes considerable stress in host cells. The characterization of such adverse conditions and the elicited cell responses have permitted to better understand the physiology and molecular biology of conformational stress. Therefore, microbial cell factories for recombinant protein production are depicted here as a source of knowledge that has considerably helped to picture the extremely rich landscape of in vivo protein folding, and the main cellular players of this complex process are described for the most important cell factories used for biotechnological purposes. PMID:18394160

  4. Important amino acid residues involved in folding and binding of protein-protein complexes.

    PubMed

    Kulandaisamy, A; Lathi, V; ViswaPoorani, K; Yugandhar, K; Gromiha, M Michael

    2017-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions perform diverse functions in living organism. The integrative analysis of binding and stabilizing residues will provide insights on the functions of protein-protein complexes. In this work, we constructed a non-redundant dataset of 261 protein-protein complexes and identified binding site residues, stabilizing residues and common to both binding and stabilizing, termed as "key residues". We found that 6.1% of residues are involved in binding and 6.8% of residues are important for folding and stability. Among them, only 2% are involved in both folding and binding, which shows the importance and specific roles played by these residues. The key residues have been analyzed based on protein function, binding affinity, rigid and flexible complexes, amino acid preference and structure based parameters. We found that high affinity complexes have more key residues than low affinity complexes. In addition, key residues are enriched with the combination of specific hydrophobic and charged/polar residues. Atomic contacts between interacting proteins have distinct preferences of polar-polar, nonpolar-nonpolar and polar-nonpolar contacts in different functional classes of protein-protein complexes. Further, the influence of sequence and structural parameters such as surrounding hydrophobicity, solvent accessibility, secondary structure, long-range order and conservation score has been discussed. The analysis can be used to comprehend the interplay between stability and binding in protein-protein complexes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Can natural proteins designed with 'inverted' peptide sequences adopt native-like protein folds?

    PubMed

    Sridhar, Settu; Guruprasad, Kunchur

    2014-01-01

    We have carried out a systematic computational analysis on a representative dataset of proteins of known three-dimensional structure, in order to evaluate whether it would possible to 'swap' certain short peptide sequences in naturally occurring proteins with their corresponding 'inverted' peptides and generate 'artificial' proteins that are predicted to retain native-like protein fold. The analysis of 3,967 representative proteins from the Protein Data Bank revealed 102,677 unique identical inverted peptide sequence pairs that vary in sequence length between 5-12 and 18 amino acid residues. Our analysis illustrates with examples that such 'artificial' proteins may be generated by identifying peptides with 'similar structural environment' and by using comparative protein modeling and validation studies. Our analysis suggests that natural proteins may be tolerant to accommodating such peptides.

  6. Characterization of protein folding by a Φ-value calculation with a statistical-mechanical model

    PubMed Central

    Wako, Hiroshi; Abe, Haruo

    2016-01-01

    The Φ-value analysis approach provides information about transition-state structures along the folding pathway of a protein by measuring the effects of an amino acid mutation on folding kinetics. Here we compared the theoretically calculated Φ values of 27 proteins with their experimentally observed Φ values; the theoretical values were calculated using a simple statistical-mechanical model of protein folding. The theoretically calculated Φ values reflected the corresponding experimentally observed Φ values with reasonable accuracy for many of the proteins, but not for all. The correlation between the theoretically calculated and experimentally observed Φ values strongly depends on whether the protein-folding mechanism assumed in the model holds true in real proteins. In other words, the correlation coefficient can be expected to illuminate the folding mechanisms of proteins, providing the answer to the question of which model more accurately describes protein folding: the framework model or the nucleation-condensation model. In addition, we tried to characterize protein folding with respect to various properties of each protein apart from the size and fold class, such as the free-energy profile, contact-order profile, and sensitivity to the parameters used in the Φ-value calculation. The results showed that any one of these properties alone was not enough to explain protein folding, although each one played a significant role in it. We have confirmed the importance of characterizing protein folding from various perspectives. Our findings have also highlighted that protein folding is highly variable and unique across different proteins, and this should be considered while pursuing a unified theory of protein folding. PMID:28409079

  7. Protein folding: Over half a century lasting quest. Comment on "There and back again: Two views on the protein folding puzzle" by Alexei V. Finkelstein et al.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krokhotin, Andrey; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2017-07-01

    Most proteins fold into unique three-dimensional (3D) structures that determine their biological functions, such as catalytic activity or macromolecular binding. Misfolded proteins can pose a threat through aberrant interactions with other proteins leading to a number of diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [1,2]. What does determine 3D structure of proteins? The first clue to this question came more than fifty years ago when Anfinsen demonstrated that unfolded proteins can spontaneously fold to their native 3D structures [3,4]. Anfinsen's experiments lead to the conclusion that proteins fold to unique native structure corresponding to the stable and kinetically accessible free energy minimum, and protein native structure is solely determined by its amino acid sequence. The question of how exactly proteins find their free energy minimum proved to be a difficult problem. One of the puzzles, initially pointed out by Levinthal, was an inconsistency between observed protein folding times and theoretical estimates. A self-avoiding polymer model of a globular protein of 100-residues length on a cubic lattice can sample at least 1047 states. Based on the assumption that conformational sampling occurs at the highest vibrational mode of proteins (∼picoseconds), predicted folding time by searching among all the possible conformations leads to ∼1027 years (much larger than the age of the universe) [5]. In contrast, observed protein folding time range from microseconds to minutes. Due to tremendous theoretical progress in protein folding field that has been achieved in past decades, the source of this inconsistency is currently understood that is thoroughly described in the review by Finkelstein et al. [6].

  8. The energy landscape of modular repeat proteins: topology determines folding mechanism in the ankyrin family.

    PubMed

    Ferreiro, Diego U; Cho, Samuel S; Komives, Elizabeth A; Wolynes, Peter G

    2005-12-02

    Proteins consisting of repeating amino acid motifs are abundant in all kingdoms of life, especially in higher eukaryotes. Repeat-containing proteins self-organize into elongated non-globular structures. Do the same general underlying principles that dictate the folding of globular domains apply also to these extended topologies? Using a simplified structure-based model capturing a perfectly funneled energy landscape, we surveyed the predicted mechanism of folding for ankyrin repeat containing proteins. The ankyrin family is one of the most extensively studied classes of non-globular folds. The model based only on native contacts reproduces most of the experimental observations on the folding of these proteins, including a folding mechanism that is reminiscent of a nucleation propagation growth. The confluence of simulation and experimental results suggests that the folding of non-globular proteins is accurately described by a funneled energy landscape, in which topology plays a determinant role in the folding mechanism.

  9. Understanding protein domain-swapping using structure-based models of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Mascarenhas, Nahren Manuel; Gosavi, Shachi

    2017-09-01

    In domain-swapping, two or more identical protein monomers exchange structural elements and fold into dimers or multimers whose units are structurally similar to the original monomer. Domain-swapping is of biotechnological interest because inhibiting domain-swapping can reduce disease-causing fibrillar protein aggregation. To achieve such inhibition, it is important to understand both the energetics that stabilize the domain-swapped structure and the protein dynamics that enable the swapping. Structure-based models (SBMs) encode the folded structure of the protein in their potential energy functions. SBMs have been successfully used to understand diverse aspects of monomer folding. Symmetrized SBMs model interactions between two identical protein chains using only intra-monomer interactions. Molecular dynamics simulations of such symmetrized SBMs have been used to correctly predict the domain-swapped structure and to understand the mechanism of domain-swapping. Here, we review such models and illustrate that monomer topology determines key aspects of domain-swapping. However, in some proteins, specifics of local energetic interactions modulate domain-swapping and these need to be added to the symmetrized SBMs. We then summarize some general principles of the mechanism of domain-swapping that emerge from the symmetrized SBM simulations. Finally, using our own results, we explore how symmetrized SBMs could be used to design domain-swapping in proteins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A collaborative visual analytics suite for protein folding research.

    PubMed

    Harvey, William; Park, In-Hee; Rübel, Oliver; Pascucci, Valerio; Bremer, Peer-Timo; Li, Chenglong; Wang, Yusu

    2014-09-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is a crucial tool for understanding principles behind important biochemical processes such as protein folding and molecular interaction. With the rapidly increasing power of modern computers, large-scale MD simulation experiments can be performed regularly, generating huge amounts of MD data. An important question is how to analyze and interpret such massive and complex data. One of the (many) challenges involved in analyzing MD simulation data computationally is the high-dimensionality of such data. Given a massive collection of molecular conformations, researchers typically need to rely on their expertise and prior domain knowledge in order to retrieve certain conformations of interest. It is not easy to make and test hypotheses as the data set as a whole is somewhat "invisible" due to its high dimensionality. In other words, it is hard to directly access and examine individual conformations from a sea of molecular structures, and to further explore the entire data set. There is also no easy and convenient way to obtain a global view of the data or its various modalities of biochemical information. To this end, we present an interactive, collaborative visual analytics tool for exploring massive, high-dimensional molecular dynamics simulation data sets. The most important utility of our tool is to provide a platform where researchers can easily and effectively navigate through the otherwise "invisible" simulation data sets, exploring and examining molecular conformations both as a whole and at individual levels. The visualization is based on the concept of a topological landscape, which is a 2D terrain metaphor preserving certain topological and geometric properties of the high dimensional protein energy landscape. In addition to facilitating easy exploration of conformations, this 2D terrain metaphor also provides a platform where researchers can visualize and analyze various properties (such as contact density) overlayed on the

  11. Energy landscape and multiroute folding of topologically complex proteins adenylate kinase and 2ouf-knot

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenfei; Terakawa, Tsuyoshi; Wang, Wei; Takada, Shoji

    2012-01-01

    While fast folding of small proteins has been relatively well characterized by experiments and theories, much less is known for slow folding of larger proteins, for which recent experiments suggested quite complex and rich folding behaviors. Here, we address how the energy landscape theory can be applied to these slow folding reactions. Combining the perfect-funnel approximation with a multiscale method, we first extended our previous atomic-interaction based coarse grained (AICG) model to take into account local flexibility of protein molecules. Using this model, we then investigated the energy landscapes and folding routes of two proteins with complex topologies: a multidomain protein adenylate kinase (AKE) and a knotted protein 2ouf-knot. In the AKE folding, consistent with experimental results, the kinetic free energy surface showed several substates between the fully unfolded and native states. We characterized the structural features of these substates and transitions among them, finding temperature-dependent multiroute folding. For protein 2ouf-knot, we found that the improved atomic-interaction based coarse-grained model can spontaneously tie a knot and fold the protein with a probability up to 96%. The computed folding rate of the knotted protein was much slower than that of its unknotted counterpart, in agreement with experimental findings. Similar to the AKE case, the 2ouf-knot folding exhibited several substates and transitions among them. Interestingly, we found a dead-end substate that lacks the knot, thus suggesting backtracking mechanisms. PMID:22753508

  12. Estimation of protein folding rate from Monte Carlo simulations and entropy capacity.

    PubMed

    Galzitskaya, Oxana V

    2010-11-01

    The problem of protein self-organization is one of the most important problems of molecular biology nowadays. Despite the recent success in the understanding of general principles of protein folding, details of this process are yet to be elucidated. Moreover, the prediction of protein folding rates has its own practical value due to the fact that aggregation directly depends on the rate of protein folding. The time of folding has been calculated for 67 proteins with known experimental data at the point of thermodynamic equilibrium between unfolded and native states using a Monte Carlo model where each residue is considered to be either folded as in the native state or completely disordered. The times of folding for 67 proteins which reach the native state within the limit of 10(8) Monte Carlo steps are in a good correlation with the experimentally measured folding rate at the mid-transition point (the correlation coefficient is -0.82). Theoretical consideration of a capillarity model for the process of protein folding demonstrates that the difference in the folding rate for proteins sharing more spherical and less spherical folds is the result of differences in the conformational entropy due to a larger surface of the boundary between folded and unfolded phases in the transition state for proteins with more spherical fold. The capillarity model allows us to predict the folding rate at the same level of correlation as by Monte Carlo simulations. The calculated model entropy capacity (conformational entropy per residue divided by the average contact energy per residue) for 67 proteins correlates by about 78% with the experimentally measured folding rate at the mid-transition point.

  13. The Folding of a Family of Three-Helix Bundle Proteins: Spectrin R15 Has a Robust Folding Nucleus, Unlike Its Homologous Neighbours☆

    PubMed Central

    Kwa, Lee Gyan; Wensley, Beth G.; Alexander, Crispin G.; Browning, Stuart J.; Lichman, Benjamin R.; Clarke, Jane

    2014-01-01

    Three homologous spectrin domains have remarkably different folding characteristics. We have previously shown that the slow-folding R16 and R17 spectrin domains can be altered to resemble the fast folding R15, in terms of speed of folding (and unfolding), landscape roughness and folding mechanism, simply by substituting five residues in the core. Here we show that, by contrast, R15 cannot be engineered to resemble R16 and R17. It is possible to engineer a slow-folding version of R15, but our analysis shows that this protein neither has a rougher energy landscape nor does change its folding mechanism. Quite remarkably, R15 appears to be a rare example of a protein with a folding nucleus that does not change in position or in size when its folding nucleus is disrupted. Thus, while two members of this protein family are remarkably plastic, the third has apparently a restricted folding landscape. PMID:24373753

  14. The folding of a family of three-helix bundle proteins: spectrin R15 has a robust folding nucleus, unlike its homologous neighbours.

    PubMed

    Kwa, Lee Gyan; Wensley, Beth G; Alexander, Crispin G; Browning, Stuart J; Lichman, Benjamin R; Clarke, Jane

    2014-04-03

    Three homologous spectrin domains have remarkably different folding characteristics. We have previously shown that the slow-folding R16 and R17 spectrin domains can be altered to resemble the fast folding R15, in terms of speed of folding (and unfolding), landscape roughness and folding mechanism, simply by substituting five residues in the core. Here we show that, by contrast, R15 cannot be engineered to resemble R16 and R17. It is possible to engineer a slow-folding version of R15, but our analysis shows that this protein neither has a rougher energy landscape nor does change its folding mechanism. Quite remarkably, R15 appears to be a rare example of a protein with a folding nucleus that does not change in position or in size when its folding nucleus is disrupted. Thus, while two members of this protein family are remarkably plastic, the third has apparently a restricted folding landscape.

  15. Thermodynamics of downhill folding: multi-probe analysis of PDD, a protein that folds over a marginal free energy barrier.

    PubMed

    Naganathan, Athi N; Muñoz, Victor

    2014-07-31

    Downhill folding proteins fold in microseconds by crossing a very low or no free energy barrier (<3 RT), and exhibit a complex unfolding behavior in equilibrium. Such unfolding complexity is due to the weak thermodynamic coupling that exists between the various structural segments of these proteins, and it is manifested in unfolding curves that differ depending on the structural probe employed to monitor the process. Probe-dependent unfolding has important practical implications because it permits one to investigate the folding energy landscape in detail using multiprobe thermodynamic experiments. This type of thermodynamic behavior has been investigated in depth on the protein BBL, an example of extreme (one-state) downhill folding in which there is no free energy barrier at any condition, including the denaturation midpoint. However, an open question is, to what extent is such thermodynamic behavior observed on less extreme downhill folders? Here we perform a multiprobe spectroscopic characterization of the microsecond folder PDD, a structural and functional homologue of BBL that folds within the downhill regime, but is not an example of one-state downhill folding; rather at the denaturation midpoint PDD folds by crossing an incipient free energy barrier. Model-free analysis of the unfolding curves from four different spectroscopic probes together with differential scanning calorimetry reveals a dispersion of ∼9 K in the apparent melting temperature and also marked differences in unfolding broadness (from ∼50 to ∼130 kJ mol(-1) when analyzed with a two-state model), confirming that such properties are also observed on less extreme downhill folders. We subsequently perform a global quantitative analysis of the unfolding data of PDD using the same ME statistical mechanical model that was used before for the BBL domain. The analysis shows that this simple model captures all of the features observed on the unfolding of PDD (i.e., the intensity and temperature

  16. Residual ordered structure in denatured proteins and the problem of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Basharov, Mahmud A

    2012-02-01

    Structural characteristics of numerous globular proteins in the denatured state have been reviewed using literature data. Recent more precise experiments show that in contrast to the conventional standpoint, proteins under strongly denaturing conditions do not unfold completely and adopt a random coil state, but contain significant residual ordered structure. These results cast doubt on the basis of the conventional approach representing the process of protein folding as a spontaneous transition of a polypeptide chain from the random coil state to the unique globular structure. The denaturation of proteins is explained in terms of the physical properties of proteins such as stability, conformational change, elasticity, irreversible denaturation, etc. The spontaneous renaturation of some denatured proteins most probably is merely the manifestation of the physical properties (e.g., the elasticity) of the proteins per se, caused by the residual structure present in the denatured state. The pieces of the ordered structure might be the centers of the initiation of renaturation, where the restoration of the initial native conformation of denatured proteins begins. Studies on the denaturation of proteins hardly clarify how the proteins fold into the native conformation during the successive residue-by-residue elongation of the polypeptide chain on the ribosome.

  17. Structure determination of archaea-specific ribosomal protein L46a reveals a novel protein fold

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Yingang; Song, Xiaxia; Lin, Jinzhong; Xuan, Jinsong; Cui, Qiu; Wang, Jinfeng

    2014-07-18

    Highlights: • The archaea-specific ribosomal protein L46a has no homology to known proteins. • Three dimensional structure and backbone dynamics of L46a were determined by NMR. • The structure of L46a represents a novel protein fold. • A potential rRNA-binding surface on L46a was identified. • The potential position of L46a on the ribosome was proposed. - Abstract: Three archaea-specific ribosomal proteins recently identified show no sequence homology with other known proteins. Here we determined the structure of L46a, the most conserved one among the three proteins, from Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 using NMR spectroscopy. The structure presents a twisted β-sheet formed by the N-terminal part and two helices at the C-terminus. The L46a structure has a positively charged surface which is conserved in the L46a protein family and is the potential rRNA-binding site. Searching homologous structures in Protein Data Bank revealed that the structure of L46a represents a novel protein fold. The backbone dynamics identified by NMR relaxation experiments reveal significant flexibility at the rRNA binding surface. The potential position of L46a on the ribosome was proposed by fitting the structure into a previous electron microscopy map of the ribosomal 50S subunit, which indicated that L46a contacts to domain I of 23S rRNA near a multifunctional ribosomal protein L7ae.

  18. Design and structure of an equilibrium protein folding intermediate: a hint into dynamical regions of proteins.

    PubMed

    Ayuso-Tejedor, Sara; Angarica, Vladimir Espinosa; Bueno, Marta; Campos, Luis A; Abián, Olga; Bernadó, Pau; Sancho, Javier; Jiménez, M Angeles

    2010-07-23

    Partly unfolded protein conformations close to the native state may play important roles in protein function and in protein misfolding. Structural analyses of such conformations which are essential for their fully physicochemical understanding are complicated by their characteristic low populations at equilibrium. We stabilize here with a single mutation the equilibrium intermediate of apoflavodoxin thermal unfolding and determine its solution structure by NMR. It consists of a large native region identical with that observed in the X-ray structure of the wild-type protein plus an unfolded region. Small-angle X-ray scattering analysis indicates that the calculated ensemble of structures is consistent with the actual degree of expansion of the intermediate. The unfolded region encompasses discontinuous sequence segments that cluster in the 3D structure of the native protein forming the FMN cofactor binding loops and the binding site of a variety of partner proteins. Analysis of the apoflavodoxin inner interfaces reveals that those becoming destabilized in the intermediate are more polar than other inner interfaces of the protein. Natively folded proteins contain hydrophobic cores formed by the packing of hydrophobic surfaces, while natively unfolded proteins are rich in polar residues. The structure of the apoflavodoxin thermal intermediate suggests that the regions of natively folded proteins that are easily responsive to thermal activation may contain cores of intermediate hydrophobicity.

  19. Protein fold determined by paramagnetic magic-angle spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Ishita; Nadaud, Philippe S.; Helmus, Jonathan J.; Schwieters, Charles D.; Jaroniec, Christopher P.

    2012-01-01

    Biomacromolecules that are challenging for the usual structural techniques can be studied with atomic resolution by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance. However, the paucity of >5 Å distance restraints, traditionally derived from measurements of magnetic dipole-dipole couplings between protein nuclei, is a major bottleneck that hampers such structure elucidation efforts. Here we describe a general approach that enables the rapid determination of global protein fold in the solid phase via measurements of nuclear paramagnetic relaxation enhancements (PREs) in several analogs of the protein of interest containing covalently-attached paramagnetic tags, without the use of conventional internuclear distance restraints. The method is demonstrated using six cysteine-EDTA-Cu2+ mutants of the 56-residue B1 immunoglobulin-binding domain of protein G, for which ~230 longitudinal backbone 15N PREs corresponding to ~10-20 Å distances were obtained. The mean protein fold determined in this manner agrees with the X-ray structure with a backbone atom root-mean-square deviation of 1.8 Å. PMID:22522262

  20. Protein fold determined by paramagnetic magic-angle spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sengupta, Ishita; Nadaud, Philippe S.; Helmus, Jonathan J.; Schwieters, Charles D.; Jaroniec, Christopher P.

    2012-05-01

    Biomacromolecules that are challenging for the usual structural techniques can be studied with atomic resolution by solid-state NMR spectroscopy. However, the paucity of distance restraints >5 Å, traditionally derived from measurements of magnetic dipole-dipole couplings between protein nuclei, is a major bottleneck that hampers such structure elucidation efforts. Here, we describe a general approach that enables the rapid determination of global protein fold in the solid phase via measurements of nuclear paramagnetic relaxation enhancements (PREs) in several analogues of the protein of interest containing covalently attached paramagnetic tags, without the use of conventional internuclear distance restraints. The method is demonstrated using six cysteine-EDTA-Cu2+ mutants of the 56-residue B1 immunoglobulin-binding domain of protein G, for which ~230 longitudinal backbone 15N PREs corresponding to distances of ~10-20 Å were obtained. The mean protein fold determined in this manner agrees with the X-ray structure with a backbone atom root-mean-square deviation of 1.8 Å.

  1. Protein folding occurs while bound to the ATP-independent chaperone Spy

    PubMed Central

    Humes, Julia R; Radford, Sheena E; Bardwell, James C A

    2016-01-01

    Chaperones assist the folding of many proteins in the cell. While the most well studied chaperones use cycles of ATP binding and hydrolysis to assist protein folding, a number of chaperones have been identified that promote protein folding in the absence of high-energy cofactors. Precisely how ATP-independent chaperones accomplish this feat is unclear. Here we have characterized the kinetic mechanism of substrate folding by the small, ATP-independent chaperone, Spy. Spy rapidly associates with its substrate, Immunity protein 7 (Im7), eliminating its potential for aggregation. Remarkably, Spy then allows Im7 to fully fold into its native state while remaining bound to the surface of the chaperone. These results establish a potentially widespread mechanism whereby ATP-independent chaperones can assist in protein refolding. They also provide compelling evidence that substrate proteins can fold while continuously bound to a chaperone. PMID:26619265

  2. Contact order revisited: Influence of protein size on the folding rate

    SciTech Connect

    Ivankov, Dmitry N.; Garbuzynskiy, Sergiy O.; Alm, Eric; Plaxco, Kevin W.; Baker, David; Finkelstein, Alexei V.

    2003-05-28

    Guided by the recent success of empirical model predicting the folding rates of small two-state folding proteins from the relative contact order (CO) of their native structures, by a theoretical model of protein folding that predicts that logarithm of the folding rate decreases with the protein chain length L as L2/3, and by the finding that the folding rates of multistate folding proteins strongly correlate with their sizes and have very bad correlation with CO, we reexamined the dependence of folding rate on CO and L in attempt to find a structural parameter that determines folding rates for the totality of proteins. We show that the Abs{sub CO} = CO x L, is able to predict rather accurately folding rates for both two-state and multistate folding proteins, as well as short peptides, and that this Abs{sub CO} scales with the protein chain length as L0.70 {+-} 0.07 for the totality of studied single-domain proteins and peptides.

  3. Mathematics, Thermodynamics, and Modeling to Address Ten Common Misconceptions about Protein Structure, Folding, and Stability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robic, Srebrenka

    2010-01-01

    To fully understand the roles proteins play in cellular processes, students need to grasp complex ideas about protein structure, folding, and stability. Our current understanding of these topics is based on mathematical models and experimental data. However, protein structure, folding, and stability are often introduced as descriptive, qualitative…

  4. Mathematics, Thermodynamics, and Modeling to Address Ten Common Misconceptions about Protein Structure, Folding, and Stability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robic, Srebrenka

    2010-01-01

    To fully understand the roles proteins play in cellular processes, students need to grasp complex ideas about protein structure, folding, and stability. Our current understanding of these topics is based on mathematical models and experimental data. However, protein structure, folding, and stability are often introduced as descriptive, qualitative…

  5. A spatio-temporal mining approach towards summarizing and analyzing protein folding trajectories.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hui; Parthasarathy, Srinivasan; Ucar, Duygu

    2007-04-04

    Understanding the protein folding mechanism remains a grand challenge in structural biology. In the past several years, computational theories in molecular dynamics have been employed to shed light on the folding process. Coupled with high computing power and large scale storage, researchers now can computationally simulate the protein folding process in atomistic details at femtosecond temporal resolution. Such simulation often produces a large number of folding trajectories, each consisting of a series of 3D conformations of the protein under study. As a result, effectively managing and analyzing such trajectories is becoming increasingly important. In this article, we present a spatio-temporal mining approach to analyze protein folding trajectories. It exploits the simplicity of contact maps, while also integrating 3D structural information in the analysis. It characterizes the dynamic folding process by first identifying spatio-temporal association patterns in contact maps, then studying how such patterns evolve along a folding trajectory. We demonstrate that such patterns can be leveraged to summarize folding trajectories, and to facilitate the detection and ordering of important folding events along a folding path. We also show that such patterns can be used to identify a consensus partial folding pathway across multiple folding trajectories. Furthermore, we argue that such patterns can capture both local and global structural topology in a 3D protein conformation, thereby facilitating effective structural comparison amongst conformations. We apply this approach to analyze the folding trajectories of two small synthetic proteins-BBA5 and GSGS (or Beta3S). We show that this approach is promising towards addressing the above issues, namely, folding trajectory summarization, folding events detection and ordering, and consensus partial folding pathway identification across trajectories.

  6. Residual Structures, Conformational Fluctuations, and Electrostatic Interactions in the Synergistic Folding of Two Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weihong; Ganguly, Debabani; Chen, Jianhan

    2012-01-01

    To understand the interplay of residual structures and conformational fluctuations in the interaction of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), we first combined implicit solvent and replica exchange sampling to calculate atomistic disordered ensembles of the nuclear co-activator binding domain (NCBD) of transcription coactivator CBP and the activation domain of the p160 steroid receptor coactivator ACTR. The calculated ensembles are in quantitative agreement with NMR-derived residue helicity and recapitulate the experimental observation that, while free ACTR largely lacks residual secondary structures, free NCBD is a molten globule with a helical content similar to that in the folded complex. Detailed conformational analysis reveals that free NCBD has an inherent ability to substantially sample all the helix configurations that have been previously observed either unbound or in complexes. Intriguingly, further high-temperature unbinding and unfolding simulations in implicit and explicit solvents emphasize the importance of conformational fluctuations in synergistic folding of NCBD with ACTR. A balance between preformed elements and conformational fluctuations appears necessary to allow NCBD to interact with different targets and fold into alternative conformations. Together with previous topology-based modeling and existing experimental data, the current simulations strongly support an “extended conformational selection” synergistic folding mechanism that involves a key intermediate state stabilized by interaction between the C-terminal helices of NCBD and ACTR. In addition, the atomistic simulations reveal the role of long-range as well as short-range electrostatic interactions in cooperating with readily fluctuating residual structures, which might enhance the encounter rate and promote efficient folding upon encounter for facile binding and folding interactions of IDPs. Thus, the current study not only provides a consistent mechanistic understanding of

  7. Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy maps the folding landscape of a large protein.

    PubMed

    Pirchi, Menahem; Ziv, Guy; Riven, Inbal; Cohen, Sharona Sedghani; Zohar, Nir; Barak, Yoav; Haran, Gilad

    2011-10-11

    Proteins attain their function only after folding into a highly organized three-dimensional structure. Much remains to be learned about the mechanisms of folding of large multidomain proteins, which may populate metastable intermediate states on their energy landscapes. Here we introduce a novel method, based on high-throughput single-molecule fluorescence experiments, which is specifically geared towards tracing the dynamics of folding in the presence of a plethora of intermediates. We employ this method to characterize the folding reaction of a three-domain protein, adenylate kinase. Using thousands of single-molecule trajectories and hidden Markov modelling, we identify six metastable states on adenylate kinase's folding landscape. Remarkably, the connectivity of the intermediates depends on denaturant concentration; at low concentration, multiple intersecting folding pathways co-exist. We anticipate that the methodology introduced here will find broad applicability in the study of folding of large proteins, and will provide a more realistic scenario of their conformational dynamics.

  8. Single-molecule spectroscopy of protein folding in a chaperonin cage

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Hagen; Hillger, Frank; Pfeil, Shawn H.; Hoffmann, Armin; Streich, Daniel; Haenni, Dominik; Nettels, Daniel; Lipman, Everett A.; Schuler, Benjamin

    2010-01-01

    Molecular chaperones are known to be essential for avoiding protein aggregation in vivo, but it is still unclear how they affect protein folding mechanisms. We use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to follow the folding of a protein inside the GroEL/GroES chaperonin cavity over a time range from milliseconds to hours. Our results show that confinement in the chaperonin decelerates the folding of the C-terminal domain in the substrate protein rhodanese, but leaves the folding rate of the N-terminal domain unaffected. Microfluidic mixing experiments indicate that strong interactions of the substrate with the cavity walls impede the folding process, but the folding hierarchy is preserved. Our results imply that no universal chaperonin mechanism exists. Rather, a competition between intra- and intermolecular interactions determines the folding rates and mechanisms of a substrate inside the GroEL/GroES cage. PMID:20547872

  9. Genetic Selection for Enhanced Folding In Vivo Targets the Cys14-Cys38 Disulfide Bond in Bovine Pancreatic Trypsin Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Foit, Linda; Mueller-Schickert, Antje; Mamathambika, Bharath S.; Gleiter, Stefan; Klaska, Caitlyn L.; Ren, Guoping

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The periplasm provides a strongly oxidizing environment; however, periplasmic expression of proteins with disulfide bonds is often inefficient. Here, we used two different tripartite fusion systems to perform in vivo selections for mutants of the model protein bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) with the aim of enhancing its expression in Escherichia coli. This trypsin inhibitor contains three disulfides that contribute to its extreme stability and protease resistance. The mutants we isolated for increased expression appear to act by eliminating or destabilizing the Cys14-Cys38 disulfide in BPTI. In doing so, they are expected to reduce or eliminate kinetic traps that exist within the well characterized in vitro folding pathway of BPTI. These results suggest that elimination or destabilization of a disulfide bond whose formation is problematic in vitro can enhance in vivo protein folding. The use of these in vivo selections may prove a valuable way to identify and eliminate disulfides and other rate-limiting steps in the folding of proteins, including those proteins whose in vitro folding pathways are unknown. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 973–984. PMID:21110786

  10. Recent Progress in Machine Learning-Based Methods for Protein Fold Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Leyi; Zou, Quan

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge on protein folding has a profound impact on understanding the heterogeneity and molecular function of proteins, further facilitating drug design. Predicting the 3D structure (fold) of a protein is a key problem in molecular biology. Determination of the fold of a protein mainly relies on molecular experimental methods. With the development of next-generation sequencing techniques, the discovery of new protein sequences has been rapidly increasing. With such a great number of proteins, the use of experimental techniques to determine protein folding is extremely difficult because these techniques are time consuming and expensive. Thus, developing computational prediction methods that can automatically, rapidly, and accurately classify unknown protein sequences into specific fold categories is urgently needed. Computational recognition of protein folds has been a recent research hotspot in bioinformatics and computational biology. Many computational efforts have been made, generating a variety of computational prediction methods. In this review, we conduct a comprehensive survey of recent computational methods, especially machine learning-based methods, for protein fold recognition. This review is anticipated to assist researchers in their pursuit to systematically understand the computational recognition of protein folds. PMID:27999256

  11. Substrate protein folds while it is bound to the ATP-independent chaperone Spy.

    PubMed

    Stull, Frederick; Koldewey, Philipp; Humes, Julia R; Radford, Sheena E; Bardwell, James C A

    2016-01-01

    Chaperones assist in the folding of many proteins in the cell. Although the most well-studied chaperones use cycles of ATP binding and hydrolysis to assist in protein folding, a number of chaperones have been identified that promote folding in the absence of high-energy cofactors. Precisely how ATP-independent chaperones accomplish this feat is unclear. Here we characterized the kinetic mechanism of substrate folding by the small ATP-independent chaperone Spy from Escherichia coli. Spy rapidly associates with its substrate, immunity protein 7 (Im7), thereby eliminating Im7's potential for aggregation. Remarkably, Spy then allows Im7 to fully fold into its native state while it remains bound to the surface of the chaperone. These results establish a potentially widespread mechanism whereby ATP-independent chaperones assist in protein refolding. They also provide compelling evidence that substrate proteins can fold while being continuously bound to a chaperone.

  12. Coarse-grained models of protein folding: toy models or predictive tools?

    PubMed

    Clementi, Cecilia

    2008-02-01

    Coarse-grained models are emerging as a practical alternative to all-atom simulations for the characterization of protein folding mechanisms over long time scales. While a decade ago minimalist toy models were mainly designed to test general hypotheses on the principles regulating protein folding, the latest coarse-grained models are increasingly realistic and can be used to characterize quantitatively the detailed folding mechanism of specific proteins. The ability of such models to reproduce the essential features of folding dynamics suggests that each single atomic degree of freedom is not by itself particularly relevant to folding and supports a statistical mechanical approach to characterize folding transitions. When combined with more refined models and with experimental studies, the systematic investigation of protein systems and complexes using coarse-grained models can advance our theoretical understanding of the actual organizing principles that emerge from the complex network of interactions among protein atomic constituents.

  13. A single aromatic core mutation converts a designed "primitive" protein from halophile to mesophile folding.

    PubMed

    Longo, Liam M; Tenorio, Connie A; Kumru, Ozan S; Middaugh, C Russell; Blaber, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The halophile environment has a number of compelling aspects with regard to the origin of structured polypeptides (i.e., proteogenesis) and, instead of a curious niche that living systems adapted into, the halophile environment is emerging as a candidate "cradle" for proteogenesis. In this viewpoint, a subsequent halophile-to-mesophile transition was a key step in early evolution. Several lines of evidence indicate that aromatic amino acids were a late addition to the codon table and not part of the original "prebiotic" set comprising the earliest polypeptides. We test the hypothesis that the availability of aromatic amino acids could facilitate a halophile-to-mesophile transition by hydrophobic core-packing enhancement. The effects of aromatic amino acid substitutions were evaluated in the core of a "primitive" designed protein enriched for the 10 prebiotic amino acids (A,D,E,G,I,L,P,S,T,V)-having an exclusively prebiotic core and requiring halophilic conditions for folding. The results indicate that a single aromatic amino acid substitution is capable of eliminating the requirement of halophile conditions for folding of a "primitive" polypeptide. Thus, the availability of aromatic amino acids could have facilitated a critical halophile-to-mesophile protein folding adaptation-identifying a selective advantage for the incorporation of aromatic amino acids into the codon table.

  14. Mutagenic dissection of the sequence determinants of protein folding, recognition, and machine function.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Robert T

    2013-11-01

    Understanding the relationship between the amino-acid sequence of a protein and its ability to fold and to function is one of the major challenges of protein science. Here, cases are reviewed in which mutagenesis, biochemistry, structure determination, protein engineering, and single-molecule biophysics have illuminated the sequence determinants of folding, binding specificity, and biological function for DNA-binding proteins and ATP-fueled machines that forcibly unfold native proteins as a prelude to degradation. In addition to structure-function relationships, these studies provide information about folding intermediates, mutations that accelerate folding, slow unfolding, and stabilize proteins against denaturation, show how new binding specificities and folds can evolve, and reveal strategies that proteolytic machines use to recognize, unfold, and degrade thousands of distinct substrates. © 2013 The Protein Society.

  15. Curvature of the energy landscape and folding of model proteins.

    PubMed

    Mazzoni, Lorenzo N; Casetti, Lapo

    2006-11-24

    We study the geometric properties of the energy landscape of coarse-grained, off-lattice models of polymers by endowing the configuration space with a suitable metric, depending on the potential energy function, such that the dynamical trajectories are the geodesics of the metric. Using numerical simulations, we show that the fluctuations of the curvature clearly mark the folding transition, and that this quantity allows to distinguish between polymers having a proteinlike behavior (i.e., that fold to a unique configuration) and polymers which undergo a hydrophobic collapse but do not have a folding transition. These geometrical properties are defined by the potential energy without requiring any prior knowledge of the native configuration.

  16. Protein folding funnels: a kinetic approach to the sequence-structure relationship.

    PubMed

    Leopold, P E; Montal, M; Onuchic, J N

    1992-09-15

    A lattice model of protein folding is developed to distinguish between amino acid sequences that do and do not fold into unique conformations. Although Monte Carlo simulations provide insights into the long-time processes involved in protein folding, these simulations cannot systematically chart the conformational energy surface that enables folding. By assuming that protein folding occurs after chain collapse, a kinetic map of important pathways on this surface is constructed through the use of an analytical theory of probability flow. Convergent kinetic pathways, or "folding funnels," guide folding to a unique, stable, native conformation. Solution of the probability flow equations is facilitated by limiting treatment to diffusion between geometrically similar collapsed conformers. Similarity is measured in terms of a reconfigurational distance. Two specific amino acid sequences are deemed foldable and nonfoldable because one gives rise to a single, large folding funnel leading to a native conformation and the other has multiple pathways leading to several stable conformers. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that folding funnel calculations accurately predict the fact of and the pathways involved in folding-specific sequences. The existence of folding funnels for specific sequences suggests that geometrically related families of stable, collapsed conformers fulfill kinetic and thermodynamic requirements of protein folding.

  17. A new method for modeling and solving the protein fold recognition problem

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Ying; Xu, Dong; Uberbacher, E.C.

    1998-12-31

    Computational recognition of native-like folds from a protein fold database is considered to be a promising alternative approach to the ab initio fold prediction. We present a new and effective method for protein fold recognition through optimally aligning (threading) an amino acid sequence and a protein fold (template). A protein fold, in our database, is represented as a series of core secondary structures, and the alignment quality is determined by three factors. They are (1) the fitness between each amino acid and the environment of its assigned (aligned) template position; (2) pairwise interaction preferences between amino acids that are spatially close; and (3) alignment gap penalties. Our threading algorithm constructs an optimum alignment between an amino acid sequence of size n and a protein fold template of size m in 0((m + n{sup 1+0.5C}-M log(n))n{sup C+1}) time and 0(nm + n{sup C+2}) space, where M is the number of core secondary structures in the fold, and C is a (small) nonnegative integer, determined by a mathematical property of the pairwise interactions in the fold. C is less than or equal to 3 for about 90% of the 296 unique folds in our database, when pairwise interactions are restricted to amino acids < 6{angstrom} apart (measured between their beta carbon atoms). An approximation scheme is developed for fold templates with C > 3, when threading requires too much memory and time to be practical on a typical workstation.

  18. Computational simulations of protein folding to engineer amino acid sequences to encourage desired supersecondary structure formation.

    PubMed

    Gerstman, Bernard S; Chapagain, Prem P

    2013-01-01

    The dynamics of protein folding are complicated because of the various types of amino acid interactions that create secondary, supersecondary, and tertiary interactions. Computational modeling can be used to simulate the biophysical and biochemical interactions that determine protein folding. Effective folding to a desired protein configuration requires a compromise between speed, stability, and specificity. If the primary sequence of amino acids emphasizes one of these characteristics, the others might suffer and the folding process may not be optimized. We provide an example of a model peptide whose primary sequence produces a highly stable supersecondary two-helix bundle structure, but at the expense of lower speed and specificity of the folding process. We show how computational simulations can be used to discover the configuration of the kinetic trap that causes the degradation in the speed and specificity of folding. We also show how amino acid sequences can be engineered by specific substitutions to optimize the folding to the desired supersecondary structure.

  19. Smoothing a rugged protein folding landscape by sequence-based redesign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porebski, Benjamin T.; Keleher, Shani; Hollins, Jeffrey J.; Nickson, Adrian A.; Marijanovic, Emilia M.; Borg, Natalie A.; Costa, Mauricio G. S.; Pearce, Mary A.; Dai, Weiwen; Zhu, Liguang; Irving, James A.; Hoke, David E.; Kass, Itamar; Whisstock, James C.; Bottomley, Stephen P.; Webb, Geoffrey I.; McGowan, Sheena; Buckle, Ashley M.

    2016-09-01

    The rugged folding landscapes of functional proteins puts them at risk of misfolding and aggregation. Serine protease inhibitors, or serpins, are paradigms for this delicate balance between function and misfolding. Serpins exist in a metastable state that undergoes a major conformational change in order to inhibit proteases. However, conformational labiality of the native serpin fold renders them susceptible to misfolding, which underlies misfolding diseases such as α1-antitrypsin deficiency. To investigate how serpins balance function and folding, we used consensus design to create conserpin, a synthetic serpin that folds reversibly, is functional, thermostable, and polymerization resistant. Characterization of its structure, folding and dynamics suggest that consensus design has remodeled the folding landscape to reconcile competing requirements for stability and function. This approach may offer general benefits for engineering functional proteins that have risky folding landscapes, including the removal of aggregation-prone intermediates, and modifying scaffolds for use as protein therapeutics.

  20. Smoothing a rugged protein folding landscape by sequence-based redesign

    PubMed Central

    Porebski, Benjamin T.; Keleher, Shani; Hollins, Jeffrey J.; Nickson, Adrian A.; Marijanovic, Emilia M.; Borg, Natalie A.; Costa, Mauricio G. S.; Pearce, Mary A.; Dai, Weiwen; Zhu, Liguang; Irving, James A.; Hoke, David E.; Kass, Itamar; Whisstock, James C.; Bottomley, Stephen P.; Webb, Geoffrey I.; McGowan, Sheena; Buckle, Ashley M.

    2016-01-01

    The rugged folding landscapes of functional proteins puts them at risk of misfolding and aggregation. Serine protease inhibitors, or serpins, are paradigms for this delicate balance between function and misfolding. Serpins exist in a metastable state that undergoes a major conformational change in order to inhibit proteases. However, conformational labiality of the native serpin fold renders them susceptible to misfolding, which underlies misfolding diseases such as α1-antitrypsin deficiency. To investigate how serpins balance function and folding, we used consensus design to create conserpin, a synthetic serpin that folds reversibly, is functional, thermostable, and polymerization resistant. Characterization of its structure, folding and dynamics suggest that consensus design has remodeled the folding landscape to reconcile competing requirements for stability and function. This approach may offer general benefits for engineering functional proteins that have risky folding landscapes, including the removal of aggregation-prone intermediates, and modifying scaffolds for use as protein therapeutics. PMID:27667094

  1. Enhanced seismic depth imaging of complex fault-fold structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirtland Grech, Maria Graziella

    Synthetic seismic data were acquired over numerical and physical models, representing fault-fold structures encountered in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Foothills, to investigate which migration algorithm produces the best image in such complex environments. Results showed that pre-stack depth migration from topography with the known velocity model yielded the optimum migrated image. Errors in the positioning of a target underneath a dipping antisotropic overburden were also studied using multicomponent data. The largest error was observed on P-wave data where anisotropy was highest at 18%. For an overburden thickness of 1500 m, the target was imaged 300 m updip from the true location. Field data from a two-dimensional surface seismic line and a multioffset vertical seismic profile (VSP) from the Foothills of southern Alberta, Canada, were processed using a flow designed to yield an optimum depth image. Traveltime inversion of the first arrivals from all the shots from the multioffset VSP revealed that the Mesozoic shale strata in the area exhibit seismic velocity anisotropy. The anisotropy parameters, ε and delta, were calculated to be 0.1 and 0.05 respectively. Anisotropic pre-stack depth migration code for VSP and surface seismic data, which uses a modified version of a raytracer developed in this thesis for the computation of traveltime tables, was also developed. The algorithm was then used in a new method for integrated VSP and surface seismic depth imaging. Results from the migration of synthetic and field data show that the resulting integrated image is superior to that obtained from the migration of either data set alone or to that obtained from the conventional "splicing" approach. The combination of borehole and surface seismic data for anisotropy analysis, velocity model building, and depth migration, yielded a robust image even when the geology was complex, thus permitting a more accurate interpretation of the exploration target.

  2. The conformation of a nascent polypeptide inside the ribosome tunnel affects protein targeting and protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Janine H.; Woolhead, Cheryl A.; Bernstein, Harris D.

    2010-01-01

    In this report we describe insights into the function of the ribosome tunnel that were obtained through an analysis of an unusual 25 residue N-terminal motif (EspP1-25) associated with the signal peptide of the E. coli EspP protein. It was previously shown that EspP1-25 inhibits signal peptide recognition by the signal recognition particle (SRP), and we now show that fusion of EspP1-25 to a cytoplasmic protein causes it to aggregate. We obtained two lines of evidence that both of these effects are attributable to the conformation of EspP1-25 inside the ribosome tunnel. First, we found that mutations in EspP1-25 that abolished its effects on protein targeting and protein folding altered the crosslinking of short nascent chains to ribosomal components. Second, we found that a mutation in L22 that distorts the tunnel mimicked the effects of the EspP1-25 mutations on protein biogenesis. Our results provide evidence that the conformation of a polypeptide inside the ribosome tunnel can influence protein folding under physiological conditions and suggest that ribosomal mutations might increase the solubility of at least some aggregation-prone proteins produced in E. coli. PMID:20804452

  3. Cadmium impairs protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and induces the unfolded protein response.

    PubMed

    Le, Quynh Giang; Ishiwata-Kimata, Yuki; Kohno, Kenji; Kimata, Yukio

    2016-08-01

    Cellular exposure to cadmium is known to strongly induce the unfolded protein response (UPR), which suggests that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is preferentially damaged by cadmium. According to recent reports, the UPR is induced both dependent on and independently of accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER. In order to understand the toxic mechanism of cadmium, here we investigated how cadmium exposure leads to Ire1 activation, which triggers the UPR, using yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism. Cadmium poorly induced the UPR when Ire1 carried a mutation that impairs its ability to recognize unfolded proteins. Ire1 activation by cadmium was also attenuated by the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyrate. Cadmium caused sedimentation of BiP, the molecular chaperone in the ER, which suggests the ER accumulation of unfolded proteins. A green fluorescent protein-based reporter assay also indicated that cadmium damages the oxidative protein folding in the ER. We also found that an excess concentration of extracellular calcium attenuates the Ire1 activation by cadmium. Taken together, we propose that cadmium exposure leads to the UPR induction through impairment of protein folding in the ER. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Extracting features from protein sequences to improve deep extreme learning machine for protein fold recognition.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Wisam; Abadeh, Mohammad Saniee

    2017-03-27

    Protein fold recognition is an important problem in bioinformatics to predict three-dimensional structure of a protein. One of the most challenging tasks in protein fold recognition problem is the extraction of efficient features from the amino-acid sequences to obtain better classifiers. In this paper, we have proposed six descriptors to extract features from protein sequences. These descriptors are applied in the first stage of a three-stage framework PCA-DELM-LDA to extract feature vectors from the amino-acid sequences. Principal Component Analysis PCA has been implemented to reduce the number of extracted features. The extracted feature vectors have been used with original features to improve the performance of the Deep Extreme Learning Machine DELM in the second stage. Four new features have been extracted from the second stage and used in the third stage by Linear Discriminant Analysis LDA to classify the instances into 27 folds. The proposed framework is implemented on the independent and combined feature sets in SCOP datasets. The experimental results show that extracted feature vectors in the first stage could improve the performance of DELM in extracting new useful features in second stage.

  5. A Particle Swarm Optimization-Based Approach with Local Search for Predicting Protein Folding.

    PubMed

    Yang, Cheng-Hong; Lin, Yu-Shiun; Chuang, Li-Yeh; Chang, Hsueh-Wei

    2017-10-01

    The hydrophobic-polar (HP) model is commonly used for predicting protein folding structures and hydrophobic interactions. This study developed a particle swarm optimization (PSO)-based algorithm combined with local search algorithms; specifically, the high exploration PSO (HEPSO) algorithm (which can execute global search processes) was combined with three local search algorithms (hill-climbing algorithm, greedy algorithm, and Tabu table), yielding the proposed HE-L-PSO algorithm. By using 20 known protein structures, we evaluated the performance of the HE-L-PSO algorithm in predicting protein folding in the HP model. The proposed HE-L-PSO algorithm exhibited favorable performance in predicting both short and long amino acid sequences with high reproducibility and stability, compared with seven reported algorithms. The HE-L-PSO algorithm yielded optimal solutions for all predicted protein folding structures. All HE-L-PSO-predicted protein folding structures possessed a hydrophobic core that is similar to normal protein folding.

  6. Equilibrium folding and stability of myotrophin: a model ankyrin repeat protein.

    PubMed

    Mosavi, Leila K; Williams, Suzanna; Peng Zy, Zheng-yu

    2002-07-05

    Proteins containing stretches of repeating amino acid sequences are prevalent throughout nature, yet little is known about the general folding and assembly mechanisms of these systems. Here we propose myotrophin as a model system to study the folding of ankyrin repeat proteins. Myotrophin is folded over a large pH range and is soluble at high concentrations. Thermal and urea denaturation studies show that the protein displays cooperative two-state folding properties despite its modular nature. Taken together with previous studies on other ankyrin repeat proteins, our data suggest that the two-state folding pathway may be characteristic of ankyrin repeat proteins and other integrated alpha-helical repeat proteins in general.

  7. Transform and relax sampling for highly anisotropic systems: Application to protein domain motion and folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitao, Akio

    2011-07-01

    Transform and relax sampling (TRS) is proposed as a conformational sampling method to enhance "soft" fluctuation in highly anisotropic systems using molecular dynamics simulation. This method consists of three stages; transform, relax, and sampling. In the transform stage, molecular dynamics simulation is performed with randomly assigned force bias to enhance the fluctuations along relatively soft collective movements, as expected from the linear response theory. After relaxing the heated system to equilibrium without force bias in the relax stage, Monte Carlo-type determination is made as to whether the generated state is accepted or not. The sampling stage is then conducted for conformational sampling by conventional molecular dynamics simulation. TRS is first applied for the idealized multidimensional double-well Cα model to mimic protein open-close transition. Subsequently, it is applied to three different all-atom protein systems in an explicit solvent model; T4 lysozyme, glutamine binding protein, and a mini-protein chignolin. Investigation of structural variations in the hinge angle of T4 lysozyme in crystals is demonstrated by TRS. The liganded close structure of the glutamine binding protein is sampled starting from the unliganded open form. Chignolin is shown to fold into a native structure multiple times starting from highly extended structures within 100 ns. It is concluded that TRS sampled a reasonable conformational space within a relatively short simulation time in these cases. Possible future extensions of TRS are also discussed.

  8. Cooperative Protein Folding by Two Protein Thiol Disulfide Oxidoreductases and ERO1 in Soybean1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Okuda, Aya; Masuda, Taro; Koishihara, Katsunori; Mita, Ryuta; Iwasaki, Kensuke; Hara, Kumiko; Naruo, Yurika; Hirose, Akiho; Tsuchi, Yuichiro

    2016-01-01

    Most proteins produced in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic cells fold via disulfide formation (oxidative folding). Oxidative folding is catalyzed by protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and PDI-related ER protein thiol disulfide oxidoreductases (ER oxidoreductases). In yeast and mammals, ER oxidoreductin-1s (Ero1s) supply oxidizing equivalent to the active centers of PDI. In this study, we expressed recombinant soybean Ero1 (GmERO1a) and found that GmERO1a oxidized multiple soybean ER oxidoreductases, in contrast to mammalian Ero1s having a high specificity for PDI. One of these ER oxidoreductases, GmPDIM, associated in vivo and in vitro with GmPDIL-2, was unable to be oxidized by GmERO1a. We therefore pursued the possible cooperative oxidative folding by GmPDIM, GmERO1a, and GmPDIL-2 in vitro and found that GmPDIL-2 synergistically accelerated oxidative refolding. In this process, GmERO1a preferentially oxidized the active center in the a′ domain among the a, a′, and b domains of GmPDIM. A disulfide bond introduced into the active center of the a′ domain of GmPDIM was shown to be transferred to the active center of the a domain of GmPDIM and the a domain of GmPDIM directly oxidized the active centers of both the a or a′ domain of GmPDIL-2. Therefore, we propose that the relay of an oxidizing equivalent from one ER oxidoreductase to another may play an essential role in cooperative oxidative folding by multiple ER oxidoreductases in plants. PMID:26645455

  9. Estimating the probability for a protein to have a new fold: A statistical computational model

    PubMed Central

    Portugaly, Elon; Linial, Michal

    2000-01-01

    Structural genomics aims to solve a large number of protein structures that represent the protein space. Currently an exhaustive solution for all structures seems prohibitively expensive, so the challenge is to define a relatively small set of proteins with new, currently unknown folds. This paper presents a method that assigns each protein with a probability of having an unsolved fold. The method makes extensive use of protomap, a sequence-based classification, and scop, a structure-based classification. According to protomap, the protein space encodes the relationship among proteins as a graph whose vertices correspond to 13,354 clusters of proteins. A representative fold for a cluster with at least one solved protein is determined after superposition of all scop (release 1.37) folds onto protomap clusters. Distances within the protomap graph are computed from each representative fold to the neighboring folds. The distribution of these distances is used to create a statistical model for distances among those folds that are already known and those that have yet to be discovered. The distribution of distances for solved/unsolved proteins is significantly different. This difference makes it possible to use Bayes' rule to derive a statistical estimate that any protein has a yet undetermined fold. Proteins that score the highest probability to represent a new fold constitute the target list for structural determination. Our predicted probabilities for unsolved proteins correlate very well with the proportion of new folds among recently solved structures (new scop 1.39 records) that are disjoint from our original training set. PMID:10792051

  10. Importance of native-state topology for determining the folding rate of two-state proteins.

    PubMed

    Gromiha, M Michael

    2003-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between amino acid sequences and folding rate of proteins is a challenging task similar to protein folding problem. In this work, we have analyzed the relative importance of protein sequence and structure for predicting the protein folding rates in terms of amino acid properties and contact distances, respectively. We found that the parameters derived with protein sequence (physical-chemical, energetic, and conformational properties of amino acid residues) show very weak correlation (|r| < 0.39) with folding rates of 28 two-state proteins, indicating that the sequence information alone is not sufficient to understand the folding rates of two-state proteins. However, the maximum positive correlation obtained for the properties, number of medium-range contacts, and alpha-helical tendency reveals the importance of local interactions to initiate protein folding. On the other hand, a remarkable correlation (r varies from -0.74 to -0.88) has been obtained between structural parameters (contact order, long-range order, and total contact distance) and protein folding rates. Further, we found that the secondary structure content and solvent accessibility play a marginal role in determining the folding rates of two-state proteins. Multiple regression analysis carried out with the combination of three properties, beta-strand tendency, enthalpy change, and total contact distance improved the correlation to 0.92 with protein folding rates. The relative importance of existing methods along with multiple-regression model proposed in this work will be discussed. Our results demonstrate that the native-state topology is the major determinant for the folding rates of two-state proteins.

  11. A variety of DNA-binding and multimeric proteins contain the histone fold motif.

    PubMed Central

    Baxevanis, A D; Arents, G; Moudrianakis, E N; Landsman, D

    1995-01-01

    The histone fold motif has previously been identified as a structural feature common to all four core histones and is involved in both histone-histone and histone-DNA interactions. Through the use of a novel motif searching method, a group of proteins containing the histone fold motif has been established. The proteins in this group are involved in a wide variety of functions related mostly to DNA metabolism. Most of these proteins engage in protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions, as do their core histone counterparts. Among these, CCAAT-specific transcription factor CBF and its yeast homologue HAP are two examples of multimeric complexes with different component subunits that contain the histone fold motif. The histone fold proteins are distantly related, with a relatively small degree of absolute sequence similarity. It is proposed that these proteins may share a similar three-dimensional conformation despite the lack of significant sequence similarity. PMID:7651829

  12. Folding pathways of proteins with increasing degree of sequence identities but different structure and function.

    PubMed

    Giri, Rajanish; Morrone, Angela; Travaglini-Allocatelli, Carlo; Jemth, Per; Brunori, Maurizio; Gianni, Stefano

    2012-10-30

    Much experimental work has been devoted in comparing the folding behavior of proteins sharing the same fold but different sequence. The recent design of proteins displaying very high sequence identities but different 3D structure allows the unique opportunity to address the protein-folding problem from a complementary perspective. Here we explored by Φ-value analysis the pathways of folding of three different heteromorphic pairs, displaying increasingly high-sequence identity (namely, 30%, 77%, and 88%), but different structures called G(A) (a 3-α helix fold) and G(B) (an α/β fold). The analysis, based on 132 site-directed mutants, is fully consistent with the idea that protein topology is committed very early along the pathway of folding. Furthermore, data reveals that when folding approaches a perfect two-state scenario, as in the case of the G(A) domains, the structural features of the transition state appear very robust to changes in sequence composition. On the other hand, when folding is more complex and multistate, as for the G(B)s, there are alternative nuclei or accessible pathways that can be alternatively stabilized by altering the primary structure. The implications of our results in the light of previous work on the folding of different members belonging to the same protein family are discussed.

  13. Assisted protein folding at low temperature: evolutionary adaptation of the Antarctic fish chaperonin CCT and its client proteins

    PubMed Central

    Cuellar, Jorge; Yébenes, Hugo; Parker, Sandra K.; Carranza, Gerardo; Serna, Marina; Valpuesta, José María; Zabala, Juan Carlos; Detrich, H. William

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Eukaryotic ectotherms of the Southern Ocean face energetic challenges to protein folding assisted by the cytosolic chaperonin CCT. We hypothesize that CCT and its client proteins (CPs) have co-evolved molecular adaptations that facilitate CCT–CP interaction and the ATP-driven folding cycle at low temperature. To test this hypothesis, we compared the functional and structural properties of CCT–CP systems from testis tissues of an Antarctic fish, Gobionotothen gibberifrons (Lönnberg) (habitat/body T = −1.9 to +2°C), and of the cow (body T = 37°C). We examined the temperature dependence of the binding of denatured CPs (β-actin, β-tubulin) by fish and bovine CCTs, both in homologous and heterologous combinations and at temperatures between −4°C and 20°C, in a buffer conducive to binding of the denatured CP to the open conformation of CCT. In homologous combination, the percentage of G. gibberifrons CCT bound to CP declined linearly with increasing temperature, whereas the converse was true for bovine CCT. Binding of CCT to heterologous CPs was low, irrespective of temperature. When reactions were supplemented with ATP, G. gibberifrons CCT catalyzed the folding and release of actin at 2°C. The ATPase activity of apo-CCT from G. gibberifrons at 4°C was ∼2.5-fold greater than that of apo-bovine CCT, whereas equivalent activities were observed at 20°C. Based on these results, we conclude that the catalytic folding cycle of CCT from Antarctic fishes is partially compensated at their habitat temperature, probably by means of enhanced CP-binding affinity and increased flexibility of the CCT subunits. PMID:24659247

  14. How a Spatial Arrangement of Secondary Structure Elements Is Dispersed in the Universe of Protein Folds

    PubMed Central

    Minami, Shintaro; Sawada, Kengo; Chikenji, George

    2014-01-01

    It has been known that topologically different proteins of the same class sometimes share the same spatial arrangement of secondary structure elements (SSEs). However, the frequency by which topologically different structures share the same spatial arrangement of SSEs is unclear. It is important to estimate this frequency because it provides both a deeper understanding of the geometry of protein folds and a valuable suggestion for predicting protein structures with novel folds. Here we clarified the frequency with which protein folds share the same SSE packing arrangement with other folds, the types of spatial arrangement of SSEs that are frequently observed across different folds, and the diversity of protein folds that share the same spatial arrangement of SSEs with a given fold, using a protein structure alignment program MICAN, which we have been developing. By performing comprehensive structural comparison of SCOP fold representatives, we found that approximately 80% of protein folds share the same spatial arrangement of SSEs with other folds. We also observed that many protein pairs that share the same spatial arrangement of SSEs belong to the different classes, often with an opposing N- to C-terminal direction of the polypeptide chain. The most frequently observed spatial arrangement of SSEs was the 2-layer α/β packing arrangement and it was dispersed among as many as 27% of SCOP fold representatives. These results suggest that the same spatial arrangements of SSEs are adopted by a wide variety of different folds and that the spatial arrangement of SSEs is highly robust against the N- to C-terminal direction of the polypeptide chain. PMID:25243952

  15. A protein family under 'stress' - serpin stability, folding and misfolding.

    PubMed

    Devlin, Glyn L; Bottomley, Stephen P

    2005-01-01

    The native fold of inhibitory serpins (serpin proteinase inhibitors) is metastable and therefore does not represent the most stable conformation that the primary sequence encodes for. The most stable form is adopted when the reactive centre loop (RCL) inserts, as the fourth strand, into the A b -sheet. Currently a serpin can adopt at least four more stable conformations, termed the cleaved, delta, latent and polymeric states. The accessibility of these alternative low energy folds renders the serpin molecule susceptible to mutations that can result in dysfunction and pathology. Here, we discuss the means by which the serpin can attain and preserve this metastable conformation. We also consider the triggers for misfolding to these more stable states and the mechanisms by which it occurs.

  16. Cleavage Mapping the Topology of Protein Folding Intermediates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    investigate the changes that occur in two of these mutants. V66L has a greatly lowered m value while that of A90S is substantially increased (5...stability of the folded state of nuclease. The cleavage technique will be used to investigate the changes that occur in two of these mutants. V66L...Connecticut, 06520 3Instituto de Qufmica y Fisicoquimica Biolögicas, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioqufmica (UBA-CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina 4

  17. Development of Rules for Folding of Biotechnology Produced Protein.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-07-01

    condensed phase called a coacervate ) which is in equilibrium with the overlying solution (6). The Inverse Temperature Transition When high molecular...at low temperatures but on raising the temperature aggregation and settling occurs to form a more dense viscoelastic phase, called a coacervate , which...weight in elastomeric bands obtained on y-irradiation of the coacervate state (13,16,17). This mechanism for driving folding and unfolding is an order

  18. Polycarboxylates Enhance Beetle Antifreeze Protein Activity

    PubMed Central

    Amornwittawat, Natapol; Wang, Sen; Duman, John G.; Wen, Xin

    2008-01-01

    Summary Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) lower the noncolligative freezing point of water in the presence of ice below the ice melting point. The temperature difference between the melting point and the noncolligative freezing point is termed thermal hysteresis (TH). The magnitude of the TH depends on the specific activity and the concentration of AFP, and the concentration of enhancers in the solution. Known enhancers are certain low molecular mass molecules and proteins. Here, we investigated a series of polycarboxylates that enhance the TH activity of an AFP from the beetle Dendroides canadensis (DAFP) using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Triethylenetetramine-N,N,N′,N″,N‴,N‴-hexaacetate, the most efficient enhancer identified in this work, can increase the TH of DAFP by nearly 1.5 fold over than that of the published best enhancer, citrate. The Zn2+ coordinated carboxylate results in loss of the enhancement ability of the carboxylate on antifreeze activity. There is not an additional increase in TH when a weaker enhancer is added to a stronger enhancer solution. These observations suggest that the more carboxylate groups per enhancer molecule the better the efficiency of the enhancer and that the freedom of motion of these molecules is necessary for them to serve as enhancers for AFP. The hydroxyl groups in the enhancer molecules can also positively affect their TH enhancement efficiency, though not as strongly as carboxylate groups. Mechanisms are discussed. PMID:18620083

  19. Composition-based effective chain length for prediction of protein folding rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Le; Wang, Jun; Wang, Wei

    2010-11-01

    Folding rate prediction is a useful way to find the key factors affecting folding kinetics of proteins. Structural information is more or less required in the present prediction methods, which limits the application of these methods to various proteins. In this work, an “effective length” is defined solely based on the composition of a protein, namely, the number of specific types of amino acids in a protein. A physical theory based on a minimalist model is employed to describe the relation between the folding rates and the effective length of proteins. Based on the resultant relationship between folding rates and effective length, the optimal sets of amino acids are found through the enumeration over all possible combinations of amino acids. This optimal set achieves a high correlation (with the coefficient of 0.84) between the folding rates and the optimal effective length. The features of these amino acids are consistent with our model and landscape theory. Further comparisons between our effective length and other factors are carried out. The effective length is physically consistent with structure-based prediction methods and has the best predictability for folding rates. These results all suggest that both entropy and energetics contribute importantly to folding kinetics. The ability to accurately and efficiently predict folding rates from composition enables the analysis of the kinetics for various kinds of proteins. The underlying physics in our method may be helpful to stimulate further understanding on the effects of various amino acids in folding dynamics.

  20. The Structure-Forming Juncture in Oxidative Protein Folding: What Happens in the ER?

    PubMed

    Narayan, Mahesh

    2017-08-17

    The folding of disulfide bond containing proteins proceeds in a biphasic manner. Initially, cysteines are oxidized to form disulfide bonds. Structure is largely absent during this phase. Next, when a minimally correct number of native linkages of disulfide bonds have been acquired, the biopolymer conformationally folds into the native, or a native-like, state. Thus, at the end of this "oxidative folding" process, a stable and biologically active protein is formed. This review focuses on dissecting the "structure-forming step" in oxidative protein folding. The ability to follow this pivotal step in protein maturation in somewhat detail is uniquely facilitated in "oxidative" folding scenarios. We review this step using bovine pancreatic Ribonuclease A as a model while recognizing the impact that this step has in subcellular trafficking and protein aggregation.

  1. A growing toolbox of techniques for studying β-barrel outer membrane protein folding and biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Horne, Jim E; Radford, Sheena E

    2016-06-15

    Great strides into understanding protein folding have been made since the seminal work of Anfinsen over 40 years ago, but progress in the study of membrane protein folding has lagged behind that of their water soluble counterparts. Researchers in these fields continue to turn to more advanced techniques such as NMR, mass spectrometry, molecular dynamics (MD) and single molecule methods to interrogate how proteins fold. Our understanding of β-barrel outer membrane protein (OMP) folding has benefited from these advances in the last decade. This class of proteins must traverse the periplasm and then insert into an asymmetric lipid membrane in the absence of a chemical energy source. In this review we discuss old, new and emerging techniques used to examine the process of OMP folding and biogenesis in vitro and describe some of the insights and new questions these techniques have revealed. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. Fold of the conserved DTC domain in deltex proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Obiero, Josiah; Walker, John R.; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano

    2012-04-30

    Human Deltex 3-like (DTX3L) is a member of the Deltex family of proteins. Initially identified as a B-lymphoma and BAL-associated protein, DTX3L is an E3 ligase that regulates subcellular localization of its partner protein, BAL, by a dynamic nucleocytoplasmic trafficking mechanism. Unlike other members of the Deltex family of proteins, DTX3L lacks the highly basic N-terminal motif and the central proline-rich motif present in other Deltex proteins, and instead contains other unique N-terminal domains. The C-terminal domains are, however, homologous with other members of the Deltex family of proteins; these include a RING domain and a previously unidentified C-terminal domain. In this study, we report the high-resolution crystal structure of this previously uncharacterized C-terminal domain of human DTX3L, which we term the Deltex C-terminal domain.

  3. Real-time Redox Measurements during Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Reveal Interlinked Protein Folding Functions

    PubMed Central

    Merksamer, Philip I.; Trusina, Ala; Papa, Feroz R.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Disruption of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes unfolded proteins to accumulate, triggering the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR outputs in turn decrease ER unfolded proteins to close a negative feedback loop. However, because it is infeasible to directly measure the concentration of unfolded proteins in vivo, cells are generically described as experiencing “ER stress” whenever the UPR is active. Because ER redox potential is optimized for oxidative protein folding, we reasoned that measureable redox changes should accompany unfolded protein accumulation. To test this concept, we employed fluorescent protein reporters to dynamically measure ER redox status and UPR activity in single cells. Using these tools, we show that diverse stressors, both experimental and physiological, compromise ER protein oxidation when UPR-imposed homeostatic control is lost. Using genetic analysis we uncovered redox heterogeneities in isogenic cell populations, and revealed functional interlinks between ER protein folding, modification, and quality control systems. PMID:19026441

  4. Intact protein folding in the glutathione-depleted endoplasmic reticulum implicates alternative protein thiol reductants

    PubMed Central

    Tsunoda, Satoshi; Avezov, Edward; Zyryanova, Alisa; Konno, Tasuku; Mendes-Silva, Leonardo; Pinho Melo, Eduardo; Harding, Heather P; Ron, David

    2014-01-01

    Protein folding homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) requires efficient protein thiol oxidation, but also relies on a parallel reductive process to edit disulfides during the maturation or degradation of secreted proteins. To critically examine the widely held assumption that reduced ER glutathione fuels disulfide reduction, we expressed a modified form of a cytosolic glutathione-degrading enzyme, ChaC1, in the ER lumen. ChaC1CtoS purged the ER of glutathione eliciting the expected kinetic defect in oxidation of an ER-localized glutathione-coupled Grx1-roGFP2 optical probe, but had no effect on the disulfide editing-dependent maturation of the LDL receptor or the reduction-dependent degradation of misfolded alpha-1 antitrypsin. Furthermore, glutathione depletion had no measurable effect on induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR); a sensitive measure of ER protein folding homeostasis. These findings challenge the importance of reduced ER glutathione and suggest the existence of alternative electron donor(s) that maintain the reductive capacity of the ER. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03421.001 PMID:25073928

  5. Synergistic effects of detergents and organic solvents on protein refolding: control of aggregation and folding rates.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Etsushi; Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Nagamune, Teruyuki

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the synergistic enhancement of the refolding yield of denatured and reduced lysozyme by using detergents as aggregation inhibitors and water-miscible organic cosolvents as modulators for the detergents. Adding only cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) led to a slight increase in the refolding yield (up to 13%). Further addition of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) with CTAB drastically increased the refolding yield up to 35%, a value which was higher than the simple sum of the refolding yields in the presence of only CTAB or DMSO. The synergistic enhancement was also observed in the coexistence of other detergents, such as polyethylene glycol monooleyl ether (n = 50) and N-tetradecyl-N,N-dimethyl-3-ammonio-1-propanesulfonate, and cosolvents, such as N,N-dimethylformamide and N,N-dimethylacetamide. Experimental data and a kinetic analysis revealed the guideline for selecting a couple of additives; detergents which can adequately inhibit the aggregation of proteins by binding to hydrophobic surfaces of refolding intermediates should be employed as an aggregation inhibitor, and cosolvents which can properly prevent both protein-protein and protein-detergent interactions act as effective modulators for the aggregation inhibitor, resulting in a desirable balance between folding and aggregation rates. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Knotted and topologically complex proteins as models for studying folding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Yeates, Todd O.; Norcross, Todd S.; King, Neil P.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Among proteins of known three dimensional structure, only a few possess complex topological features such as knotted or interlinked (catenated) protein backbones. Such unusual proteins offer potentially unique insights into folding pathways and stabilization mechanisms. They also present special challenges for both theorists and computational scientists interested in understanding and predicting protein folding behavior. Here we review complex topological features in proteins with a focus on recent progress on the identification and characterization of knotted and interlinked protein systems. Also, an approach is described for designing an expanded set of knotted proteins. PMID:17967433

  7. Studying the role of cooperative hydration in stabilizing folded protein states.

    PubMed

    Huggins, David J

    2016-12-01

    Understanding and modelling protein folding remains a key scientific and engineering challenge. Two key questions in protein folding are (1) why many proteins adopt a folded state and (2) how these proteins transition from the random coil ensemble to a folded state. In this paper we employ molecular dynamics simulations to address the first of these questions. Computational methods are well-placed to address this issue due to their ability to analyze systems at atomic-level resolution. Traditionally, the stability of folded proteins has been ascribed to the balance of two types of intermolecular interactions: hydrogen-bonding interactions and hydrophobic contacts. In this study, we explore a third type of intermolecular interaction: cooperative hydration of protein surface residues. To achieve this, we consider multiple independent simulations of the villin headpiece domain to quantify the contributions of different interactions to the energy of the native and fully extended states. In addition, we consider whether these findings are robust with respect to the protein forcefield, the water model, and the presence of salt. In all cases, we identify many cooperatively hydrated interactions that are transient but energetically favor the native state. Whilst further work on additional protein structures, forcefields, and water models is necessary, these results suggest a role for cooperative hydration in protein folding that should be explored further. Rational design of cooperative hydration on the protein surface could be a viable strategy for increasing protein stability. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. PFD: a database for the investigation of protein folding kinetics and stability.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Kate F; Devlin, Glyn L; Jodun, Rachel A; Silvestri, Linda; Bottomley, Stephen P; Fersht, Alan R; Buckle, Ashley M

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a new database that collects all protein folding data into a single, easily accessible public resource. The Protein Folding Database (PFD) contains annotated structural, methodological, kinetic and thermodynamic data for more than 50 proteins, from 39 families. A user-friendly web interface has been developed that allows powerful searching, browsing and information retrieval, whilst providing links to other protein databases. The database structure allows visualization of folding data in a useful and novel way, with a long-term aim of facilitating data mining and bioinformatics approaches. PFD can be accessed freely at http://pfd.med.monash.edu.au.

  9. Peroxin Puzzles and Folded Freight: Peroxisomal Protein Import in Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crookes, Wendy J.; Olsen, Laura J.

    Peroxisomes are organelles that perform a variety of functions, including the metabolism of hydrogen peroxide and the oxidation of fatty acids. Peroxisomes do not possess organellar DNA; all peroxisomal matrix proteins are posttranslationally translocated into the organelle. The mechanism of peroxisomal protein translocation has been the subject of vigorous research in the past decade. Many of the proteins (peroxins, abbreviated Pex) that play critical roles in peroxisome biogenesis have been identified through functional complementation of yeast strains and of Chinese hamster ovary cell lines that are defective in peroxisome biogenesis. Researchers are now turning towards biochemical and genetic analyses of these peroxins to define their roles in peroxisome biogenesis and to discover interacting protein partners. Evidence suggests that some of the interacting partners include molecular chaperones. Several current models for peroxisomal protein import are presented.

  10. Human Herpesvirus 8 Interleukin-6 Interacts with Calnexin Cycle Components and Promotes Protein Folding.

    PubMed

    Chen, Daming; Xiang, Qiwang; Nicholas, John

    2017-09-06

    interaction of vIL-6 with the ER membrane protein VKORC1v2. This report identifies interactions of vIL-6 and VKORC1v2 with calnexin cycle enzymes GlucII and UGGT1, which are involved in glycan processing and nascent protein folding. The presented data show that vIL-6 and VKORC1v2 can co-complex with GlucII and UGGT1, that vIL-6 promotes protein folding, and that VKORC1v2, UGGT1, and vIL-6 interactions with GlucII and UGGT1 are important for the pro-folding activity of vIL-6, which can be detected in the context of infected cells. This newly identified ER activity of vIL-6 involving VKORC1v2 may promote viral latency (in PEL cells) and productive replication by limiting the damaging effects of unfolded protein response signaling in addition to enhancing viral protein folding. This is the first report of such a function for a cytokine. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  11. Theory and simulation of explicit solvent effects on protein folding in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, Jeremy L.

    The aim of this work is to develop theoretical tools for understanding what happens to water that is confined in amphipathic cavities, and for testing the consequences of this understanding for protein folding in vitro and in vivo. We begin in the first chapter with a brief review of the theoretical and simulation literature on the hydrophobic effect and the aqueous solvation of charged species that also puts forward a simple theoretical framework within which various solvation phenomena reported in past studies may be unified. Subsequently, in the second chapter we also review past computational and theoretical work on the specific question of how chaperonin complexes assist the folding of their substrates. With the context set, we turn in Chapter 3 to the case of an open system with water trapped between hydrophobic plates that experiences a uniform electric field normal to and between the plates. Classic bulk theory of electrostriction in polarizable fluids tells us that the electric field should cause an increase in local water density as it rises, yet some simulations have suggested the opposite. We present a mean-field Potts model we have developed to explain this discrepancy, and show how such a simple, coarse-grained lattice description can capture the fundamental consequences of the fact that external electric fields can frustrate the hydrogen bond network in confined water. Chapter 4 continues to pursue the issue of solvent evacuation between hydrophobic plates, but focuses on the impact of chemical denaturants on hydrophobic effects using molecular dynamics simulations of hydrophobic dewetting. We find that while urea and guanidinium have similar qualitative effects at the bulk level, they seem to differ in the microscopic mechanism by which they denature proteins, although both inhibit the onset of dewetting. Lastly, Chapters 5 and 6 examine the potential importance of solvent-mediated forces to protein folding in vivo. Chapter 5 develops a Landau

  12. Structure and function in bacteriorhodopsin: the effect of the interhelical loops on the protein folding kinetics.

    PubMed

    Allen, S J; Kim, J M; Khorana, H G; Lu, H; Booth, P J

    2001-04-27

    The loops connecting the seven transmembrane helices of bacteriorhodopsin have each been replaced in turn by structureless linkers of Gly-Gly-Ser repeat sequences, and the effect on the protein folding kinetics has been determined. An SDS-denatured state of each loop mutant bacterio-opsin was folded in l-alpha-1,2-dihexanoylphosphatidylcholine/l-alpha-1,2-dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine micelles, containing retinal, to give functional bacteriorhodopsin. Stopped-flow mixing was used to initiate the folding reaction, giving a time resolution of milliseconds, and changes in protein fluorescence were used to monitor folding. All loop mutant proteins folded according to the same reaction scheme as wild-type protein. The folding kinetics of the AB, BC and DE loop mutants were the same as wild-type protein, despite the blue-shifted chromophore band of the BC loop mutant bR state. A partially folded apoprotein intermediate state of the AB loop mutant did however appear to decay in the absence of retinal. The most significant effects on the folding kinetics were seen for mutant protein with structureless linkers in place of the CD, EF and FG loops. The rate-limiting apoprotein folding step of the CD loop mutant was about ten times slower than wild-type, whilst that of the EF loop mutant was almost four times slower than wild-type. Wild-type behaviour was observed for the other folding and retinal binding events of the CD and EF loop mutant proteins. These effects of the CD and EF loop mutations on apoprotein folding correlate with the fact that these two loop mutants also have the least stable, partially folded apoprotein intermediate of all the loop mutants, and are the most affected by a decrease in lipid lateral pressure. In contrast, the FG loop mutant exhibited wild-type apoprotein folding, but altered covalent binding of retinal and final folding to bacteriorhodopsin. This correlates with the fact that the FG loop mutant bacteriorhodopsin is the most susceptible to

  13. An Antifreeze Protein Folds with an Interior Network of More Than 400 Semi-Clathrate Waters

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, T.; Lin, F. -H.; Campbell, R. L.; Allingham, J. S.; Davies, P. L.

    2014-02-13

    When polypeptide chains fold into a protein, hydrophobic groups are compacted in the center with exclusion of water. We report the crystal structure of an alanine-rich antifreeze protein that retains ~400 waters in its core. The putative ice-binding residues of this dimeric, four-helix bundle protein point inwards and coordinate the interior waters into two intersecting polypentagonal networks. The bundle makes minimal protein contacts between helices, but is stabilized by anchoring to the semi-clathrate water monolayers through backbone carbonyl groups in the protein interior. The ordered waters extend outwards to the protein surface and likely are involved in ice binding. This protein fold supports both the anchored-clathrate water mechanism of antifreeze protein adsorption to ice and the water-expulsion mechanism of protein folding.

  14. A database of protein structure families with common folding motifs.

    PubMed

    Holm, L; Ouzounis, C; Sander, C; Tuparev, G; Vriend, G

    1992-12-01

    The availability of fast and robust algorithms for protein structure comparison provides an opportunity to produce a database of three-dimensional comparisons, called families of structurally similar proteins (FSSP). The database currently contains an extended structural family for each of 154 representative (below 30% sequence identity) protein chains. Each data set contains: the search structure; all its relatives with 70-30% sequence identity, aligned structurally; and all other proteins from the representative set that contain substructures significantly similar to the search structure. Very close relatives (above 70% sequence identity) rarely have significant structural differences and are excluded. The alignments of remote relatives are the result of pairwise all-against-all structural comparisons in the set of 154 representative protein chains. The comparisons were carried out with each of three novel automatic algorithms that cover different aspects of protein structure similarity. The user of the database has the choice between strict rigid-body comparisons and comparisons that take into account interdomain motion or geometrical distortions; and, between comparisons that require strictly sequential ordering of segments and comparisons, which allow altered topology of loop connections or chain reversals. The data sets report the structurally equivalent residues in the form of a multiple alignment and as a list of matching fragments to facilitate inspection by three-dimensional graphics. If substructures are ignored, the result is a database of structure alignments of full-length proteins, including those in the twilight zone of sequence similarity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  15. On hydrodynamic interpretation of folding of an α-helical protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andryushchenko, V. A.; Chekmarev, S. F.

    2016-11-01

    Using the method of molecular dynamics, the simulation of folding of an α-helical protein from the unfolded to compact and functional (native) state is performed. The protein folding is interpreted as a stationary motion of a compressible "folding fluid". It is shown that the densities of folding fluxes obey the same similarity relations as the velocities of an incompressible fluid in the Kolmogorov's turbulence theory, except that instead of the rate of change of kinetic energy per mass unit, the rate of change of flux variance per volume unit plays the role of the key parameter.

  16. Revealing the global map of protein folding space by large-scale simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinner, Claude; Lutz, Benjamin; Verma, Abhinav; Schug, Alexander

    2015-12-01

    The full characterization of protein folding is a remarkable long-standing challenge both for experiment and simulation. Working towards a complete understanding of this process, one needs to cover the full diversity of existing folds and identify the general principles driving the process. Here, we want to understand and quantify the diversity in folding routes for a large and representative set of protein topologies covering the full range from all alpha helical topologies towards beta barrels guided by the key question: Does the majority of the observed routes contribute to the folding process or only a particular route? We identified a set of two-state folders among non-homologous proteins with a sequence length of 40-120 residues. For each of these proteins, we ran native-structure based simulations both with homogeneous and heterogeneous contact potentials. For each protein, we simulated dozens of folding transitions in continuous uninterrupted simulations and constructed a large database of kinetic parameters. We investigate folding routes by tracking the formation of tertiary structure interfaces and discuss whether a single specific route exists for a topology or if all routes are equiprobable. These results permit us to characterize the complete folding space for small proteins in terms of folding barrier ΔG‡, number of routes, and the route specificity RT.

  17. There and back again: Two views on the protein folding puzzle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, Alexei V.; Badretdin, Azat J.; Galzitskaya, Oxana V.; Ivankov, Dmitry N.; Bogatyreva, Natalya S.; Garbuzynskiy, Sergiy O.

    2017-07-01

    The ability of protein chains to spontaneously form their spatial structures is a long-standing puzzle in molecular biology. Experimentally measured folding times of single-domain globular proteins range from microseconds to hours: the difference (10-11 orders of magnitude) is the same as that between the life span of a mosquito and the age of the universe. This review describes physical theories of rates of overcoming the free-energy barrier separating the natively folded (N) and unfolded (U) states of protein chains in both directions: ;U-to-N; and ;N-to-U;. In the theory of protein folding rates a special role is played by the point of thermodynamic (and kinetic) equilibrium between the native and unfolded state of the chain; here, the theory obtains the simplest form. Paradoxically, a theoretical estimate of the folding time is easier to get from consideration of protein unfolding (the ;N-to-U; transition) rather than folding, because it is easier to outline a good unfolding pathway of any structure than a good folding pathway that leads to the stable fold, which is yet unknown to the folding protein chain. And since the rates of direct and reverse reactions are equal at the equilibrium point (as follows from the physical ;detailed balance; principle), the estimated folding time can be derived from the estimated unfolding time. Theoretical analysis of the ;N-to-U; transition outlines the range of protein folding rates in a good agreement with experiment. Theoretical analysis of folding (the ;U-to-N; transition), performed at the level of formation and assembly of protein secondary structures, outlines the upper limit of protein folding times (i.e., of the time of search for the most stable fold). Both theories come to essentially the same results; this is not a surprise, because they describe overcoming one and the same free-energy barrier, although the way to the top of this barrier from the side of the unfolded state is very different from the way from the

  18. There and back again: Two views on the protein folding puzzle.

    PubMed

    Finkelstein, Alexei V; Badretdin, Azat J; Galzitskaya, Oxana V; Ivankov, Dmitry N; Bogatyreva, Natalya S; Garbuzynskiy, Sergiy O

    2017-07-01

    The ability of protein chains to spontaneously form their spatial structures is a long-standing puzzle in molecular biology. Experimentally measured folding times of single-domain globular proteins range from microseconds to hours: the difference (10-11 orders of magnitude) is the same as that between the life span of a mosquito and the age of the universe. This review describes physical theories of rates of overcoming the free-energy barrier separating the natively folded (N) and unfolded (U) states of protein chains in both directions: "U-to-N" and "N-to-U". In the theory of protein folding rates a special role is played by the point of thermodynamic (and kinetic) equilibrium between the native and unfolded state of the chain; here, the theory obtains the simplest form. Paradoxically, a theoretical estimate of the folding time is easier to get from consideration of protein unfolding (the "N-to-U" transition) rather than folding, because it is easier to outline a good unfolding pathway of any structure than a good folding pathway that leads to the stable fold, which is yet unknown to the folding protein chain. And since the rates of direct and reverse reactions are equal at the equilibrium point (as follows from the physical "detailed balance" principle), the estimated folding time can be derived from the estimated unfolding time. Theoretical analysis of the "N-to-U" transition outlines the range of protein folding rates in a good agreement with experiment. Theoretical analysis of folding (the "U-to-N" transition), performed at the level of formation and assembly of protein secondary structures, outlines the upper limit of protein folding times (i.e., of the time of search for the most stable fold). Both theories come to essentially the same results; this is not a surprise, because they describe overcoming one and the same free-energy barrier, although the way to the top of this barrier from the side of the unfolded state is very different from the way from the

  19. Dependence of Protein Folding Stability and Dynamics on the Density and Composition of Macromolecular Crowders

    PubMed Central

    Mittal, Jeetain; Best, Robert B.

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the effect of macromolecular crowding on protein folding, using purely repulsive crowding particles and a self-organizing polymer model of protein folding. We find that the variation in folding stability with crowder size for typical α-, β-, and α/β-proteins is well described by an adaptation of the scaled particle theory. The native state, the transition state, and the unfolded protein are treated as effective hard spheres, with the folded and transition state radii independent of the size and concentration of the crowders. Remarkably, we find that, as the effective unfolded state radius is very weakly dependent on the crowder concentration, it can also be approximated by a single size. The same model predicts the effect of crowding on the folding barrier and therefore refolding rates with no adjustable parameters. A simple extension of the scaled-particle theory model, assuming additivity, can also describe the behavior of mixtures of crowding particles. PMID:20338853

  20. From local structure to a global framework: recognition of protein folds

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Agnel Praveen; de Brevern, Alexandre G.

    2014-01-01

    Protein folding has been a major area of research for many years. Nonetheless, the mechanisms leading to the formation of an active biological fold are still not fully apprehended. The huge amount of available sequence and structural information provides hints to identify the putative fold for a given sequence. Indeed, protein structures prefer a limited number of local backbone conformations, some being characterized by preferences for certain amino acids. These preferences largely depend on the local structural environment. The prediction of local backbone conformations has become an important factor to correctly identifying the global protein fold. Here, we review the developments in the field of local structure prediction and especially their implication in protein fold recognition. PMID:24740960

  1. Protein Depth Calculation and the Use for Improving Accuracy of Protein Fold Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong; Li, Hua

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Protein structure and function are largely specified by the distribution of different atoms and residues relative to the core and surface of the molecule. Relative depths of atoms therefore are key attributions that have been widely used in protein structure modeling and function annotation. However, accurate calculation of depth is time consuming. Here, we developed an algorithm which uses Euclidean distance transform (EDT) to convert the target protein structure into a 3D gray-scale image, where depths of atoms in the protein can be conveniently and precisely derived from the minimum distance of the pixels to the surface of the protein. We tested the proposed EDT-based method on a set of 261 non-redundant protein structures, which shows that the method is 2.6 times faster than the widely used method proposed by Chakravarty and Varadarajan. Depth values by EDT method are highly accurate with a Pearson's correlation coefficient ≈1 compared to the calculations from exhaustive search. To explore the usefulness of the method in protein structure prediction, we add the calculated residue depth to the scoring function of the state of the art, profile–profile alignment based fold-recognition program, which shows an additional 3% improvement in the TM-score of the alignments. The data demonstrate that the EDT-based depth calculation program can be used as an efficient tool to assist protein structure analysis and structure-based function annotation. PMID:23992298

  2. Arc-repressor dimerization on DNA: folding rate enhancement by colocalization.

    PubMed

    Marcovitz, Amir; Levy, Yaakov

    2009-05-20

    Multimeric proteins are ubiquitous in many cellular processes that require high levels of regulation. Eukaryotic gene expression is often regulated by a mechanism of combinatorial control that involves the binding of dimeric transcription factors to DNA together with the coordinated activity of additional proteins. In this study, we investigated the dimerization of the Arc-repressor on DNA with the aim of achieving microscopic insight into the possible advantages of interacting with DNA as a complex rather than as a monomeric single-domain protein. We used a computational coarse-grained model in which the protein dynamics was governed by native interactions and protein-DNA interactions were dictated by electrostatic forces. Inspired by previous experimental work that showed an enhanced refolding rate for the Arc-repressor in the presence of DNA and other polyanions, we focused on the mechanism and kinetics of the assembly of Arc monomers in the presence of single- (ssDNA) and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) molecules in a low-salt concentration environment. The electrostatic interactions that attract the protein to the dsDNA were shown to be fundamental in colocalizing the unfolded Arc chains and in accelerating refolding. Arc monomers bind the dsDNA efficiently and nonspecifically, and search for each other via one-dimensional diffusion. The fastest folding of Arc is observed for DNA of 30 bp. Longer DNA is significantly less efficient in accelerating the Arc refolding rate, since the two subunits search distinct regions of the one-dimensional DNA and are therefore much less colocalized. The probability that the two unfolded chains will meet on 200 bp DNA is similar to that in the bulk. The colocalization of Arc subunits on ssDNA results in much faster folding compared to that obtained on dsDNA of the same length. Differences in the rate of Arc refolding, cooperativity, and the structure of its transition state ensemble introduced by ssDNA and dsDNA molecules

  3. Visualization of coupled protein folding and binding in bacteria and purification of the heterodimeric complex

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haoyong; Chong, Shaorong

    2003-01-01

    During overexpression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli, misfolded proteins often aggregate and form inclusion bodies. If an aggregation-prone recombinant protein is fused upstream (as an N-terminal fusion) to GFP, aggregation of the recombinant protein domain also leads to misfolding of the downstream GFP domain, resulting in a decrease or loss of fluorescence. We investigated whether the GFP domain could fold correctly if aggregation of the upstream protein domain was prevented in vivo by a coupled protein folding and binding interaction. Such interaction has been previously shown to occur between the E. coli integration host factors α and β, and between the domains of the general transcriptional coactivator cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-binding protein and the activator for thyroid hormone and retinoid receptors. In this study, fusion of integration host factor β or the CREB-binding protein domain upstream to GFP resulted in aggregation of the fusion protein. Coexpression of their respective partners, on the other hand, allowed soluble expression of the fusion protein and a dramatic increase in fluorescence. The study demonstrated that coupled protein folding and binding could be correlated to GFP fluorescence. A modified miniintein containing an affinity tag was inserted between the upstream protein domain and GFP to allow rapid purification and identification of the heterodimeric complex. The GFP coexpression fusion system may be used to identify novel protein–protein interactions that involve coupled folding and binding or protein partners that can solubilize aggregation-prone recombinant proteins. PMID:12515863

  4. Local versus global fold switching in protein evolution: insight from a three-letter continuous model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holzgräfe, Christian; Wallin, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    Recent design experiments have demonstrated that some proteins can switch their folds in response to a small number of point mutations either directly, in a single mutational step, or via intermediate bistable sequences, which populate two different folds simultaneously. Here we explore the hypothesis that bistable intermediates are more common in switches between structurally similar folds while direct switches are more common between dissimilar folds. To this end, we use a reduced model with seven atoms per amino acid and three amino acid types as a biophysical basis for protein folding and stability. We compare a set of mutational pathways, selected for optimal stability properties, that lead to switches between β-hairpin and α-helix folds with 16 amino acids and between α +2β and 2α folds with 35 amino acids, respectively. Fold switching in each case is sharp, taking only a few mutations to be completed. While the sharpness of mutationally driven protein fold switching can be traced to a shift in the energy balance of the two native states, conformational entropy contributes to determining the point at which fold switching occurs along a pathway.

  5. Direct Observation of Parallel Folding Pathways Revealed Using a Symmetric Repeat Protein System

    PubMed Central

    Aksel, Tural; Barrick, Doug

    2014-01-01

    Although progress has been made to determine the native fold of a polypeptide from its primary structure, the diversity of pathways that connect the unfolded and folded states has not been adequately explored. Theoretical and computational studies predict that proteins fold through parallel pathways on funneled energy landscapes, although experimental detection of pathway diversity has been challenging. Here, we exploit the high translational symmetry and the direct length variation afforded by linear repeat proteins to directly detect folding through parallel pathways. By comparing folding rates of consensus ankyrin repeat proteins (CARPs), we find a clear increase in folding rates with increasing size and repeat number, although the size of the transition states (estimated from denaturant sensitivity) remains unchanged. The increase in folding rate with chain length, as opposed to a decrease expected from typical models for globular proteins, is a clear demonstration of parallel pathways. This conclusion is not dependent on extensive curve-fitting or structural perturbation of protein structure. By globally fitting a simple parallel-Ising pathway model, we have directly measured nucleation and propagation rates in protein folding, and have quantified the fluxes along each path, providing a detailed energy landscape for folding. This finding of parallel pathways differs from results from kinetic studies of repeat-proteins composed of sequence-variable repeats, where modest repeat-to-repeat energy variation coalesces folding into a single, dominant channel. Thus, for globular proteins, which have much higher variation in local structure and topology, parallel pathways are expected to be the exception rather than the rule. PMID:24988356

  6. MR imaging of protein folding in vitro employing nuclear-Overhauser-mediated saturation transfer.

    PubMed

    Zaiss, Moritz; Kunz, Patrick; Goerke, Steffen; Radbruch, Alexander; Bachert, Peter

    2013-12-01

    MR Z-spectroscopy allows enhanced imaging contrast on the basis of saturation transfer between the proton pools of cellular compounds and water, occurring via chemical exchange (chemical exchange saturation transfer, CEST) or dipole-dipole coupling (nuclear Overhauser effect, NOE). In previous studies, signals observed in the aliphatic proton region of Z-spectra have been assigned to NOEs between protons in water molecules and protons at the surface of proteins. We investigated a possible relationship between the signal strength of NOE peaks in Z-spectra obtained at B0 = 7 T and protein structure. Here, we report a correlation of NOE-mediated saturation transfer with the structural state of bovine serum albumin (BSA), which was monitored by fluorescence spectroscopy. Encouraged by CEST signal changes observed in tumor tissue, our observation also points to a possible contrast mechanism for MRI sensitive to the structural integrity of proteins in cells. Therefore, protein folding should be considered as an additional property affecting saturation transfer between water and proteins, in combination with the microenvironment and physiological quantities, such as metabolite concentration, temperature and pH. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Advancing the Accuracy of Protein Fold Recognition by Utilizing Profiles From Hidden Markov Models.

    PubMed

    Lyons, James; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Heffernan, Rhys; Yang, Yuedong; Zhou, Yaoqi; Sharma, Alok; Paliwal, Kuldip

    2015-10-01

    Protein fold recognition is an important step towards solving protein function and tertiary structure prediction problems. Among a wide range of approaches proposed to solve this problem, pattern recognition based techniques have achieved the best results. The most effective pattern recognition-based techniques for solving this problem have been based on extracting evolutionary-based features. Most studies have relied on the Position Specific Scoring Matrix (PSSM) to extract these features. However it is known that profile-profile sequence alignment techniques can identify more remote homologs than sequence-profile approaches like PSIBLAST. In this study we use a profile-profile sequence alignment technique, namely HHblits, to extract HMM profiles. We will show that unlike previous studies, using the HMM profile to extract evolutionary information can significantly enhance the protein fold prediction accuracy. We develop a new pattern recognition based system called HMMFold which extracts HMM based evolutionary information and captures remote homology information better than previous studies. Using HMMFold we achieve up to 93.8% and 86.0% prediction accuracies when the sequential similarity rates are less than 40% and 25%, respectively. These results are up to 10% better than previously reported results for this task. Our results show significant enhancement especially for benchmarks with sequential similarity as low as 25% which highlights the effectiveness of HMMFold to address this problem and its superiority over previously proposed approaches found in the literature. The HMMFold is available online at: http://sparks-lab.org/pmwiki/download/index.php?Download =HMMFold.tar.bz2.

  8. Predicting protein fold pattern with functional domain and sequential evolution information.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hong-Bin; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2009-02-07

    The fold pattern of a protein is one level deeper than its structural classification, and hence is more challenging and complicated for prediction. Many efforts have been made in this regard, but so far all the reported success rates are still under 70%, indicating that it is extremely difficult to enhance the success rate even by 1% or 2%. To address this problem, here a novel approach is proposed that is featured by combining the functional domain information and the sequential evolution information through a fusion ensemble classifier. The predictor thus developed is called PFP-FunDSeqE. Tests were performed for identifying proteins among their 27 fold patterns. Compared with the existing predictors tested by a same stringent benchmark dataset, the new predictor can, for the first time, achieve over 70% success rate. The PFP-FunDSeqE predictor is freely available to the public as a web server at http://www.csbio.sjtu.edu.cn/bioinf/PFP-FunDSeqE/.

  9. Identification of rare slipknots in proteins and their implications for stability and folding.

    PubMed

    King, Neil P; Yeates, Eric O; Yeates, Todd O

    2007-10-12

    Among the thousands of known three-dimensional protein folds, only a few have been found whose backbones are in knotted configurations. The rarity of knotted proteins has important implications for how natural proteins reach their natively folded states. Proteins with such unusual features offer unique opportunities for studying the relationships between structure, folding, and stability. Here we report the identification of a unique slipknot feature in the fold of a well-known thermostable protein, alkaline phosphatase. A slipknot is created when a knot is formed by part of a protein chain, after which the backbone doubles back so that the entire structure becomes unknotted in a mathematical sense. Slipknots are therefore not detected by computational tests that look for knots in complete protein structures. A computational survey looking specifically for slipknots in the Protein Data Bank reveals a few other instances in addition to alkaline phosphatase. Unexpected similarities are noted among some of the proteins identified. In addition, two transmembrane proteins are found to contain slipknots. Finally, mutagenesis experiments on alkaline phosphatase are used to probe the contribution the slipknot feature makes to thermal stability. The trends and conserved features observed in these proteins provide new insights into mechanisms of protein folding and stability.

  10. Effect of interactions with the chaperonin cavity on protein folding and misfolding.

    PubMed

    Sirur, Anshul; Knott, Michael; Best, Robert B

    2014-04-14

    Recent experimental and computational results have suggested that attractive interactions between a chaperonin and an enclosed substrate can have an important effect on the protein folding rate: it appears that folding may even be slower inside the cavity than under unconfined conditions, in contrast to what we would expect from excluded volume effects on the unfolded state. Here we examine systematically the dependence of the protein stability and folding rate on the strength of such attractive interactions between the chaperonin and substrate, by using molecular simulations of model protein systems in an idealised attractive cavity. Interestingly, we find a maximum in stability, and a rate which indeed slows down at high attraction strengths. We have developed a simple phenomenological model which can explain the variations in folding rate and stability due to differing effects on the free energies of the unfolded state, folded state, and transition state; changes in the diffusion coefficient along the folding coordinate are relatively small, at least for our simplified model. In order to investigate a possible role for these attractive interactions in folding, we have studied a recently developed model for misfolding in multidomain proteins. We find that, while encapsulation in repulsive cavities greatly increases the fraction of misfolded protein, sufficiently strong attractive protein-cavity interactions can strongly reduce the fraction of proteins reaching misfolded traps.

  11. A comprehensive database of verified experimental data on protein folding kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Wagaman, Amy S; Coburn, Aaron; Brand-Thomas, Itai; Dash, Barnali; Jaswal, Sheila S

    2014-01-01

    Insights into protein folding rely increasingly on the synergy between experimental and theoretical approaches. Developing successful computational models requires access to experimental data of sufficient quantity and high quality. We compiled folding rate constants for what initially appeared to be 184 proteins from 15 published collections/web databases. To generate the highest confidence in the dataset, we verified the reported lnkf value and exact experimental construct and conditions from the original experimental report(s). The resulting comprehensive database of 126 verified entries, ACPro, will serve as a freely accessible resource (https://www.ats. amherst.edu/protein/) for the protein folding community to enable confident testing of predictive models. In addition, we provide a streamlined submission form for researchers to add new folding kinetics results, requiring specification of all the relevant experimental information according to the standards proposed in 2005 by the protein folding consortium organized by Plaxco. As the number and diversity of proteins whose folding kinetics are studied expands, our curated database will enable efficient and confident incorporation of new experimental results into a standardized collection. This database will support a more robust symbiosis between experiment and theory, leading ultimately to more rapid and accurate insights into protein folding, stability, and dynamics. PMID:25229122

  12. Machine Learning: How Much Does It Tell about Protein Folding Rates?

    PubMed

    Corrales, Marc; Cuscó, Pol; Usmanova, Dinara R; Chen, Heng-Chang; Bogatyreva, Natalya S; Filion, Guillaume J; Ivankov, Dmitry N

    2015-01-01

    The prediction of protein folding rates is a necessary step towards understanding the principles of protein folding. Due to the increasing amount of experimental data, numerous protein folding models and predictors of protein folding rates have been developed in the last decade. The problem has also attracted the attention of scientists from computational fields, which led to the publication of several machine learning-based models to predict the rate of protein folding. Some of them claim to predict the logarithm of protein folding rate with an accuracy greater than 90%. However, there are reasons to believe that such claims are exaggerated due to large fluctuations and overfitting of the estimates. When we confronted three selected published models with new data, we found a much lower predictive power than reported in the original publications. Overly optimistic predictive powers appear from violations of the basic principles of machine-learning. We highlight common misconceptions in the studies claiming excessive predictive power and propose to use learning curves as a safeguard against those mistakes. As an example, we show that the current amount of experimental data is insufficient to build a linear predictor of logarithms of folding rates based on protein amino acid composition.

  13. Machine Learning: How Much Does It Tell about Protein Folding Rates?

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Heng-Chang; Bogatyreva, Natalya S.; Filion, Guillaume J.; Ivankov, Dmitry N.

    2015-01-01

    The prediction of protein folding rates is a necessary step towards understanding the principles of protein folding. Due to the increasing amount of experimental data, numerous protein folding models and predictors of protein folding rates have been developed in the last decade. The problem has also attracted the attention of scientists from computational fields, which led to the publication of several machine learning-based models to predict the rate of protein folding. Some of them claim to predict the logarithm of protein folding rate with an accuracy greater than 90%. However, there are reasons to believe that such claims are exaggerated due to large fluctuations and overfitting of the estimates. When we confronted three selected published models with new data, we found a much lower predictive power than reported in the original publications. Overly optimistic predictive powers appear from violations of the basic principles of machine-learning. We highlight common misconceptions in the studies claiming excessive predictive power and propose to use learning curves as a safeguard against those mistakes. As an example, we show that the current amount of experimental data is insufficient to build a linear predictor of logarithms of folding rates based on protein amino acid composition. PMID:26606303

  14. Probing Protein Fluctuations, Folding and Misfolding at Single-molecule Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deniz, Ashok

    2010-03-01

    The conformational fluctuations and folding of proteins are key for their function in cells and organisms. Conversely, misfolding and aggregation can cause disease, although amyloids with functional significance are also being identified. To better understand these aspects of protein biophysics, we utilize single-molecule fluorescence and complementary methods to directly study complex protein dynamics, structural distributions, and conformational transitions. In one example, we used these methods to investigate disorder and disorder-to-order transitions in intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). IDPs are an interesting class of proteins which are relatively unstructured in isolation, but can often fold by interacting with binding partners. These complex systems are increasingly found to play major roles in biology and disease. In one case, we used a combination of single-molecule FRET (smFRET), coincidence and correlation analyses to probe the native structural features of a yeast protein Sup35, whose amyloid state is believed to be used in a beneficial context in yeast. We find that the monomeric protein populates a compact and rapidly fluctuating ensemble of conformations. In another case, we studied the binding-coupled folding of the IDP alpha-synuclein, whose misfolding and aggregation have been linked to Parkinson's disease. Single-molecule measurements directly revealed a complex multi-state folding landscape for this protein. Observations of a transient folding intermediate using microfluidic mixing, and links to misfolding and aggregation will also be discussed. Our results highlight single-molecule methodology that is broadly applicable to map protein folding and misfolding landscapes.

  15. Perturbing the folding energy landscape of the bacterial immunity protein Im7 by site-specific N-linked glycosylation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mark M.; Bartlett, Alice I.; Nerenberg, Paul S.; Friel, Claire T.; Hackenberger, Christian P. R.; Stultz, Collin M.; Radford, Sheena E.; Imperiali, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    N-linked glycosylation modulates protein folding and stability through a variety of mechanisms. As such there is considerable interest in the development of general rules to predict the structural consequences of site-specific glycosylation and to understand how these effects can be exploited in the design and development of modified proteins with advantageous properties. In this study, expressed protein ligation is used to create site-specifically glycosylated variants of the bacterial immunity protein Im7 modified with the chitobiose disaccharide (GlcNAc-GlcNAc). Glycans were introduced at seven solvent exposed sites within the Im7 sequence and the kinetic and thermodynamic consequences of N-linked glycosylation analyzed. The values for glycan incorporation were found to range from +5.2 to -3.8 kJ·mol-1. In several cases, glycosylation influences folding by modulating the local conformational preferences of the glycosylated sequence. These locally mediated effects are most prominent in the center of α-helices where glycosylation negatively effects folding and in compact turn motifs between segments of ordered secondary structure where glycosylation promotes folding and enhances the overall stability of the native protein. The studies also provide insight into why glycosylation is commonly identified at the transition between different types of secondary structure and when glycosylation may be used to elaborate protein structure to protect disordered sequences from proteolysis or immune system recognition. PMID:21148421

  16. Secretion of slow-folding proteins by a Type 1 secretion system.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Christian K W; Lenders, Michael H H; Smits, Sander H J; Schmitt, Lutz

    2012-01-01

    Protein production through dedicated secretion systems might offer an potential alternative to the conventional cytoplasmical expression. The application of Type 1 secretion systems of Gram-negative bacteria, however, where often not successful in the past for a wide range of proteins. Recently, two studies using the E. coli maltose binding protein (MalE) and the rat intestinal fatty acid binding protein (IFABP) revealed a rational to circumvent these limitations. Here, wild-type passenger proteins were not secreted, while folding mutants with decreased folding kinetics were efficiently exported to the extracellular space. Subsequently, an one-step purification protocol yielded homogeneous and active protein. Taken together, theses two studies suggest that the introduction of slow-folding mutations into a protein sequence might be the key to use Type 1 secretion systems for the biotechnological production of proteins.

  17. Local rules for protein folding on a triangular lattice and generalized hydrophobicity in the HP model

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwala, R.; Batzoglou, S.; Dancik, V.

    1997-06-01

    We consider the problem of determining the three-dimensional folding of a protein given its one-dimensional amino acid sequence. We use the HP model for protein folding proposed by Dill, which models protein as a chain of amino acid residues that are either hydrophobic or polar, and hydrophobic interactions are the dominant initial driving force for the protein folding. Hart and Istrail gave approximation algorithms for folding proteins on the cubic lattice under HP model. In this paper, we examine the choice of a lattice by considering its algorithmic and geometric implications and argue that triangular lattice is a more reasonable choice. We present a set of folding rules for a triangular lattice and analyze the approximation ratio which they achieve. In addition, we introduce a generalization of the HP model to account for residues having different levels of hydrophobicity. After describing the biological foundation for this generalization, we show that in the new model we are able to achieve similar constant factor approximation guarantees on the triangular lattice as were achieved in the standard HP model. While the structures derived from our folding rules are probably still far from biological reality, we hope that having a set of folding rules with different properties will yield more interesting folds when combined.

  18. Analysis of the kinetics of folding of proteins and peptides using circular dichroism

    PubMed Central

    Greenfield, Norma J.

    2009-01-01

    Circular dichroism (CD) is a useful spectroscopic technique for studying the secondary structure, folding and binding properties of proteins. This protocol covers how to use the intrinsic circular dichroic properties of proteins to follow their folding and unfolding as a function of time. Included will be methods of obtaining data and how to analyze the folding and unfolding data to determine the rate constants and the order of the folding/unfolding reactions. The protocol focuses on the use of CD to follow folding when it is relatively slow, on the order of minutes to days. The methods for analyzing the data, however, can also be applied to data collected with a CD machine equipped with stopped-flow accessories in the millisecond to second range and folding analyzed by other spectroscopic methods including changes in absorption or fluorescence spectra as a function of time. PMID:17406548

  19. Nonresonant femtosecond laser vaporization of aqueous protein preserves folded structure

    PubMed Central

    Brady, John J.; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Levis, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    Femtosecond laser vaporization-based mass spectrometry can be used to measure protein conformation in vitro at atmospheric pressure. Cytochrome c and lysozyme are vaporized from the condensed phase into the gas phase intact when exposed to an intense (1013 W/cm2), nonresonant (800 nm), ultrafast (75 fs) laser pulse. Electrospray postionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry reveals that the vaporized protein maintains the solution-phase conformation through measurement of the charge-state distribution and the collision-induced dissociation channels. PMID:21746908