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Sample records for protein folding stability

  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. Protein Stability, Folding and Misfolding in Human PGK1 Deficiency.

    PubMed

    Valentini, Giovanna; Maggi, Maristella; Pey, Angel L

    2013-01-01

    Conformational diseases are often caused by mutations, altering protein folding and stability in vivo. We review here our recent work on the effects of mutations on the human phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (hPGK1), with a particular focus on thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding and misfolding. Expression analyses and in vitro biophysical studies indicate that disease-causing mutations enhance protein aggregation propensity. We found a strong correlation among protein aggregation propensity, thermodynamic stability, cooperativity and dynamics. Comparison of folding and unfolding properties with previous reports in PGKs from other species suggests that hPGK1 is very sensitive to mutations leading to enhance protein aggregation through changes in protein folding cooperativity and the structure of the relevant denaturation transition state for aggregation. Overall, we provide a mechanistic framework for protein misfolding of hPGK1, which is insightful to develop new therapeutic strategies aimed to target native state stability and foldability in hPGK1 deficient patients. PMID:24970202

  3. Molecular Simulations of Cotranslational Protein Folding: Fragment Stabilities, Folding Cooperativity, and Trapping in the Ribosome

    PubMed Central

    Elcock, Adrian H

    2006-01-01

    Although molecular simulation methods have yielded valuable insights into mechanistic aspects of protein refolding in vitro, they have up to now not been used to model the folding of proteins as they are actually synthesized by the ribosome. To address this issue, we report here simulation studies of three model proteins: chymotrypsin inhibitor 2 (CI2), barnase, and Semliki forest virus protein (SFVP), and directly compare their folding during ribosome-mediated synthesis with their refolding from random, denatured conformations. To calibrate the methodology, simulations are first compared with in vitro data on the folding stabilities of N-terminal fragments of CI2 and barnase; the simulations reproduce the fact that both the stability and thermal folding cooperativity increase as fragments increase in length. Coupled simulations of synthesis and folding for the same two proteins are then described, showing that both fold essentially post-translationally, with mechanisms effectively identical to those for refolding. In both cases, confinement of the nascent polypeptide chain within the ribosome tunnel does not appear to promote significant formation of native structure during synthesis; there are however clear indications that the formation of structure within the nascent chain is sensitive to location within the ribosome tunnel, being subject to both gain and loss as the chain lengthens. Interestingly, simulations in which CI2 is artificially stabilized show a pronounced tendency to become trapped within the tunnel in partially folded conformations: non-cooperative folding, therefore, appears in the simulations to exert a detrimental effect on the rate at which fully folded conformations are formed. Finally, simulations of the two-domain protease module of SFVP, which experimentally folds cotranslationally, indicate that for multi-domain proteins, ribosome-mediated folding may follow different pathways from those taken during refolding. Taken together, these

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. What makes a protein fold amenable to functional innovation? Fold polarity and stability trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Dellus-Gur, Eynat; Toth-Petroczy, Agnes; Elias, Mikael; Tawfik, Dan S

    2013-07-24

    Protein evolvability includes two elements--robustness (or neutrality, mutations having no effect) and innovability (mutations readily inducing new functions). How are these two conflicting demands bridged? Does the ability to bridge them relate to the observation that certain folds, such as TIM barrels, accommodate numerous functions, whereas other folds support only one? Here, we hypothesize that the key to innovability is polarity--an active site composed of flexible, loosely packed loops alongside a well-separated, highly ordered scaffold. We show that highly stabilized variants of TEM-1 β-lactamase exhibit selective rigidification of the enzyme's scaffold while the active-site loops maintained their conformational plasticity. Polarity therefore results in stabilizing, compensatory mutations not trading off, but instead promoting the acquisition of new activities. Indeed, computational analysis indicates that in folds that accommodate only one function throughout evolution, for example, dihydrofolate reductase, ≥ 60% of the active-site residues belong to the scaffold. In contrast, folds associated with multiple functions such as the TIM barrel show high scaffold-active-site polarity (~20% of the active site comprises scaffold residues) and >2-fold higher rates of sequence divergence at active-site positions. Our work suggests structural measures of fold polarity that appear to be correlated with innovability, thereby providing new insights regarding protein evolution, design, and engineering.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-26

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Mathematics, thermodynamics, and modeling to address ten common misconceptions about protein structure, folding, and stability.

    PubMed

    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 phenomena in undergraduate classes. In the process of learning about these topics, students often form incorrect ideas. For example, by learning about protein folding in the context of protein synthesis, students may come to an incorrect conclusion that once synthesized on the ribosome, a protein spends its entire cellular life time in its fully folded native confirmation. This is clearly not true; proteins are dynamic structures that undergo both local fluctuations and global unfolding events. To prevent and address such misconceptions, basic concepts of protein science can be introduced in the context of simple mathematical models and hands-on explorations of publicly available data sets. Ten common misconceptions about proteins are presented, along with suggestions for using equations, models, sequence, structure, and thermodynamic data to help students gain a deeper understanding of basic concepts relating to protein structure, folding, and stability.

  11. AHSP (α-haemoglobin-stabilizing protein) stabilizes apo-α-haemoglobin in a partially folded state.

    PubMed

    Krishna Kumar, Kaavya; Dickson, Claire F; Weiss, Mitchell J; Mackay, Joel P; Gell, David A

    2010-12-01

    To produce functional Hb (haemoglobin), nascent α-globin (αo) and β-globin (βo) chains must each bind a single haem molecule (to form αh and βh) and interact together to form heterodimers. The precise sequence of binding events is unknown, and it has been suggested that additional factors might enhance the efficiency of Hb folding. AHSP (α-haemoglobin-stabilizing protein) has been shown previously to bind αh and regulate redox activity of the haem iron. In the present study, we used a combination of classical and dynamic light scattering and NMR spectroscopy to demonstrate that AHSP forms a heterodimeric complex with αo that inhibits αo aggregation and promotes αo folding in the absence of haem. These findings indicate that AHSP may function as an αo-specific chaperone, and suggest an important role for αo in guiding Hb assembly by stabilizing βo and inhibiting off-pathway self-association of βh.

  12. Alpha-haemoglobin stabilizing protein (AHSP) stabilizes apo-α-haemoglobin in a partially folded state

    PubMed Central

    Krishna Kumar, Kaavya; Dickson, Claire F.; Weiss, Mitchell J.; Mackay, Joel P.; Gell, David A.

    2015-01-01

    SYNOPSIS To produce functional haemoglobin, nascent α-globin (αo) and β-globin (βo) chains must each bind a single haem molecule (to form αh and βh) and interact together to form heterodimers. The precise sequence of binding events is unknown, and it has been suggested that additional factors might enhance the efficiency of Hb folding. The α-haemoglobin stabilizing protein (AHSP) has previously been shown to bind αh and regulate redox activity of the haem iron. Here, we use a combination of classical and dynamic light scattering and NMR spectroscopy to demonstrate that AHSP forms a heterodimeric complex with αo that inhibits αo aggregation and promotes αo folding in the absence of haem. These findings indicate that AHSP may function as an αo-specific chaperone, and suggest an important role for αo in guiding Hb assembly by stabilizing βo and inhibiting off-pathway self-association of βh. PMID:20860551

  13. Effect of glycosylation on protein folding: A close look at thermodynamic stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Shental-Bechor, Dalit; Levy, Yaakov

    2008-01-01

    Glycosylation is one of the most common posttranslational modifications to occur in protein biosynthesis, yet its effect on the thermodynamics and kinetics of proteins is poorly understood. A minimalist model based on the native protein topology, in which each amino acid and sugar ring was represented by a single bead, was used to study the effect of glycosylation on protein folding. We studied in silico the folding of 63 engineered SH3 domain variants that had been glycosylated with different numbers of conjugated polysaccharide chains at different sites on the protein's surface. Thermal stabilization of the protein by the polysaccharide chains was observed in proportion to the number of attached chains. Consistent with recent experimental data, the degree of thermal stabilization depended on the position of the glycosylation sites, but only very weakly on the size of the glycans. A thermodynamic analysis showed that the origin of the enhanced protein stabilization by glycosylation is destabilization of the unfolded state rather than stabilization of the folded state. The higher free energy of the unfolded state is enthalpic in origin because the bulky polysaccharide chains force the unfolded ensemble to adopt more extended conformations by prohibiting formation of a residual structure. The thermodynamic stabilization induced by glycosylation is coupled with kinetic stabilization. The effects introduced by the glycans on the biophysical properties of proteins are likely to be relevant to other protein polymeric conjugate systems that regularly occur in the cell as posttranslational modifications or for biotechnological purposes. PMID:18550810

  14. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    PubMed

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  15. The Principle of Stationary Action in Biophysics: Stability in Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Joel L.

    2013-01-01

    We conceptualize protein folding as motion in a large dimensional dihedral angle space. We use Lagrangian mechanics and introduce an unspecified Lagrangian to study the motion. The fact that we have reliable folding leads us to conjecture the totality of paths forms caustics that can be recognized by the vanishing of the second variation of the action. There are two types of folding processes: stable against modest perturbations and unstable. We also conjecture that natural selection has picked out stable folds. More importantly, the presence of caustics leads naturally to the application of ideas from catastrophe theory and allows us to consider the question of stability for the folding process from that perspective. Powerful stability theorems from mathematics are then applicable to impose more order on the totality of motions. This leads to an immediate explanation for both the insensitivity of folding to solution perturbations and the fact that folding occurs using very little free energy. The theory of folding, based on the above conjectures, can also be used to explain the behavior of energy landscapes, the speed of folding similar to transition state theory, and the fact that random proteins do not fold. PMID:24454360

  16. Beta-Barrel Scaffold of Fluorescent Proteins: Folding, Stability and Role in Chromophore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Stepanenko, Olesya V.; Stepanenko, Olga V.; Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.

    2013-01-01

    This review focuses on the current view of the interaction between the β-barrel scaffold of fluorescent proteins and their unique chromophore located in the internal helix. The chromophore originates from the polypeptide chain and its properties are influenced by the surrounding protein matrix of the β-barrel. On the other hand, it appears that a chromophore tightens the β-barrel scaffold and plays a crucial role in its stability. Furthermore, the presence of a mature chromophore causes hysteresis of protein unfolding and refolding. We survey studies measuring protein unfolding and refolding using traditional methods as well as new approaches, such as mechanical unfolding and reassembly of truncated fluorescent proteins. We also analyze models of fluorescent protein unfolding and refolding obtained through different approaches, and compare the results of protein folding in vitro to co-translational folding of a newly synthesized polypeptide chain. PMID:23351712

  17. Natural constraints, folding, motion, and structural stability in transmembrane helical proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Susan E.; Ben-Tal, Nir

    Transmembrane (TM) helical proteins are of fundamental importance in many diverse biological processes. To understand these proteins functionally, it is necessary to characterize the forces that stabilize them. What are these forces (both within the protein itself and between the protein and membrane) and how do they give rise to the multiple conformational states and complex activity of TM helical proteins? How do they act in concert to fold TM helical proteins, create their low-energy stable states, and guide their motion? These central questions have led to the description of critical natural constraints and partial answers, which we will review. We will then describe how these constraints can be tracked through homologs and proteins of similar folds in order to better understand how amino acid sequence can specify structure and guide motion. Our emphasis throughout will be on structural features of TM helix bundles themselves, but we will also sketch the membrane-related aspects of these questions.

  18. Alterations of Nonconserved Residues Affect Protein Stability and Folding Dynamics through Charge-Charge Interactions.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Swarnendu; Garcìa, Angel E; Makhatadze, George I

    2015-10-15

    Charge-charge interactions play an important role in thermal stability of proteins. We employed an all-atom, native-topology-based model with non-native electrostatics to explore the interplay between folding dynamics and stability of TNfn3 (the third fibronectin type III domain from tenascin-C). Our study elucidates the role of charge-charge interactions in modulating the folding energy landscape. In particular, we found that incorporation of explicit charge-charge interactions in the WT TNfn3 induces energetic frustration due to the presence of residual structure in the unfolded state. Moreover, optimization of the surface charge-charge interactions by altering the evolutionarily nonconserved residues not only increases the thermal stability (in agreement with previous experimental study) but also reduces the formation of residual structure and hence minimizes the energetic frustration along the folding route. We concluded that charge-charge interaction in the rationally designed TNfn3 plays an important role not only in enhancing the stability but also in assisting folding. PMID:26413861

  19. The Trigger Factor Chaperone Encapsulates and Stabilizes Partial Folds of Substrate Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Singhal, Kushagra; Vreede, Jocelyne; Mashaghi, Alireza; Tans, Sander J.; Bolhuis, Peter G.

    2015-01-01

    How chaperones interact with protein chains to assist in their folding is a central open question in biology. Obtaining atomistic insight is challenging in particular, given the transient nature of the chaperone-substrate complexes and the large system sizes. Recent single-molecule experiments have shown that the chaperone Trigger Factor (TF) not only binds unfolded protein chains, but can also guide protein chains to their native state by interacting with partially folded structures. Here, we used all-atom MD simulations to provide atomistic insights into how Trigger Factor achieves this chaperone function. Our results indicate a crucial role for the tips of the finger-like appendages of TF in the early interactions with both unfolded chains and partially folded structures. Unfolded chains are kinetically trapped when bound to TF, which suppresses the formation of transient, non-native end-to-end contacts. Mechanical flexibility allows TF to hold partially folded structures with two tips (in a pinching configuration), and to stabilize them by wrapping around its appendages. This encapsulation mechanism is distinct from that of chaperones such as GroEL, and allows folded structures of diverse size and composition to be protected from aggregation and misfolding interactions. The results suggest that an ATP cycle is not required to enable both encapsulation and liberation. PMID:26512985

  20. Can a pairwise contact potential stabilize native protein folds against decoys obtained by threading?

    PubMed

    Vendruscolo, M; Najmanovich, R; Domany, E

    2000-02-01

    We present a method to derive contact energy parameters from large sets of proteins. The basic requirement on which our method is based is that for each protein in the database the native contact map has lower energy than all its decoy conformations that are obtained by threading. Only when this condition is satisfied one can use the proposed energy function for fold identification. Such a set of parameters can be found (by perceptron learning) if Mp, the number of proteins in the database, is not too large. Other aspects that influence the existence of such a solution are the exact definition of contact and the value of the critical distance Rc, below which two residues are considered to be in contact. Another important novel feature of our approach is its ability to determine whether an energy function of some suitable proposed form can or cannot be parameterized in a way that satisfies our basic requirement. As a demonstration of this, we determine the region in the (Rc, Mp) plane in which the problem is solvable, i.e., we can find a set of contact parameters that stabilize simultaneously all the native conformations. We show that for large enough databases the contact approximation to the energy cannot stabilize all the native folds even against the decoys obtained by gapless threading. PMID:10656261

  1. How hydrophobicity and the glycosylation site of glycans affect protein folding and stability: a molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Lu, Diannan; Yang, Cheng; Liu, Zheng

    2012-01-12

    Glycosylation is one of the most common post-translational modifications in the biosynthesis of protein, but its effect on the protein conformational transitions underpinning folding and stabilization is poorly understood. In this study, we present a coarse-grained off-lattice 46-β barrel model protein glycosylated by glycans with different hydrophobicity and glycosylation sites to examine the effect of glycans on protein folding and stabilization using a Langevin dynamics simulation, in which an H term was proposed as the index of the hydrophobicity of glycan. Compared with its native counterpart, introducing glycans of suitable hydrophobicity (0.1 < H < 0.4) at flexible peptide residues of this model protein not only facilitated folding of the protein but also increased its conformation stability significantly. On the contrary, when glycans were introduced at the restricted peptide residues of the protein, only those hydrophilic (H = 0) or very weak hydrophobic (H < 0.2) ones contributed slightly to protein stability but hindered protein folding due to increased free energy barriers. The glycosylated protein retained the two-step folding mechanism in terms of hydrophobic collapse and structural rearrangement. Glycan chains located in a suitable site with an appropriate hydrophobicity facilitated both collapse and rearrangement, whereas others, though accelerating collapse, hindered rearrangement. In addition to entropy effects, that is, narrowing the space of the conformations of the unfolded state, the presence of glycans with suitable hydrophobicity at suitable glycosylation site strengthened the folded state via hydrophobic interaction, that is, the enthalpy effect. The simulations have shown both the stabilization and the destabilization effects of glycosylation, as experimentally reported in the literature, and provided molecular insight into glycosylated proteins. The understanding of the effects of glycans with different hydrophobicities on the folding

  2. Mutation bias favors protein folding stability in the evolution of small populations.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Raul; Fritsche, Miriam; Porto, Markus; Bastolla, Ugo

    2010-05-01

    Mutation bias in prokaryotes varies from extreme adenine and thymine (AT) in obligatory endosymbiotic or parasitic bacteria to extreme guanine and cytosine (GC), for instance in actinobacteria. GC mutation bias deeply influences the folding stability of proteins, making proteins on the average less hydrophobic and therefore less stable with respect to unfolding but also less susceptible to misfolding and aggregation. We study a model where proteins evolve subject to selection for folding stability under given mutation bias, population size, and neutrality. We find a non-neutral regime where, for any given population size, there is an optimal mutation bias that maximizes fitness. Interestingly, this optimal GC usage is small for small populations, large for intermediate populations and around 50% for large populations. This result is robust with respect to the definition of the fitness function and to the protein structures studied. Our model suggests that small populations evolving with small GC usage eventually accumulate a significant selective advantage over populations evolving without this bias. This provides a possible explanation to the observation that most species adopting obligatory intracellular lifestyles with a consequent reduction of effective population size shifted their mutation spectrum towards AT. The model also predicts that large GC usage is optimal for intermediate population size. To test these predictions we estimated the effective population sizes of bacterial species using the optimal codon usage coefficients computed by dos Reis et al. and the synonymous to non-synonymous substitution ratio computed by Daubin and Moran. We found that the population sizes estimated in these ways are significantly smaller for species with small and large GC usage compared to species with no bias, which supports our prediction.

  3. Kinetics of α-Globin Binding to α-Hemoglobin Stabilizing Protein (AHSP) Indicate Preferential Stabilization of Hemichrome Folding Intermediate*

    PubMed Central

    Mollan, Todd L.; Khandros, Eugene; Weiss, Mitchell J.; Olson, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Human α-hemoglobin stabilizing protein (AHSP) is a conserved mammalian erythroid protein that facilitates the production of Hemoglobin A by stabilizing free α-globin. AHSP rapidly binds to ferrous α with association (k′AHSP) and dissociation (kAHSP) rate constants of ≈10 μm−1 s−1 and 0.2 s−1, respectively, at pH 7.4 at 22 °C. A small slow phase was observed when AHSP binds to excess ferrous αCO. This slow phase appears to be due to cis to trans prolyl isomerization of the Asp29-Pro30 peptide bond in wild-type AHSP because it was absent when αCO was mixed with P30A and P30W AHSP, which are fixed in the trans conformation. This slow phase was also absent when met(Fe3+)-α reacted with wild-type AHSP, suggesting that met-α is capable of rapidly binding to either Pro30 conformer. Both wild-type and Pro30-substituted AHSPs drive the formation of a met-α hemichrome conformation following binding to either met- or oxy(Fe2+)-α. The dissociation rate of the met-α·AHSP complex (kAHSP ≈ 0.002 s−1) is ∼100-fold slower than that for ferrous α·AHSP complexes, resulting in a much higher affinity of AHSP for met-α. Thus, in vivo, AHSP acts as a molecular chaperone by rapidly binding and stabilizing met-α hemichrome folding intermediates. The low rate of met-α dissociation also allows AHSP to have a quality control function by kinetically trapping ferric α and preventing its incorporation into less stable mixed valence Hemoglobin A tetramers. Reduction of AHSP-bound met-α allows more rapid release to β subunits to form stable fully, reduced hemoglobin dimers and tetramers. PMID:22298770

  4. Folding 19 proteins to their native state and stability of large proteins from a coarse-grained model.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Abhijeet; Travesset, Alex

    2014-03-01

    We develop an intermediate resolution model, where the backbone is modeled with atomic resolution but the side chain with a single bead, by extending our previous model (Proteins (2013) DOI: 10.1002/prot.24269) to properly include proline, preproline residues and backbone rigidity. Starting from random configurations, the model properly folds 19 proteins (including a mutant 2A3D sequence) into native states containing β sheet, α helix, and mixed α/β. As a further test, the stability of H-RAS (a 169 residue protein, critical in many signaling pathways) is investigated: The protein is stable, with excellent agreement with experimental B-factors. Despite that proteins containing only α helices fold to their native state at lower backbone rigidity, and other limitations, which we discuss thoroughly, the model provides a reliable description of the dynamics as compared with all atom simulations, but does not constrain secondary structures as it is typically the case in more coarse-grained models. Further implications are described.

  5. Beyond anchoring: the expanding role of the hendra virus fusion protein transmembrane domain in protein folding, stability, and function.

    PubMed

    Smith, Everett Clinton; Culler, Megan R; Hellman, Lance M; Fried, Michael G; Creamer, Trevor P; Dutch, Rebecca Ellis

    2012-03-01

    While work with viral fusion proteins has demonstrated that the transmembrane domain (TMD) can affect protein folding, stability, and membrane fusion promotion, the mechanism(s) remains poorly understood. TMDs could play a role in fusion promotion through direct TMD-TMD interactions, and we have recently shown that isolated TMDs from three paramyxovirus fusion (F) proteins interact as trimers using sedimentation equilibrium (SE) analysis (E. C. Smith, et al., submitted for publication). Immediately N-terminal to the TMD is heptad repeat B (HRB), which plays critical roles in fusion. Interestingly, addition of HRB decreased the stability of the trimeric TMD-TMD interactions. This result, combined with previous findings that HRB forms a trimeric coiled coil in the prefusion form of the whole protein though HRB peptides fail to stably associate in isolation, suggests that the trimeric TMD-TMD interactions work in concert with elements in the F ectodomain head to stabilize a weak HRB interaction. Thus, changes in TMD-TMD interactions could be important in regulating F triggering and refolding. Alanine insertions between the TMD and HRB demonstrated that spacing between these two regions is important for protein stability while not affecting TMD-TMD interactions. Additional mutagenesis of the C-terminal end of the TMD suggests that β-branched residues within the TMD play a role in membrane fusion, potentially through modulation of TMD-TMD interactions. Our results support a model whereby the C-terminal end of the Hendra virus F TMD is an important regulator of TMD-TMD interactions and show that these interactions help hold HRB in place prior to the triggering of membrane fusion.

  6. De novo prediction of protein folding pathways and structure using the principle of sequential stabilization

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Motivated by the relationship between the folding mechanism and the native structure, we develop a unified approach for predicting folding pathways and tertiary structure using only the primary sequence as input. Simulations begin from a realistic unfolded state devoid of secondary structure and use a chain representation lacking explicit side chains, rendering the simulations many orders of magnitude faster than molecular dynamics simulations. The multiple round nature of the algorithm mimics the authentic folding process and tests the effectiveness of sequential stabilization (SS) as a search strategy wherein 2° structural elements add onto existing structures in a process of progressive learning and stabilization of structure found in prior rounds of folding. Because no a priori knowledge is used, we can identify kinetically significant non-native interactions and intermediates, sometimes generated by only two mutations, while the evolution of contact matrices is often consistent with experiments. Moreover, structure prediction improves substantially by incorporating information from prior rounds. The success of our simple, homology-free approach affirms the validity of our description of the primary determinants of folding pathways and structure, and the effectiveness of SS as a search strategy. PMID:23045636

  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. Homogeneous human complex-type oligosaccharides in correctly folded intact glycoproteins: evaluation of oligosaccharide influence on protein folding, stability, and conformational properties.

    PubMed

    Kajihara, Yasuhiro; Tanabe, Yasutaka; Sasaoka, Shun; Okamoto, Ryo

    2012-05-01

    The N-glycosylation of proteins is generated at the consensus sequence NXS/T (where X is any amino acid except proline) by the biosynthetic process, and occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. In order to investigate the influence of human complex-type oligosaccharides on counterpart protein conformation, crambin and ovomucoide, which consist of 46 and 56 amino acid residues, respectively, were selected for synthesis of model glycoproteins. These small glycoproteins were intentionally designed to be glycosylated at the α-helix (crambin: 8 position), β-sheet (crambin: 2 position) and loop position between the antiparallel β-sheets (ovomucoide: 28 position), and were synthesized by using a peptide-segment coupling strategy. After preparation of these glycosylated polypeptide chains, protein folding experiments were performed under redox conditions by using cysteine-cystine. Although the small glycoproteins bearing intentional glycosylation at the α-helix and β-sheet exhibited a suitable folding process, glycosylation at the loop position between the antiparallel β-strands caused multiple products. The conformational differences in the isolated homogeneous glycoproteins compared with non-glycosylated counterparts were evaluated by circular dichroism (CD) and NMR spectroscopy. These analyses suggested that this intentional N-glycosylation did not result in large conformational changes in the purified protein structures, including the case of glycosylation at the loop position between the antiparallel β-strands. In addition to these experiments, the conformational properties of three glycoproteins were evaluated by CD spectroscopy under different temperatures. The oligosaccharides on the protein surface fluctuated considerably; this was dependent on the increase in the solution temperature and was thought to disrupt the protein tertiary structure. Based on the measurement of the CD spectra, however, the glycoproteins bearing three disulfide

  9. MitoNEET Is a Uniquely Folded 2Fe-2S Outer Mitochondrial Membrane Protein Stabilized By Pioglitazone

    SciTech Connect

    Paddock, M.L.; Wiley, S.E.; Axelrod, H.L.; Cohen, A.E.; Roy, M.; Abresch, E.C.; Capraro, D.; Murphy, A.N.; Nechushtai, R.; Dixon, J.E.; Jennings, P.A.; /UC, San Diego /SLAC, SSRL /Hebrew U.

    2007-10-19

    Iron-sulfur (Fe-S) proteins are key players in vital processes involving energy homeostasis and metabolism from the simplest to most complex organisms. We report a 1.5 Angstrom x-ray crystal structure of the first identified outer mitochondrial membrane Fe-S protein, mitoNEET. Two protomers intertwine to form a unique dimeric structure that constitutes a new fold to not only the {approx}650 reported Fe-S protein structures but also to all known proteins. We name this motif the NEET fold. The protomers form a two-domain structure: a {beta}-cap domain and a cluster-binding domain that coordinates two acid-labile 2Fe-2S clusters. Binding of pioglitazone, an insulin-sensitizing thiazolidinedione used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, stabilizes the protein against 2Fe-2S cluster release. The biophysical properties of mitoNEET suggest that it may participate in a redox-sensitive signaling and/or in Fe-S cluster transfer.

  10. Redesigning the type II' β-turn in green fluorescent protein to type I': implications for folding kinetics and stability.

    PubMed

    Madan, Bharat; Sokalingam, Sriram; Raghunathan, Govindan; Lee, Sun-Gu

    2014-10-01

    Both Type I' and Type II' β-turns have the same sense of the β-turn twist that is compatible with the β-sheet twist. They occur predominantly in two residue β-hairpins, but the occurrence of Type I' β-turns is two times higher than Type II' β-turns. This suggests that Type I' β-turns may be more stable than Type II' β-turns, and Type I' β-turn sequence and structure can be more favorable for protein folding than Type II' β-turns. Here, we redesigned the native Type II' β-turn in GFP to Type I' β-turn, and investigated its effect on protein folding and stability. The Type I' β-turns were designed based on the statistical analysis of residues in natural Type I' β-turns. The substitution of the native "GD" sequence of i+1 and i+2 residues with Type I' preferred "(N/D)G" sequence motif increased the folding rate by 50% and slightly improved the thermodynamic stability. Despite the enhancement of in vitro refolding kinetics and stability of the redesigned mutants, they showed poor soluble expression level compared to wild type. To overcome this problem, i and i + 3 residues of the designed Type I' β-turn were further engineered. The mutation of Thr to Lys at i + 3 could restore the in vivo soluble expression of the Type I' mutant. This study indicates that Type II' β-turns in natural β-hairpins can be further optimized by converting the sequence to Type I'.

  11. Phage P22 tailspike protein: removal of head-binding domain unmasks effects of folding mutations on native-state thermal stability.

    PubMed Central

    Miller, S.; Schuler, B.; Seckler, R.

    1998-01-01

    A shortened, recombinant protein comprising residues 109-666 of the tailspike endorhamnosidase of Salmonella phage P22 was purified from Escherichia coli and crystallized. Like the full-length tailspike, the protein lacking the amino-terminal head-binding domain is an SDS-resistant, thermostable trimer. Its fluorescence and circular dichroism spectra indicate native structure. Oligosaccharide binding and endoglycosidase activities of both proteins are identical. A number of tailspike folding mutants have been obtained previously in a genetic approach to protein folding. Two temperature-sensitive-folding (tsf) mutations and the four known global second-site suppressor (su) mutations were introduced into the shortened protein and found to reduce or increase folding yields at high temperature. The mutational effects on folding yields and subunit folding kinetics parallel those observed with the full-length protein. They mirror the in vivo phenotypes and are consistent with the substitutions altering the stability of thermolabile folding intermediates. Because full-length and shortened tailspikes aggregate upon thermal denaturation, and their denaturant-induced unfolding displays hysteresis, kinetics of thermal unfolding were measured to assess the stability of the native proteins. Unfolding of the shortened wild-type protein in the presence of 2% SDS at 71 degrees C occurs at a rate of 9.2 x 10(-4) s(-1). It reflects the second kinetic phase of unfolding of the full-length protein. All six mutations were found to affect the thermal stability of the native protein. Both tsf mutations accelerate thermal unfolding about 10-fold. Two of the su mutations retard thermal unfolding up to 5-fold, while the remaining two mutations accelerate unfolding up to 5-fold. The mutational effects can be rationalized on the background of the recently determined crystal structure of the protein. PMID:9792111

  12. Evolutionary optimization of protein folding.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Nature has shaped the make up of proteins since their appearance, [Formula: see text]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 [Formula: see text]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

  13. Protein folding in the ER.

    SciTech Connect

    Stevens, F. J.; Argon, Y.; Biosciences Division; Univ. of Chicago

    1999-10-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a major protein folding compartment for secreted, plasma membrane and organelle proteins. Each of these newly-synthesized polypeptides folds in a deterministic process, affected by the unique conditions that exist in the ER. An understanding of protein folding in the ER is a fundamental biomolecular challenge at two levels. The first level addresses how the amino acid sequence programs that polypeptide to efficiently arrive at a particular fold out of a multitude of alternatives, and how different sequences obtain similar folds. At the second level are the issues introduced by folding not in the cytosol, but in the ER, including the risk of aggregation in a molecularly crowded environment, accommodation of post-translational modifications and the compatibility with subsequent intracellular trafficking. This review discusses both the physicochemical and cell biological constraints of folding, which are the challenges that the ER molecular chaperones help overcome.

  14. Multidimensional theory of protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoh, Kazuhito; Sasai, Masaki

    2009-04-01

    Theory of multidimensional representation of free energy surface of protein folding is developed by adopting structural order parameters of multiple regions in protein as multiple coordinates. Various scenarios of folding are classified in terms of cooperativity within individual regions and interactions among multiple regions and thus obtained classification is used to analyze the folding process of several example proteins. Ribosomal protein S6, src-SH3 domain, CheY, barnase, and BBL domain are analyzed with the two-dimensional representation by using a structure-based Hamiltonian model. The extension to the higher dimensional representation leads to the finer description of the folding process. Barnase, NtrC, and an ankyrin repeat protein are examined with the three-dimensional representation. The multidimensional representation allows us to directly address questions on folding pathways, intermediates, and transition states.

  15. 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)

  16. Fast events in protein folding

    SciTech Connect

    Woodruff, W.; Callender, R.; Causgrove, T.; Dyer, R.; Williams, S.

    1996-04-01

    The primary objective of this work was to develop a molecular understanding of how proteins achieve their native three-dimensional (folded) structures. This requires the identification and characterization of intermediates in the protein folding process on all relevant timescales, from picoseconds to seconds. The short timescale events in protein folding have been entirely unknown. Prior to this work, state-of-the-art experimental approaches were limited to milliseconds or longer, when much of the folding process is already over. The gap between theory and experiment is enormous: current theoretical and computational methods cannot realistically model folding processes with lifetimes longer than one nanosecond. This unique approach to employ laser pump-probe techniques that combine novel methods of laser flash photolysis with time-resolved vibrational spectroscopic probes of protein transients. In this scheme, a short (picosecond to nanosecond) laser photolysis pulse was used to produce an instantaneous pH or temperature jump, thereby initiating a protein folding or unfolding reaction. Structure-specific, time-resolved vibrational probes were then used to identify and characterize protein folding intermediates.

  17. 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.

  18. Disordered cold regulated15 proteins protect chloroplast membranes during freezing through binding and folding, but do not stabilize chloroplast enzymes in vivo.

    PubMed

    Thalhammer, Anja; Bryant, Gary; Sulpice, Ronan; Hincha, Dirk K

    2014-09-01

    Freezing can severely damage plants, limiting geographical distribution of natural populations and leading to major agronomical losses. Plants native to cold climates acquire increased freezing tolerance during exposure to low nonfreezing temperatures in a process termed cold acclimation. This involves many adaptative responses, including global changes in metabolite content and gene expression, and the accumulation of cold-regulated (COR) proteins, whose functions are largely unknown. Here we report that the chloroplast proteins COR15A and COR15B are necessary for full cold acclimation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). They protect cell membranes, as indicated by electrolyte leakage and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. Recombinant COR15 proteins stabilize lactate dehydrogenase during freezing in vitro. However, a transgenic approach shows that they have no influence on the stability of selected plastidic enzymes in vivo, although cold acclimation results in increased enzyme stability. This indicates that enzymes are stabilized by other mechanisms. Recombinant COR15 proteins are disordered in water, but fold into amphipathic α-helices at high osmolyte concentrations in the presence of membranes, a condition mimicking molecular crowding induced by dehydration during freezing. X-ray scattering experiments indicate protein-membrane interactions specifically under such crowding conditions. The COR15-membrane interactions lead to liposome stabilization during freezing. Collectively, our data demonstrate the requirement for COR15 accumulation for full cold acclimation of Arabidopsis. The function of these intrinsically disordered proteins is the stabilization of chloroplast membranes during freezing through a folding and binding mechanism, but not the stabilization of chloroplastic enzymes. This indicates a high functional specificity of these disordered plant proteins.

  19. Disordered Cold Regulated15 Proteins Protect Chloroplast Membranes during Freezing through Binding and Folding, But Do Not Stabilize Chloroplast Enzymes in Vivo1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Thalhammer, Anja; Bryant, Gary; Sulpice, Ronan; Hincha, Dirk K.

    2014-01-01

    Freezing can severely damage plants, limiting geographical distribution of natural populations and leading to major agronomical losses. Plants native to cold climates acquire increased freezing tolerance during exposure to low nonfreezing temperatures in a process termed cold acclimation. This involves many adaptative responses, including global changes in metabolite content and gene expression, and the accumulation of cold-regulated (COR) proteins, whose functions are largely unknown. Here we report that the chloroplast proteins COR15A and COR15B are necessary for full cold acclimation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). They protect cell membranes, as indicated by electrolyte leakage and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. Recombinant COR15 proteins stabilize lactate dehydrogenase during freezing in vitro. However, a transgenic approach shows that they have no influence on the stability of selected plastidic enzymes in vivo, although cold acclimation results in increased enzyme stability. This indicates that enzymes are stabilized by other mechanisms. Recombinant COR15 proteins are disordered in water, but fold into amphipathic α-helices at high osmolyte concentrations in the presence of membranes, a condition mimicking molecular crowding induced by dehydration during freezing. X-ray scattering experiments indicate protein-membrane interactions specifically under such crowding conditions. The COR15-membrane interactions lead to liposome stabilization during freezing. Collectively, our data demonstrate the requirement for COR15 accumulation for full cold acclimation of Arabidopsis. The function of these intrinsically disordered proteins is the stabilization of chloroplast membranes during freezing through a folding and binding mechanism, but not the stabilization of chloroplastic enzymes. This indicates a high functional specificity of these disordered plant proteins. PMID:25096979

  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 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.

  2. Predicting free energy contributions to the conformational stability of folded proteins from the residue sequence with radial basis function networks.

    PubMed

    Casadio, R; Compiani, M; Fariselli, P; Vivarelli, F

    1995-01-01

    Radial basis function neural networks are trained on a data base comprising 38 globular proteins of well resolved crystallographic structure and the corresponding free energy contributions to the overall protein stability (as computed partially from chrystallographic analysis and partially with multiple regression from experimental thermodynamic data by Ponnuswamy and Gromiha (1994)). Starting from the residue sequence and using as input code the percentage of each residue and the total residue number of the protein, it is found with a cross-validation method that neural networks can optimally predict the free energy contributions due to hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interactions and the unfolded state. Terms due to electrostatic and disulfide bonding free energies are poorly predicted. This is so also when other input codes, including the percentage of secondary structure type of the protein and/or residue-pair information are used. Furthermore, trained on the computed and/or experimental delta G values of the data base, neural networks predict a conformational stability ranging from about 10 to 20 kcal mol-1 rather independently of the residue sequence, with an average error per protein of about 9 kcal mol-1.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Quantum theory on protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, LiaoFu

    2014-03-01

    The conformational change of biological macromolecule is investigated from the point of quantum transition. A quantum theory on protein folding is proposed. Compared with other dynamical variables such as mobile electrons, chemical bonds and stretching-bending vibrations the molecular torsion has the lowest energy and can be looked as the slow variable of the system. Simultaneously, from the multi-minima property of torsion potential the local conformational states are well defined. Following the idea that the slow variables slave the fast ones and using the nonadiabaticity operator method we deduce the Hamiltonian describing conformational change. It is shown that the influence of fast variables on the macromolecule can fully be taken into account through a phase transformation of slow variable wave function. Starting from the conformation-transition Hamiltonian the nonradiative matrix element was calculated and a general formulas for protein folding rate was deduced. The analytical form of the formula was utilized to study the temperature dependence of protein folding rate and the curious non-Arrhenius temperature relation was interpreted. By using temperature dependence data the multi-torsion correlation was studied. The decoherence time of quantum torsion state is estimated. The proposed folding rate formula gives a unifying approach for the study of a large class problems of biological conformational change.

  6. Semiempirical prediction of protein folds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Ariel; Colubri, Andrés; Appignanesi, Gustavo

    2001-08-01

    We introduce a semiempirical approach to predict ab initio expeditious pathways and native backbone geometries of proteins that fold under in vitro renaturation conditions. The algorithm is engineered to incorporate a discrete codification of local steric hindrances that constrain the movements of the peptide backbone throughout the folding process. Thus, the torsional state of the chain is assumed to be conditioned by the fact that hopping from one basin of attraction to another in the Ramachandran map (local potential energy surface) of each residue is energetically more costly than the search for a specific (Φ, Ψ) torsional state within a single basin. A combinatorial procedure is introduced to evaluate coarsely defined torsional states of the chain defined ``modulo basins'' and translate them into meaningful patterns of long range interactions. Thus, an algorithm for structure prediction is designed based on the fact that local contributions to the potential energy may be subsumed into time-evolving conformational constraints defining sets of restricted backbone geometries whereupon the patterns of nonbonded interactions are constructed. The predictive power of the algorithm is assessed by (a) computing ab initio folding pathways for mammalian ubiquitin that ultimately yield a stable structural pattern reproducing all of its native features, (b) determining the nucleating event that triggers the hydrophobic collapse of the chain, and (c) comparing coarse predictions of the stable folds of moderately large proteins (N~100) with structural information extracted from the protein data bank.

  7. 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

  8. Effects of Knots on Protein Folding Properties

    PubMed Central

    Soler, Miguel A.; Faísca, Patrícia F. N.

    2013-01-01

    This work explores the impact of knots, knot depth and motif of the threading terminus in protein folding properties (kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanism) via extensive Monte Carlo simulations of lattice models. A knotted backbone has no effect on protein thermodynamic stability but it may affect key aspects of folding kinetics. In this regard, we found clear evidence for a functional advantage of knots: knots enhance kinetic stability because a knotted protein unfolds at a distinctively slower rate than its unknotted counterpart. However, an increase in knot deepness does not necessarily lead to more effective changes in folding properties. In this regard, a terminus with a non-trivial conformation (e.g. hairpin) can have a more dramatic effect in enhancing kinetic stability than knot depth. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the probability of the denatured ensemble to keep knotted is higher for proteins with deeper knots, indicating that knot depth plays a role in determining the topology of the denatured state. Refolding simulations starting from denatured knotted conformations show that not every knot is able to nucleate folding and further indicate that the formation of the knotting loop is a key event in the folding of knotted trefoils. They also show that there are specific native contacts within the knotted core that are crucial to keep a native knotting loop in denatured conformations which otherwise have no detectable structure. The study of the knotting mechanism reveals that the threading of the knotting loop generally occurs towards late folding in conformations that exhibit a significant degree of structural consolidation. PMID:24023962

  9. 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.

  10. FK506 binding protein 8 peptidylprolyl isomerase activity manages a late stage of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) folding and stability.

    PubMed

    Hutt, Darren M; Roth, Daniela Martino; Chalfant, Monica A; Youker, Robert T; Matteson, Jeanne; Brodsky, Jeffrey L; Balch, William E

    2012-06-22

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the apical chloride channel cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) with 90% of patients carrying at least one deletion of the F508 (ΔF508) allele. This mutant form of CFTR is characterized by a folding and trafficking defect that prevents exit from the endoplasmic reticulum. We previously reported that ΔF508 CFTR can be recovered in a complex with Hsp90 and its co-chaperones as an on-pathway folding intermediate, suggesting that Δ508 CF disease arises due to a failure of the proteostasis network (PN), which manages protein folding and degradation in the cell. We have now examined the role of FK506-binding protein 8 (FKBP8), a component of the CFTR interactome, during the biogenesis of wild-type and ΔF508 CFTR. FKBP8 is a member of the peptidylprolyl isomerase family that mediates the cis/trans interconversion of peptidyl prolyl bonds. Our results suggest that FKBP8 is a key PN factor required at a post-Hsp90 step in CFTR biogenesis. In addition, changes in its expression level or alteration of its activity by a peptidylprolyl isomerase inhibitor alter CFTR stability and transport. We propose that CF is caused by the sequential failure of the prevailing PN pathway to stabilize ΔF508-CFTR for endoplasmic reticulum export, a pathway that can be therapeutically managed.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Foldons as independently folding units of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchenko, Anna R.; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Wolynes, Peter G.

    1997-02-01

    Independently folding units of proteins, foldons, have been identified by maxima in a scan of the ratio of an energetic stability gap to the energy variance of that segment's molten globule states, reflecting the requirement of minimal frustration. Foldon boundaries, unlike structural domains, depend on the sequence of the protein. Therefore, domains defined by purely structural criteria and the foldons of a given protein may differ in size and structure. The predicted foldons have been compared to the exons and structural modules. Statistical analysis indicates a strong correlation between the energetically determined foldons and Go's geometrically defined structural modules. There is only a weak correlation of foldons to exons.

  14. Learning Protein Folding Energy Functions

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Wei; Ozakin, Arkadas; Gray, Alexander; Borreguero, Jose; Pandit, Shashi; Jagielska, Anna; Wroblewska, Liliana; Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    A critical open problem in ab initio protein folding is protein energy function design, which pertains to defining the energy of protein conformations in a way that makes folding most efficient and reliable. In this paper, we address this issue as a weight optimization problem and utilize a machine learning approach, learning-to-rank, to solve this problem. We investigate the ranking-via-classification approach, especially the RankingSVM method and compare it with the state-of-the-art approach to the problem using the MINUIT optimization package. To maintain the physicality of the results, we impose non-negativity constraints on the weights. For this we develop two efficient non-negative support vector machine (NNSVM) methods, derived from L2-norm SVM and L1-norm SVMs, respectively. We demonstrate an energy function which maintains the correct ordering with respect to structure dissimilarity to the native state more often, is more efficient and reliable for learning on large protein sets, and is qualitatively superior to the current state-of-the-art energy function. PMID:25311546

  15. Forces stabilizing proteins.

    PubMed

    Nick Pace, C; Scholtz, J Martin; Grimsley, Gerald R

    2014-06-27

    The goal of this article is to summarize what has been learned about the major forces stabilizing proteins since the late 1980s when site-directed mutagenesis became possible. The following conclusions are derived from experimental studies of hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding variants. (1) Based on studies of 138 hydrophobic interaction variants in 11 proteins, burying a -CH2- group on folding contributes 1.1±0.5 kcal/mol to protein stability. (2) The burial of non-polar side chains contributes to protein stability in two ways: first, a term that depends on the removal of the side chains from water and, more importantly, the enhanced London dispersion forces that result from the tight packing in the protein interior. (3) Based on studies of 151 hydrogen bonding variants in 15 proteins, forming a hydrogen bond on folding contributes 1.1±0.8 kcal/mol to protein stability. (4) The contribution of hydrogen bonds to protein stability is strongly context dependent. (5) Hydrogen bonds by side chains and peptide groups make similar contributions to protein stability. (6) Polar group burial can make a favorable contribution to protein stability even if the polar group is not hydrogen bonded. (7) Hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds both make large contributions to protein stability.

  16. Forces Stabilizing Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pace, C. Nick; Scholtz, J. Martin; Grimsley, Gerald R.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this article is to summarize what has been learned about the major forces stabilizing proteins since the late 1980s when site-directed mutagenesis became possible. The following conclusions are derived from experimental studies of hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding variants. 1. Based on studies of 138 hydrophobic interaction variants in 11 proteins, burying a –CH2– group on folding contributes 1.1 ± 0.5 kcal/mol to protein stability. 2. The burial of nonpolar side chains contributes to protein stability in two ways: first, a term that depends on the removal of the side chains from water and, more importantly, the enhanced London dispersion forces that result from the tight packing in the protein interior. 3. Based on studies of 151 hydrogen bonding variants in 15 proteins, forming a hydrogen bond on folding contributes 1.1 ± 0.8 kcal/mol to protein stability. 4. The contribution of hydrogen bonds to protein stability is strongly context dependent. 5. Hydrogen bonds by side chains and peptide groups make similar contributions to protein stability. 6. Polar group burial can make a favorable contribution to protein stability even if the polar group is not hydrogen bonded. 7. Hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds both make large contributions to protein stability. PMID:24846139

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Thermal stability of idealized folded carbyne loops

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Self-unfolding items provide a practical convenience, wherein ring-like frames are contorted into a state of equilibrium and subsequently  pop up’ or deploy when perturbed from a folded structure. Can the same process be exploited at the molecular scale? At the limiting scale is a closed chain of single atoms, used here to investigate the limits of stability of such folded ring structures via full atomistic molecular dynamics. Carbyne is a one-dimensional carbon allotrope composed of sp-hybridized carbon atoms. Here, we explore the stability of idealized carbyne loops as a function of chain length, curvature, and temperature, and delineate an effective phase diagram between folded and unfolded states. We find that while overall curvature is reduced, in addition to torsional and self-adhesive energy barriers, a local increase in curvature results in the largest impedance to unfolding. PMID:24252156

  20. 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

  1. Protein folding using contact maps.

    PubMed

    Vendruscolo, M; Domany, E

    2000-01-01

    We discuss the problem of representations of protein structure and give the definition of contact maps. We present a method to obtain a three-dimensional polypeptide conformation from a contact map. We also explain how to deal with the case of nonphysical contact maps. We describe a stochastic method to perform dynamics in contact map space. We explain how the motion is restricted to physical regions of the space. First, we introduce the exact free energy of a contact map and discuss two simple approximations to it. Second, we present a method to derive energy parameters based on perception learning. We prove in an extensive number of situations that the pairwise contact approximation both when alone and when supplemented with a hydrophobic term is unsuitable for stabilizing proteins' native states. PMID:10668399

  2. Dynamics of an Ultrafast Folding Subdomain in the Context of a Larger Protein Fold

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Caitlin M.; Dyer, R. Brian

    2014-01-01

    Small fast folding subdomains with low contact order have been postulated to facilitate the folding of larger proteins. We have tested this idea by determining how the fastest folding linear β-hairpin, CLN025, which folds on the nanosecond time scale, folds within the context of a two-hairpin WW domain system, which folds on the microsecond time scale. The folding of the wild type FBP28 WW domain was compared to constructs in which each of the loops was replaced by CLN025. A combination of FTIR spectroscopy and laser-induced temperature-jump coupled with infrared spectroscopy was used to probe changes in the peptide backbone. The relaxation dynamics of the β-sheets and β-turn were measured independently by probing the corresponding bands assigned in the amide I region. The folding rate of the CLN025 β-hairpin is unchanged within the larger protein. Insertion of the β-hairpin into the second loop results in an overall stabilization of the WW domain and a relaxation lifetime five times faster than the parent WW domain. In both mutants, folding is initiated in the turns and the β-sheets form last. These results demonstrate that fast folding subdomains can be used to speed the folding of more complex proteins, and that the folding dynamics of the subdomain is unchanged within the context of the larger protein. PMID:24320936

  3. Reduced alphabet for protein folding prediction.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jitao T; Wang, Titi; Huang, Shanran R; Li, Xin

    2015-04-01

    What are the key building blocks that would have been needed to construct complex protein folds? This is an important issue for understanding protein folding mechanism and guiding de novo protein design. Twenty naturally occurring amino acids and eight secondary structures consist of a 28-letter alphabet to determine folding kinetics and mechanism. Here we predict folding kinetic rates of proteins from many reduced alphabets. We find that a reduced alphabet of 10 letters achieves good correlation with folding rates, close to the one achieved by full 28-letter alphabet. Many other reduced alphabets are not significantly correlated to folding rates. The finding suggests that not all amino acids and secondary structures are equally important for protein folding. The foldable sequence of a protein could be designed using at least 10 folding units, which can either promote or inhibit protein folding. Reducing alphabet cardinality without losing key folding kinetic information opens the door to potentially faster machine learning and data mining applications in protein structure prediction, sequence alignment and protein design.

  4. On the universe of protein folds.

    PubMed

    Kolodny, Rachel; Pereyaslavets, Leonid; Samson, Abraham O; Levitt, Michael

    2013-01-01

    In the fifty years since the first atomic structure of a protein was revealed, tens of thousands of additional structures have been solved. Like all objects in biology, proteins structures show common patterns that seem to define family relationships. Classification of proteins structures, which started in the 1970s with about a dozen structures, has continued with increasing enthusiasm, leading to two main fold classifications, SCOP and CATH, as well as many additional databases. Classification is complicated by deciding what constitutes a domain, the fundamental unit of structure. Also difficult is deciding when two given structures are similar. Like all of biology, fold classification is beset by exceptions to all rules. Thus, the perspectives of protein fold space that the fold classifications offer differ from each other. In spite of these ambiguities, fold classifications are useful for prediction of structure and function. Studying the characteristics of fold space can shed light on protein evolution and the physical laws that govern protein behavior.

  5. 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. PMID:25107533

  6. Monster Mash: Protein Folding Gone Wrong

    MedlinePlus

    ... Articles | Inside Life Science Home Page Monster Mash: Protein Folding Gone Wrong By Joseph Piergrossi Posted October 31, 2013 In this image, globs of misfolded proteins called amyloid plaques (blobs) are found outside neurons ( ...

  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.

  8. Visualizing chaperone-assisted protein folding.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-01

    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. 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. PMID:27239796

  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. Protein Folding and Misfolding on Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Stefani, Massimo

    2008-01-01

    Protein folding, misfolding and aggregation, as well as the way misfolded and aggregated proteins affects cell viability are emerging as key themes in molecular and structural biology and in molecular medicine. Recent advances in the knowledge of the biophysical basis of protein folding have led to propose the energy landscape theory which provides a consistent framework to better understand how a protein folds rapidly and efficiently to the compact, biologically active structure. The increased knowledge on protein folding has highlighted its strict relation to protein misfolding and aggregation, either process being in close competition with the other, both relying on the same physicochemical basis. The theory has also provided information to better understand the structural and environmental factors affecting protein folding resulting in protein misfolding and aggregation into ordered or disordered polymeric assemblies. Among these, particular importance is given to the effects of surfaces. The latter, in some cases make possible rapid and efficient protein folding but most often recruit proteins/peptides increasing their local concentration thus favouring misfolding and accelerating the rate of nucleation. It is also emerging that surfaces can modify the path of protein misfolding and aggregation generating oligomers and polymers structurally different from those arising in the bulk solution and endowed with different physical properties and cytotoxicities. PMID:19330090

  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

    SciTech Connect

    Zheng, Zhongzhou; Sosnick, Tobin R.

    2010-05-25

    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 {yields} Glu{sup -}) to destabilize and unfold a specific region of the protein. We applied this strategy to ubiquitin, reversibly trapping a folding intermediate in which the {beta}5-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.

  13. Protein vivisection reveals elusive intermediates in folding.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Zhongzhou; Sosnick, Tobin R

    2010-04-01

    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 applied this strategy to ubiquitin, reversibly trapping a folding intermediate in which the beta5-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.

  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. Network measures for protein folding state discrimination.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Similarities between protein folding and granular jamming

    PubMed Central

    Jose, Prasanth P; Andricioaei, Ioan

    2012-01-01

    Grains and glasses, widely different materials, arrest their motions upon decreasing temperature and external load, respectively, in common ways, leading to a universal jamming phase diagram conjecture. However, unified theories are lacking, mainly because of the disparate nature of the particle interactions. Here we demonstrate that folded proteins exhibit signatures common to both glassiness and jamming by using temperature- and force-unfolding molecular dynamics simulations. Upon folding, proteins develop a peak in the interatomic force distributions that falls on a universal curve with experimentally measured forces on jammed grains and droplets. Dynamical signatures are found as a dramatic slowdown of stress relaxation upon folding. Together with granular similarities, folding is tied not just to the jamming transition, but a more nuanced picture of anisotropy, preparation protocol and internal interactions emerges. Results have implications for designing stable polymers and can open avenues to link protein folding to jamming theory. PMID:23093180

  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: 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.

  20. Cellular Mechanisms of Membrane Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Skach, William R.

    2010-01-01

    The membrane protein folding problem can be articulated by two central questions. How is protein topology established by selective peptide transport to opposite sides of the cellular membrane? And how are transmembrane segments inserted, integrated and folded within the lipid bilayer? In eukaryotes, this process usually takes place in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) coincident with protein synthesis, and is facilitated by the translating Ribosome and the Sec61 Translocon Complex (RTC). At its core, the RTC forms a dynamic pathway through which the elongating nascent polypeptide moves as it is delivered into cytosolic, lumenal and lipid compartments. This perspective will focus on emerging evidence that the RTC functions as a protein folding machine that restricts conformational space by establishing transmembrane topology and yet provides a permissive environment that enables nascent transmembrane domains to efficiently progress down their folding energy landscape. PMID:19491932

  1. [Protein structure: Folding and prions].

    PubMed

    Rey-Gayo, Antonio; Calbo Torrecilla, Francisco

    2002-04-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies have become a subject of prime social concern in recent years because of its relation to "mad cow disease" and their potential for transmission to humans. Among the most important scientific aspects of these diseases are the peculiar characteristics of the agent involved in their transmission. In this article we briefly describe the outstanding features of prions, the most widely accepted hypothesis for these diseases. We focus on the molecular characteristics of this protein, coded in the genome of the affected host, and describe the conformational alterations in the protein's tertiary structure that have been blamed for its pathologic activity. Our aim is to summarize the state-of-the-art knowledge on prions, the hypotheses proposed to explain mechanisms of disease transmission without agents containing genetic material, and some specific peculiarities of this new infectious agent. The links between this knowledge and possible therapeutic strategies to overcome the disease justify, once again, close interaction among chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine. PMID:11996702

  2. Nonlinear Models for Protein Folding and Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruzeiro, L.

    Earlier a specific kinetic process for reproducible protein folding was proposed according to which the nascent chain is helical and the first step in in vivo protein folding is the bending of the initial helix at specific amino acid sites. Here the theoretical feasibility of this kinetic process is tested. To that end, two proteins, one belonging to the mainly α class and the other belonging to the α/β class, are selected and targeted molecular dynamics is applied to generate folding pathways for those two proteins, starting from two well defined initial conformations: a fully extended and a α-helical conformation. Not only are the native states closer to an initial helical structure for both proteins but also the pathways from the α-helical initial conformation to the native state have lower potential energy than the pathways that start from the fully extended conformation. For the α/β protein, 30% (40%) of the pathways from an initial α-helix (fully extended) structure lead to unentangled native folds, a success rate that can be increased to 85% by the introduction of a putative intermediate structure. These results lend support to the kinetic process proposed and open up a new direction in which to look for a solution to the protein folding problem. The chapter ends with a section that emphasizes the formal similarities between the dynamics quantum vibrational excited states in proteins and electrons in nonlinear lattices.

  3. 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

  4. Towards a systematic classification of protein folds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindgård, Per-Anker; Bohr, Henrik

    1997-10-01

    A lattice model Hamiltonian is suggested for protein structures that can explain the division into structural fold classes during the folding process. Proteins are described by chains of secondary structure elements, with the hinges in between being the important degrees of freedom. The protein structures are given a unique name, which simultaneously represent a linear string of physical coupling constants describing hinge spin interactions. We have defined a metric and a precise distance measure between the fold classes. An automated procedure is constructed in which any protein structure in the usual protein data base coordinate format can be transformed into the proposed chain representation. Taking into account hydrophobic forces we have found a mechanism for the formation of domains with a unique fold containing predicted magic numbers \\{4,6,9,12,16,18,...\\} of secondary structures and multiples of these domains. It is shown that the same magic numbers are robust and occur as well for packing on other nonclosed packed lattices. We have performed a statistical analysis of available protein structures and found agreement with the predicted preferred abundances of proteins with a predicted magic number of secondary structures. Thermodynamic arguments for the increased abundance and a phase diagram for the folding scenario are given. This includes an intermediate high symmetry phase, the parent structures, between the molten globule and the native states. We have made an exhaustive enumeration of dense lattice animals on a cubic lattice for acceptance number Z=4 and Z=5 up to 36 vertices.

  5. Structural Characteristics of Novel Protein Folds

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Fuentes, Narcis; Dybas, Joseph M.; Fiser, Andras

    2010-01-01

    Folds are the basic building blocks of protein structures. Understanding the emergence of novel protein folds is an important step towards understanding the rules governing the evolution of protein structure and function and for developing tools for protein structure modeling and design. We explored the frequency of occurrences of an exhaustively classified library of supersecondary structural elements (Smotifs), in protein structures, in order to identify features that would define a fold as novel compared to previously known structures. We found that a surprisingly small set of Smotifs is sufficient to describe all known folds. Furthermore, novel folds do not require novel Smotifs, but rather are a new combination of existing ones. Novel folds can be typified by the inclusion of a relatively higher number of rarely occurring Smotifs in their structures and, to a lesser extent, by a novel topological combination of commonly occurring Smotifs. When investigating the structural features of Smotifs, we found that the top 10% of most frequent ones have a higher fraction of internal contacts, while some of the most rare motifs are larger, and contain a longer loop region. PMID:20421995

  6. Macromolecular crowding fails to fold a globular protein in cells.

    PubMed

    Schlesinger, Alexander P; Wang, Yaqiang; Tadeo, Xavier; Millet, Oscar; Pielak, Gary J

    2011-06-01

    Proteins perform their functions in cells where macromolecular solutes reach concentrations of >300 g/L and occupy >30% of the volume. The volume excluded by these macromolecules stabilizes globular proteins because the native state occupies less space than the denatured state. Theory predicts that crowding can increase the ratio of folded to unfolded protein by a factor of 100, amounting to 3 kcal/mol of stabilization at room temperature. We tested the idea that volume exclusion dominates the crowding effect in cells using a variant of protein L, a 7 kDa globular protein with seven lysine residues replaced by glutamic acids; 84% of the variant molecules populate the denatured state in dilute buffer at room temperature, compared with 0.1% for the wild-type protein. We then used in-cell NMR spectroscopy to show that the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli does not overcome even this modest (∼1 kcal/mol) free-energy deficit. The data are consistent with the idea that nonspecific interactions between cytoplasmic components can overcome the excluded-volume effect. Evidence for these interactions is provided by the observations that adding simple salts folds the variant in dilute solution but increasing the salt concentration inside E. coli does not fold the protein. Our data are consistent with the results of other studies of protein stability in cells and suggest that stabilizing excluded-volume effects, which must be present under crowded conditions, can be ameliorated by nonspecific interactions between cytoplasmic components.

  7. Experimental investigation of protein folding and misfolding.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Christopher M

    2004-09-01

    Newly synthesised proteins need to fold, often to intricate and close-packed structures, in order to function. The underlying mechanism by which this complex process takes place both in vitro and in vivo is now becoming understood, at least in general terms, as a result of the application of a wide range of biophysical and computational methods used in combination with the techniques of biochemistry and protein engineering. It is increasingly apparent, however, that folding is not only crucial for generating biological activity, but that it is also coupled to a wide range of processes within the cell, ranging from the trafficking of proteins to specific organelles to the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. Not surprisingly, therefore, the failure of proteins to fold appropriately, or to remain correctly folded, is associated with a large number of cellular malfunctions that give rise to disease. Misfolding, and its consequences such as aggregation, can be investigated by extending the types of techniques used to study the normal folding process. Application of these techniques is enabling the development of a unified description of the interconversion and regulation of the different conformational states available to proteins in living systems. Such a description proves a generic basis for understanding the fundamental links between protein misfolding and its associated clinical disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Type II diabetes, and for exploring novel therapeutic strategies directed at their prevention and treatment on a rational basis.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Protein stability in ice.

    PubMed

    Strambini, Giovanni B; Gonnelli, Margherita

    2007-03-15

    This study presents an experimental approach, based on the change of Trp fluorescence between native and denatured states of proteins, which permits to monitor unfolding equilibria and the thermodynamic stability (DeltaG degrees ) of these macromolecules in frozen aqueous solutions. The results obtained by guanidinium chloride denaturation of the azurin mutant C112S from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in the temperature range from -8 to -16 degrees C, demonstrate that the stability of the native fold may be significantly perturbed in ice depending mainly on the size of the liquid water pool (V(L)) in equilibrium with the solid phase. The data establish a threshold, around V(L)=1.5%, below which in ice DeltaG degrees decreases progressively relative to liquid state, up to 3 kcal/mole for V(L)=0.285%. The sharp dependence of DeltaG degrees on V(L) is consistent with a mechanism based on adsorption of the protein to the ice surface. The reduction in DeltaG degrees is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in m-value indicating that protein-ice interactions increase the solvent accessible surface area of the native fold or reduce that of the denatured state, or both. The method opens the possibility for examining in a more quantitative fashion the influence of various experimental conditions on the ice perturbation and in particular to test the effectiveness of numerous additives used in formulations to preserve labile pharmaco proteins.

  11. Molecular dynamics studies of protein folding and aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Feng

    that globular proteins under a denaturing environment partially unfold and aggregate by forming stabilizing hydrogen bonds between the backbones of the partial folded substructures. Proteins or peptides rich in alpha-helices also aggregate into beta-rich amyloid fibrils. Upon aggregation, the protein or peptide undergoes a conformational transition from alpha-helices to beta-sheets. The transition of alpha-helix to beta-hairpin (two-stranded beta-sheet) is studied in an all-heavy-atom discrete molecular dynamics model of a polyalanine chain. An entropical driving scenario for the alpha-helix to beta-hairpin transition is discovered.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Kinetic Analysis of Protein Folding Lattice Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hu; Zhou, Xin; Liaw, Chih Young; Koh, Chan Ghee

    Based on two-dimensional square lattice models of proteins, the relation between folding time and temperature is studied by Monte Carlo simulation. The results can be represented by a kinetic model with three states — random coil, molten globule, and native state. The folding process is composed of nonspecific collapse and final searching for the native state. At high temperature, it is easy to escape from local traps in the folding process. With decreasing temperature, because of the trapping in local traps, the final searching speed decreases. Then the folding shows chevron rollover. Through the analysis of the fitted parameters of the kinetic model, it is found that the main difference between the energy landscapes of the HP model and the Go model is that the number of local minima of the Go model is less than that of the HP model.

  15. Computational and theoretical methods for protein folding.

    PubMed

    Compiani, Mario; Capriotti, Emidio

    2013-12-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Folding and activity of hybrid sequence, disulfide-stabilized peptides

    SciTech Connect

    Pease, J.H.B.; Storrs, R.W.; Wemmer, D.E. )

    1990-08-01

    Peptides have been synthesized that have hybrid sequences, partially derived from the bee venom peptide apamin and partially from the S peptide of ribonuclease A. The hybrid peptides were demonstrated by NMR spectroscopy to fold, forming the same disulfides and basic three-dimensional structure as native apamin, containing a {beta}-turn and an {alpha}-helix. These hybrids were active in complementing S protein, reactivating nuclease activity. In addition, the hybrid peptide was effective in inducing antibodies that cross-react with the RNase, without conjugation to a carrier protein. The stability of the folded structure of this peptide suggests that it should be possible to elicit antibodies that will react not only with a specific sequence, but also with a specific secondary structure. Hybrid sequence peptides also provide opportunities to study separately nucleation and propagation steps in formation of secondary structure. The authors show that in S peptide the {alpha}-helix does not end abruptly but rather terminates gradually over four or five residues. In general, these hybrid sequence peptides, which fold predictably because of disulfide bond formation, can provide opportunities for examining structure - function relationships for many biologically active sequences.

  18. Peptide folding in the presence of interacting protein crowders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bille, Anna; Mohanty, Sandipan; Irbäck, Anders

    2016-05-01

    Using Monte Carlo methods, we explore and compare the effects of two protein crowders, BPTI and GB1, on the folding thermodynamics of two peptides, the compact helical trp-cage and the β-hairpin-forming GB1m3. The thermally highly stable crowder proteins are modeled using a fixed backbone and rotatable side-chains, whereas the peptides are free to fold and unfold. In the simulations, the crowder proteins tend to distort the trp-cage fold, while having a stabilizing effect on GB1m3. The extent of the effects on a given peptide depends on the crowder type. Due to a sticky patch on its surface, BPTI causes larger changes than GB1 in the melting properties of the peptides. The observed effects on the peptides stem largely from attractive and specific interactions with the crowder surfaces, and differ from those seen in reference simulations with purely steric crowder particles.

  19. Simulating protein folding in different environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Homouz, Dirar

    2014-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have become an invaluable tool in investigating the dynamics of protein folding. However, most computational studies of protein folding assume dilute aqueous simulation conditions in order to reduce the complexity of the system under study and enhance the efficiency. Nowadays, it is evident that environmental conditions encountered in vivo (or even in vitro) play a major role in regulating the dynamics of protein folding especially when one considers the highly condensed environment in the cellular cytoplasm. In order to factor in these conditions, we can utilize the high efficiency of well-designed low resolution (coarse-grained) simulation models to reduce the complexity of these added protein-milieu interactions involving different time and length scales. The goal of this chapter is to describe some recently developed coarse-grained simulation techniques that are specifically designed to go beyond traditional aqueous solvent conditions. The chapter also gives the reader a flavor of the things that we can study using such "smart" low resolution models.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:24150425

  2. Criteria for folding in structure-based models of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wołek, Karol; Cieplak, Marek

    2016-05-01

    In structure-based models of proteins, one often assumes that folding is accomplished when all contacts are established. This assumption may frequently lead to a conceptual problem that folding takes place in a temperature region of very low thermodynamic stability, especially when the contact map used is too sparse. We consider six different structure-based models and show that allowing for a small, but model-dependent, percentage of the native contacts not being established boosts the folding temperature substantially while affecting the time scales of folding only in a minor way. We also compare other properties of the six models. We show that the choice of the description of the backbone stiffness has a substantial effect on the values of characteristic temperatures that relate both to equilibrium and kinetic properties. Models without any backbone stiffness (like the self-organized polymer) are found to perform similar to those with the stiffness, including in the studies of stretching.

  3. Protein Folding Stages and Universal Exponents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kerson

    We propose three stages in protein folding, based on physical arguements involving the interplay between the hydrophobic effect and hydrogen bonding, and computer simulations using the CSAW (conditioned self-avoiding walk) model. These stages are characterized by universal exponents ν = 3/5, 3/7, 2/5 in the power law R ~ Nν, where R is the radius of gyration and N is the number of residues. They correspond to the experimentally observed stages: unfolded, preglobule, molten globule.

  4. Protein Folding Stages and Universal Exponents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kerson

    2011-11-01

    We propose three stages in protein folding, based on physical arguements involving the interplay between the hydrophobic effect and hydrogen bonding, and computer simulations using the CSAW (conditioned self-avoiding walk) model. These stages are characterized by universal exponents ν = 3/5, 3/7, 2/5 in the power law R ˜ Nν, where R is the radius of gyration and N is the number of residues. They correspond to the experimentally observed stages: unfolded, preglobule, molten globule.

  5. Protein folding at atomic resolution: analysis of autonomously folding supersecondary structure motifs by nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Sborgi, Lorenzo; Verma, Abhinav; Sadqi, Mourad; de Alba, Eva; Muñoz, Victor

    2013-01-01

    The study of protein folding has been conventionally hampered by the assumption that all single-domain proteins fold by an all-or-none process (two-state folding) that makes it impossible to resolve folding mechanisms experimentally. Here we describe an experimental method for the thermodynamic analysis of protein folding at atomic resolution using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The method is specifically developed for the study of small proteins that fold autonomously into basic supersecondary structure motifs, and that do so in the sub-millisecond timescale (folding archetypes). From the NMR experiments we obtain hundreds of atomic unfolding curves that are subsequently analyzed leading to the determination of the characteristic network of folding interactions. The application of this approach to a comprehensive catalog of elementary folding archetypes holds the promise of becoming the first experimental approach capable of unraveling the basic rules connecting protein structure and folding mechanism. PMID:22987355

  6. The primary dynamics in protein folding: the earliest kinetic steps.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callender, Robert

    1996-03-01

    A novel laser-induced temperature jump (T-jump) of 20 C or more is used to initiate the unfolding process of peptides and proteins on the picosecond time scale, and amide I time-resolved infrared absorbance transients are used to characterize the resulting kinetics. We have used this method to study the kinetics of folding and unfolding of a small 21 residue alanine based peptide and molten globule and native states of apomyoglobin, models for the helix which is an basic motif found in proteins. An essential result of our study is that the folding kinetics of a short length of peptide can occur within a few tens of nanoseconds which is much shorter than the time scale of the formation of intramolecular tertiary contacts from one point of a polypeptide chain to another. Furthermore, we observed that helices stabilized by tertiary contact formation unfold slower than helices surrounded by solvent by three orders of magnitude. These results bear directly on the protein folding problem, that is how do proteins fold from a large number of heterogeneous unfolded states to find the specific biologically active folded state on biologically relevent time scales, by suggesting that secondary structure forms first followed by tertiary structure. This work is a collaborative effort with R. GILMANSHIN at City College and S. WILLIAMS, R. B. DYER, and W. H. WOODRUFF at CST-4, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545.

  7. Structure, stability and folding of the alpha-helix.

    PubMed

    Doig, A J; Andrew, C D; Cochran, D A; Hughes, E; Penel, S; Sun, J K; Stapley, B J; Clarke, D T; Jones, G R

    2001-01-01

    Pauling first described the alpha-helix nearly 50 years ago, yet new features of its structure continue to be discovered, using peptide model systems, site-directed mutagenesis, advances in theory, the expansion of the Protein Data Bank and new experimental techniques. Helical peptides in solution form a vast number of structures, including fully helical, fully coiled and partly helical. To interpret peptide results quantitatively it is essential to use a helix/coil model that includes the stabilities of all these conformations. Our models now include terms for helix interiors, capping, side-chain interactions, N-termini and 3(10)-helices. The first three amino acids in a helix (N1, N2 and N3) and the preceding N-cap are unique, as their amide NH groups do not participate in backbone hydrogen bonding. We surveyed their structures in proteins and measured their amino acid preferences. The results are predominantly rationalized by hydrogen bonding to the free NH groups. Stabilizing side-chain-side-chain energies, including hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonding and polar/non-polar interactions, were measured accurately in helical peptides. Helices in proteins show a preference for having approximately an integral number of turns so that their N- and C-caps lie on the same side. There are also strong periodic trends in the likelihood of terminating a helix with a Schellman or alpha L C-cap motif. The kinetics of alpha-helix folding have been studied with stopped-flow deep ultraviolet circular dichroism using synchrotron radiation as the light source; this gives a far superior signal-to-noise ratio than a conventional instrument. We find that poly(Glu), poly(Lys) and alanine-based peptides fold in milliseconds, with longer peptides showing a transient overshoot in helix content.

  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. Domains in folding of model proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Abkevich, V. I.; Gutin, A. M.; Shakhnovich, E. I.

    1995-01-01

    By means of Monte Carlo simulation, we investigated the equilibrium between folded and unfolded states of lattice model proteins. The amino acid sequences were designed to have pronounced energy minimum target conformations of different length and shape. For short fully compact (36-mer) proteins, the all-or-none transition from the unfolded state to the native state was observed. This was not always the case for longer proteins. Among 12 designed sequences with the native structure of a fully compact 48-mer, a simple all-or-none transition was observed in only three cases. For the other nine sequences, three states of behavior-the native, denatured, and intermediate states-were found. The contiguous part of the native structure (domain) was conserved in the intermediate state, whereas the remaining part was completely unfolded and structureless. These parts melted separately from each other. PMID:7549881

  10. Macromolecular crowding increases structural content of folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Perham, Michael; Stagg, Loren; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla

    2007-10-30

    Here we show that increased amount of secondary structure is acquired in the folded states of two structurally-different proteins (alpha-helical VlsE and alpha/beta flavodoxin) in the presence of macromolecular crowding agents. The structural content of flavodoxin and VlsE is enhanced by 33% and 70%, respectively, in 400 mg/ml Ficoll 70 (pH 7, 20 degrees C) and correlates with higher protein-thermal stability. In the same Ficoll range, there are only small effects on the unfolded-state structures of the proteins. This is the first in vitro assessment of crowding effects on the native-state structures at physiological conditions. Our findings imply that for proteins with low intrinsic stability, the functional structures in vivo may differ from those observed in dilute buffers. PMID:17919600

  11. An Alternative Approach to Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Yeona; Fortmann, Charles M.

    2013-01-01

    A diffusion theory-based, all-physical ab initio protein folding simulation is described and applied. The model is based upon the drift and diffusion of protein substructures relative to one another in the multiple energy fields present. Without templates or statistical inputs, the simulations were run at physiologic and ambient temperatures (including pH). Around 100 protein secondary structures were surveyed, and twenty tertiary structures were determined. Greater than 70% of the secondary core structures with over 80% alpha helices were correctly identified on protein ranging from 30 to 200 amino-acid sequence. The drift-diffusion model predicted tertiary structures with RMSD values in the 3–5 Angstroms range for proteins ranging 30 to 150 amino acids. These predictions are among the best for an all ab initio protein simulation. Simulations could be run entirely on a desktop computer in minutes; however, more accurate tertiary structures were obtained using molecular dynamic energy relaxation. The drift-diffusion model generated realistic energy versus time traces. Rapid secondary structures followed by a slow compacting towards lower energy tertiary structures occurred after an initial incubation period in agreement with observations. PMID:24078920

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:21446709

  14. Understanding the Folding-Function Tradeoff in Proteins

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23593437

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27112569

  16. Filling Up the Heme Pocket Stabilizes Apomyoglobin and Speeds Up Its Folding

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Wild type apomyoglobin folds in at least two steps: the ABGH core rapidly, followed much later by the heme-binding CDEF core. We hypothesize that the evolved heme-binding function of the CDEF core frustrates its folding: it has a smaller contact order and is no more complex topologically than ABGH, and thus, it should be able to fold faster. Therefore, filling up the empty heme cavity of apomyoglobin with larger, hydrophobic side chains should significantly stabilize the protein and increase its folding rate. Molecular dynamics simulations allowed us to design four different mutants with bulkier side chains that increase the native bias of the CDEF region. In vitro thermal denaturation shows that the mutations increase folding stability and bring the protein closer to two-state behavior, as judged by the difference of fluorescence- and circular dichroism-detected protein stability. Millisecond stopped flow measurements of the mutants exhibit refolding kinetics that are over 4 times faster than the wild type’s. We propose that myoglobin-like proteins not evolved to bind heme are equally stable, and find an example. Our results illustrate how evolution for function can force proteins to adapt frustrated folding mechanisms, despite having simple topologies. PMID:24456280

  17. Filling up the heme pocket stabilizes apomyoglobin and speeds up its folding.

    PubMed

    Goodman, J S; Chao, S-H; Pogorelov, T V; Gruebele, M

    2014-06-19

    Wild type apomyoglobin folds in at least two steps: the ABGH core rapidly, followed much later by the heme-binding CDEF core. We hypothesize that the evolved heme-binding function of the CDEF core frustrates its folding: it has a smaller contact order and is no more complex topologically than ABGH, and thus, it should be able to fold faster. Therefore, filling up the empty heme cavity of apomyoglobin with larger, hydrophobic side chains should significantly stabilize the protein and increase its folding rate. Molecular dynamics simulations allowed us to design four different mutants with bulkier side chains that increase the native bias of the CDEF region. In vitro thermal denaturation shows that the mutations increase folding stability and bring the protein closer to two-state behavior, as judged by the difference of fluorescence- and circular dichroism-detected protein stability. Millisecond stopped flow measurements of the mutants exhibit refolding kinetics that are over 4 times faster than the wild type's. We propose that myoglobin-like proteins not evolved to bind heme are equally stable, and find an example. Our results illustrate how evolution for function can force proteins to adapt frustrated folding mechanisms, despite having simple topologies. PMID:24456280

  18. Characterisation of the isolated Che Y C-terminal fragment (79-129)--Exploring the structure/stability/folding relationship of the alpha/beta parallel protein Che Y.

    PubMed

    Bruix, M; Muñoz, V; Campos-Olivas, R; Del Bosque, J R; Serrano, L; Rico, M

    1997-01-15

    To gain insight into how the three-dimensional structure, stability and folding of the protein Che Y are related to one another, we have performed a conformational analysis of a long fragment of this protein, encompassing its C-terminal 51 residues (79-129). This fragment consists of residues in the beta-strands 4 and 5 and alpha-helices 4 and 5 of native Che Y. The study has been performed by two-dimensional NMR and far-ultraviolet circular dichroism in aqueous solution and in 30% (by vol.) trifluoroethanol/ water at 273 K and 298 K. We observe little structure for this fragment in aqueous solution which could be due to low helical populations in the regions corresponding to helices 4 and 5. Within the limits of the residual helical structure experimentally detected, helix 4 appears to extend beyond the N-terminus observed in the native structure by over four residues belonging to the preceding loop. In 30% trifluoroethanol the helical content of both helices increase and helix 4 extends further to include the preceding beta-strand 4. None of the long-range NOEs present in native Che Y are observed under the explored experimental conditions. The conformational shifts of the H(alpha) protons within the alpha-helices of fragment 79-129 are identical to those of shorter synthetic peptides corresponding to the isolated alpha-helices. Thus, the fragment 79-129 appears to behave as an open chain with low local helical populations. The very low intrinsic ability for structure formation displayed by this region of Che Y at pH 2.5 suggests that in the folded protein this region could be mainly stabilised by interactions with the N-terminal Che Y region. This is in accordance with the contact map of Che Y, which shows that the strongest non-local contacts of C-terminal residues are with residues of the N-terminal region, while those within the C-terminal region are very weak. More importantly, the relationship appears to be possibly extended to the folding properties of the

  19. Quantifying Nonnative Interactions in the Protein-Folding Free-Energy Landscape.

    PubMed

    Mouro, Paulo Ricardo; de Godoi Contessoto, Vinícius; Chahine, Jorge; Junio de Oliveira, Ronaldo; Pereira Leite, Vitor Barbanti

    2016-07-26

    Protein folding is a central problem in biological physics. Energetic roughness is an important aspect that controls protein-folding stability and kinetics. The roughness is associated with conflicting interactions in the protein and is also known as frustration. Recent studies indicate that an addition of a small amount of energetic frustration may enhance folding speed for certain proteins. In this study, we have investigated the conditions under which frustration increases the folding rate. We used a Cα structure-based model to simulate a group of proteins. We found that the free-energy barrier at the transition state (ΔF) correlates with nonnative-contact variation (ΔA), and the simulated proteins are clustered according to their fold motifs. These findings are corroborated by the Clementi-Plotkin analytical model. As a consequence, the optimum frustration regime for protein folding can be predicted analytically. PMID:27463131

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Direct osmolyte-macromolecule interactions confer entropic stability to folded states.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ropero, Francisco; van der Vegt, Nico F A

    2014-07-01

    Protective osmolytes are chemical compounds that shift the protein folding/unfolding equilibrium toward the folded state under osmotic stresses. The most widely considered protection mechanism assumes that osmolytes are depleted from the protein's first solvation shell, leading to entropic stabilization of the folded state. However, recent theoretical and experimental studies suggest that protective osmolytes may directly interact with the macromolecule. As an exemplary and experimentally well-characterized system, we herein discuss poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAM) in water whose folding/unfolding equilibrium shifts toward the folded state in the presence of urea. On the basis of molecular dynamics simulations of this specific system, we propose a new microscopic mechanism that explains how direct osmolyte-macromolecule interactions confer stability to folded states. We show that urea molecules preferentially accumulate in the first solvation shell of PNiPAM driven by attractive van der Waals dispersion forces with the hydrophobic isopropyl groups, leading to the formation of low entropy urea clouds. These clouds provide an entropic driving force for folding, resulting in preferential urea binding to the folded state and a decrease of the lower folding temperature in agreement with experiment. The simulations further indicate that thermodynamic nonideality of the bulk solvent opposes this driving force and may lead to denaturation, as illustrated by simulations of PNiPAM in aqueous solutions with dimethylurea. The proposed mechanism provides a new angle on relations between the properties of protecting and denaturing osmolytes, salting-in or salting-out effects, and solvent nonidealities.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Protein folding on the ribosome studied using NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  6. Modulation of the multistate folding of designed TPR proteins through intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

    PubMed

    Phillips, J J; Javadi, Y; Millership, C; Main, E R G

    2012-03-01

    Tetratricopeptide repeats (TPRs) are a class of all alpha-helical repeat proteins that are comprised of 34-aa helix-turn-helix motifs. These stack together to form nonglobular structures that are stabilized by short-range interactions from residues close in primary sequence. Unlike globular proteins, they have few, if any, long-range nonlocal stabilizing interactions. Several studies on designed TPR proteins have shown that this modular structure is reflected in their folding, that is, modular multistate folding is observed as opposed to two-state folding. Here we show that TPR multistate folding can be suppressed to approximate two-state folding through modulation of intrinsic stability or extrinsic environmental variables. This modulation was investigated by comparing the thermodynamic unfolding under differing buffer regimes of two distinct series of consensus-designed TPR proteins, which possess different intrinsic stabilities. A total of nine proteins of differing sizes and differing consensus TPR motifs were each thermally and chemically denatured and their unfolding monitored using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and CD/fluorescence, respectively. Analyses of both the DSC and chemical denaturation data show that reducing the total stability of each protein and repeat units leads to observable two-state unfolding. These data highlight the intimate link between global and intrinsic repeat stability that governs whether folding proceeds by an observably two-state mechanism, or whether partial unfolding yields stable intermediate structures which retain sufficient stability to be populated at equilibrium.

  7. Improving Protein Fold Recognition by Deep Learning Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26634993

  8. Improving Protein Fold Recognition by Deep Learning Networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-04

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Improving Protein Fold Recognition by Deep Learning Networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26634993

  11. Prions and protein-folding diseases.

    PubMed

    Norrby, E

    2011-07-01

    Prions represent a group of proteins with a unique capacity to fold into different conformations. One isoform is rich in beta-pleated sheets and can aggregate into amyloid that may be pathogenic. This abnormal form propagates itself by imposing its confirmation on the homologous normal host cell protein. Pathogenic prions have been shown to cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. These diseases are sometimes infectious and hence referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. In the present review, the remarkable evolution of the heterodox prion concept is summarized. The origin of this phenomenon is based on information transfer between homologous proteins, without the involvement of nucleic acid-encoded mechanisms. Historically, kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) were the first infectious prion diseases to be identified in man. It was their relationship to scrapie in sheep and experimental rodents that allowed an unravelling of the particular molecular mechanism that underlie the disease process. Transmission between humans has been documented to have occurred in particular contexts, including ritual cannibalism, iatrogenic transmission because of pituitary gland-derived growth hormone or the use in neurosurgical procedures of dura mater from cadavers, and the temporary use of a prion-contaminated protein-rich feed for cows. The latter caused a major outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which spread to man by human consumption of contaminated meat, causing approximately 200 cases of variant CJD. All these epidemics now appear to be over because of measures taken to curtail further spread of prions. Recent studies have shown that the mechanism of protein aggregation may apply to a wider range of diseases in and possibly also outside the brain, some of which are relatively common such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Furthermore, it has become apparent that the phenomenon of prion aggregation may have a wider

  12. A global representation of the protein fold space.

    PubMed

    Hou, Jingtong; Sims, Gregory E; Zhang, Chao; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2003-03-01

    One of the principal goals of the structural genomics initiative is to identify the total repertoire of protein folds and obtain a global view of the "protein structure universe." Here, we present a 3D map of the protein fold space in which structurally related folds are represented by spatially adjacent points. Such a representation reveals a high-level organization of the fold space that is intuitively interpretable. The shape of the fold space and the overall distribution of the folds are defined by three dominant trends: secondary structure class, chain topology, and protein domain size. Random coil-like structures of small proteins and peptides are mapped to a region where the three trends converge, offering an interesting perspective on both the demography of fold space and the evolution of protein structures. PMID:12606708

  13. 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.

  14. Cosolvent Effects on Protein Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canchi, Deepak R.; García, Angel E.

    2013-04-01

    Proteins are marginally stable, and the folding/unfolding equilibrium of proteins in aqueous solution can easily be altered by the addition of small organic molecules known as cosolvents. Cosolvents that shift the equilibrium toward the unfolded ensemble are termed denaturants, whereas those that favor the folded ensemble are known as protecting osmolytes. Urea is a widely used denaturant in protein folding studies, and the molecular mechanism of its action has been vigorously debated in the literature. Here we review recent experimental as well as computational studies that show an emerging consensus in this problem. Urea has been shown to denature proteins through a direct mechanism, by interacting favorably with the peptide backbone as well as the amino acid side chains. In contrast, the molecular mechanism by which the naturally occurring protecting osmolyte trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) stabilizes proteins is not clear. Recent studies have established the strong interaction of TMAO with water. Detailed molecular simulations, when used with force fields that incorporate these interactions, can provide insight into this problem. We present the development of a model for TMAO that is consistent with experimental observations and that provides physical insight into the role of cosolvent-cosolvent interaction in determining its preferential interaction with proteins.

  15. Elastic energy of proteins and the stages of protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, J.; Huang, K.

    2009-12-01

    We propose a universal elastic energy for proteins, which depends only on the radius of gyration Rg and the residue number N. It is constructed using physical arguments based on the hydrophobic effect and hydrogen bonding. Adjustable parameters are fitted to data from the computer simulation of the folding of a set of proteins using the CSAW (conditioned self-avoiding walk) model. The elastic energy gives rise to scaling relations of the form Rg~Nν in different regions. It shows three folding stages characterized by the progression with exponents ν=3/5, 3/7, 2/5, which we identify as the unfolded stage, pre-globule, and molten globule, respectively. The pre-globule goes over to the molten globule via a break in behavior akin to a first-order phase transition, which is initiated by a sudden acceleration of hydrogen bonding.

  16. Distribution of protein folds in the three superkingdoms of life.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Y I; Brenner, S E; Bash, P A; Koonin, E V

    1999-01-01

    A sensitive protein-fold recognition procedure was developed on the basis of iterative database search using the PSI-BLAST program. A collection of 1193 position-dependent weight matrices that can be used as fold identifiers was produced. In the completely sequenced genomes, folds could be automatically identified for 20%-30% of the proteins, with 3%-6% more detectable by additional analysis of conserved motifs. The distribution of the most common folds is very similar in bacteria and archaea but distinct in eukaryotes. Within the bacteria, this distribution differs between parasitic and free-living species. In all analyzed genomes, the P-loop NTPases are the most abundant fold. In bacteria and archaea, the next most common folds are ferredoxin-like domains, TIM-barrels, and methyltransferases, whereas in eukaryotes, the second to fourth places belong to protein kinases, beta-propellers and TIM-barrels. The observed diversity of protein folds in different proteomes is approximately twice as high as it would be expected from a simple stochastic model describing a proteome as a finite sample from an infinite pool of proteins with an exponential distribution of the fold fractions. Distribution of the number of domains with different folds in one protein fits the geometric model, which is compatible with the evolution of multidomain proteins by random combination of domains. [Fold predictions for proteins from 14 proteomes are available on the World Wide Web at. The FIDs are available by anonymous ftp at the same location.

  17. 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.

  18. Cotranslational protein folding on the ribosome monitored in real time.

    PubMed

    Holtkamp, Wolf; Kokic, Goran; Jäger, Marcus; Mittelstaet, Joerg; Komar, Anton A; Rodnina, Marina V

    2015-11-27

    Protein domains can fold into stable tertiary structures while they are synthesized on the ribosome. We used a high-performance, reconstituted in vitro translation system to investigate the folding of a small five-helix protein domain-the N-terminal domain of Escherichia coli N5-glutamine methyltransferase HemK-in real time. Our observations show that cotranslational folding of the protein, which folds autonomously and rapidly in solution, proceeds through a compact, non-native conformation that forms within the peptide tunnel of the ribosome. The compact state rearranges into a native-like structure immediately after the full domain sequence has emerged from the ribosome. Both folding transitions are rate-limited by translation, allowing for quasi-equilibrium sampling of the conformational space restricted by the ribosome. Cotranslational folding may be typical of small, intrinsically rapidly folding protein domains. PMID:26612953

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. A hierarchical protein folding scheme based on the building block folding model.

    PubMed

    Haspel, Nurit; Wainreb, Gilad; Inbar, Yuval; Tsai, Hui-Hsu; Tsai, Chung-Jung; Wolfson, Haim J; Nussinov, Ruth

    2007-01-01

    The building block protein folding model states that the native protein structure is the product of a combinatorial assembly of relatively structurally independent contiguous parts of the protein that possess a hydrophobic core, i.e., building blocks (BBs). According to this model, our group proposed a three-stage scheme for a feasible time-wise semi ab-intio protein structure prediction. Given a protein sequence, at the first stage of the prediction scheme, we propose cutting the sequence into structurally assigned BBs. Next, we perform a combinatorial assembly and attempt to predict the relative three-dimensional arrangement of the BBs. In the third stage, we refine and rank the assemblies. The scheme has proven to be very promising in reducing the complexity of the protein folding problem and gaining insight into the protein folding process. In this chapter, we describe the different stages of the scheme and discuss a possible application of the model to protein design. PMID:16957324

  2. Multi-stability in folded shells: non-Euclidean origami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Arthur

    2015-03-01

    Both natural and man-made structures benefit from having multiple mechanically stable states, from the quick snapping motion of hummingbird beaks to micro-textured surfaces with tunable roughness. Rather than discuss special fabrication techniques for creating bi-stability through material anisotropy, in this talk I will present several examples of how folding a structure can modify the energy landscape and thus lead to multiple stable states. Using ideas from origami and differential geometry, I will discuss how deforming a non-Euclidean surface can be done either continuously or discontinuously, and explore the effects that global constraints have on the ultimate stability of the surface.

  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. 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

  5. Folding of β-barrel membrane proteins in lipid bilayers - Unassisted and assisted folding and insertion.

    PubMed

    Kleinschmidt, Jörg H

    2015-09-01

    In cells, β-barrel membrane proteins are transported in unfolded form to an outer membrane into which they fold and insert. Model systems have been established to investigate the mechanisms of insertion and folding of these versatile proteins into detergent micelles, lipid bilayers and even synthetic amphipathic polymers. In these experiments, insertion into lipid membranes is initiated from unfolded forms that do not display residual β-sheet secondary structure. These studies therefore have allowed the investigation of membrane protein folding and insertion in great detail. Folding of β-barrel membrane proteins into lipid bilayers has been monitored from unfolded forms by dilution of chaotropic denaturants that keep the protein unfolded as well as from unfolded forms present in complexes with molecular chaperones from cells. This review is aimed to provide an overview of the principles and mechanisms observed for the folding of β-barrel transmembrane proteins into lipid bilayers, the importance of lipid-protein interactions and the function of molecular chaperones and folding assistants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions.

  6. Small protein domains fold inside the ribosome exit tunnel.

    PubMed

    Marino, Jacopo; von Heijne, Gunnar; Beckmann, Roland

    2016-03-01

    Cotranslational folding of small protein domains within the ribosome exit tunnel may be an important cellular strategy to avoid protein misfolding. However, the pathway of cotranslational folding has so far been described only for a few proteins, and therefore, it is unclear whether folding in the ribosome exit tunnel is a common feature for small protein domains. Here, we have analyzed nine small protein domains and determined at which point during translation their folding generates sufficient force on the nascent chain to release translational arrest by the SecM arrest peptide, both in vitro and in live E. coli cells. We find that all nine protein domains initiate folding while still located well within the ribosome exit tunnel. PMID:26879042

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Protein folding: Turbo-charged crosslinking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craik, David J.

    2012-08-01

    The efficient production of stable bioactive proteins often requires the selective formation of several disulfide crosslinks. Two recent studies have now shown that replacing cysteine with selenocysteine in the unfolded protein can autocatalyse the formation of the desired crosslinks.

  10. 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.

  11. Impact of structure space continuity on protein fold classification

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jinrui; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2016-01-01

    Protein structure classification hierarchically clusters domain structures based on structure and/or sequence similarities and plays important roles in the study of protein structure-function relationship and protein evolution. Among many classifications, SCOP and CATH are widely viewed as the gold standards. Fold classification is of special interest because this is the lowest level of classification that does not depend on protein sequence similarity. The current fold classifications such as those in SCOP and CATH are controversial because they implicitly assume that folds are discrete islands in the structure space, whereas increasing evidence suggests significant similarities among folds and supports a continuous fold space. Although this problem is widely recognized, its impact on fold classification has not been quantitatively evaluated. Here we develop a likelihood method to classify a domain into the existing folds of CATH or SCOP using both query-fold structure similarities and within-fold structure heterogeneities. The new classification differs from the original classification for 3.4–12% of domains, depending on factors such as the structure similarity score and original classification scheme used. Because these factors differ for different biological purposes, our results indicate that the importance of considering structure space continuity in fold classification depends on the specific question asked. PMID:27006112

  12. Deducing the Energetic Cost of Protein Folding in Zinc Finger Proteins Using Designed Metallopeptides

    SciTech Connect

    Reddi,A.; Guzman, T.; Breece, r.; Tierney, D.; Gibney, B.

    2007-01-01

    Zinc finger transcription factors represent the largest single class of metalloproteins in the human genome. Binding of Zn(II) to their canonical Cys4, Cys3His1, or Cys2His2 sites results in metal-induced protein folding events required to achieve their proper structure for biological activity. The thermodynamic contribution of Zn(II) in each of these coordination spheres toward protein folding is poorly understood because of the coupled nature of the metal-ligand and protein-protein interactions. Using an unstructured peptide scaffold, GGG, we have employed fluorimetry, potentiometry, and calorimetry to determine the thermodynamics of Zn(II) binding to the Cys4, Cys3His1, and Cys2His2 ligand sets with minimal interference from protein folding effects. The data show that Zn(II) complexation is entropy driven and modulated by proton release. The formation constants for Zn(II)-GGG with a Cys4, Cys3His1, or Cys2His2 site are 5.6 x 1016, 1.5 x 1015, or 2.5 x 1013 M-1, respectively. Thus, the Zn(II)-Cys4, Zn(II)-Cys3His1, and Zn(II)-Cys2His2 interactions can provide up to 22.8, 20.7, and 18.3 kcal/mol, respectively, in driving force for protein stabilization, folding, and/or assembly at pH values above the ligand pKa values. While the contributions from the three coordination motifs differ by 4.5 kcal/mol in Zn(II) affinity at pH 9.0, they are equivalent at physiological pH, ?G = -16.8 kcal/mol or a Ka = 2.0 x 1012 M-1. Calorimetric data show that this is due to proton-based enthalpy-entropy compensation between the favorable entropic term from proton release and the unfavorable enthalpic term due to thiol deprotonation. Since protein folding effects have been minimized in the GGG scaffold, these peptides possess nearly the tightest Zn(II) affinities possible for their coordination motifs. The Zn(II) affinities in each coordination motif are compared between the GGG scaffold and natural zinc finger proteins to determine the free energy required to fold the latter

  13. An antifreeze protein folds with an interior network of more than 400 semi-clathrate waters.

    PubMed

    Sun, Tianjun; Lin, Feng-Hsu; Campbell, Robert L; Allingham, John S; Davies, Peter L

    2014-02-14

    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. Direct osmolyte-macromolecule interactions confer entropic stability to folded states.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ropero, Francisco; van der Vegt, Nico F A

    2014-07-01

    Protective osmolytes are chemical compounds that shift the protein folding/unfolding equilibrium toward the folded state under osmotic stresses. The most widely considered protection mechanism assumes that osmolytes are depleted from the protein's first solvation shell, leading to entropic stabilization of the folded state. However, recent theoretical and experimental studies suggest that protective osmolytes may directly interact with the macromolecule. As an exemplary and experimentally well-characterized system, we herein discuss poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAM) in water whose folding/unfolding equilibrium shifts toward the folded state in the presence of urea. On the basis of molecular dynamics simulations of this specific system, we propose a new microscopic mechanism that explains how direct osmolyte-macromolecule interactions confer stability to folded states. We show that urea molecules preferentially accumulate in the first solvation shell of PNiPAM driven by attractive van der Waals dispersion forces with the hydrophobic isopropyl groups, leading to the formation of low entropy urea clouds. These clouds provide an entropic driving force for folding, resulting in preferential urea binding to the folded state and a decrease of the lower folding temperature in agreement with experiment. The simulations further indicate that thermodynamic nonideality of the bulk solvent opposes this driving force and may lead to denaturation, as illustrated by simulations of PNiPAM in aqueous solutions with dimethylurea. The proposed mechanism provides a new angle on relations between the properties of protecting and denaturing osmolytes, salting-in or salting-out effects, and solvent nonidealities. PMID:24927256

  15. Protein folding under confinement: A role for solvent

    PubMed Central

    Lucent, Del; Vishal, V.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2007-01-01

    Although most experimental and theoretical studies of protein folding involve proteins in vitro, the effects of spatial confinement may complicate protein folding in vivo. In this study, we examine the folding dynamics of villin (a small fast folding protein) with explicit solvent confined to an inert nanopore. We have calculated the probability of folding before unfolding (Pfold) under various confinement regimes. Using Pfold correlation techniques, we observed two competing effects. Confining protein alone promotes folding by destabilizing the unfolded state. In contrast, confining both protein and solvent gives rise to a solvent-mediated effect that destabilizes the native state. When both protein and solvent are confined we see unfolding to a compact unfolded state different from the unfolded state seen in bulk. Thus, we demonstrate that the confinement of solvent has a significant impact on protein kinetics and thermodynamics. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these results for folding in confined environments such as the chaperonin cavity in vivo. PMID:17563390

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:23056480

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-28

    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. 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

  1. Structure-Based Prediction of Protein-Folding Transition Paths.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, William M; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2016-09-01

    We propose a general theory to describe the distribution of protein-folding transition paths. We show that transition paths follow a predictable sequence of high-free-energy transient states that are separated by free-energy barriers. Each transient state corresponds to the assembly of one or more discrete, cooperative units, which are determined directly from the native structure. We show that the transition state on a folding pathway is reached when a small number of critical contacts are formed between a specific set of substructures, after which folding proceeds downhill in free energy. This approach suggests a natural resolution for distinguishing parallel folding pathways and provides a simple means to predict the rate-limiting step in a folding reaction. Our theory identifies a common folding mechanism for proteins with diverse native structures and establishes general principles for the self-assembly of polymers with specific interactions. PMID:27602721

  2. Structure-Based Prediction of Protein-Folding Transition Paths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, William M.; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2016-09-01

    We propose a general theory to describe the distribution of protein-folding transition paths. We show that transition paths follow a predictable sequence of high-free-energy transient states that are separated by free-energy barriers. Each transient state corresponds to the assembly of one or more discrete, cooperative units, which are determined directly from the native structure. We show that the transition state on a folding pathway is reached when a small number of critical contacts are formed between a specific set of substructures, after which folding proceeds downhill in free energy. This approach suggests a natural resolution for distinguishing parallel folding pathways and provides a simple means to predict the rate-limiting step in a folding reaction. Our theory identifies a common folding mechanism for proteins with diverse native structures and establishes general principles for the self-assembly of polymers with specific interactions.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Structural origin of slow diffusion in protein folding.

    PubMed

    Chung, Hoi Sung; Piana-Agostinetti, Stefano; Shaw, David E; Eaton, William A

    2015-09-25

    Experimental, theoretical, and computational studies of small proteins suggest that interresidue contacts not present in the folded structure play little or no role in the self-assembly mechanism. Non-native contacts can, however, influence folding kinetics by introducing additional local minima that slow diffusion over the global free-energy barrier between folded and unfolded states. Here, we combine single-molecule fluorescence with all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to discover the structural origin for the slow diffusion that markedly decreases the folding rate for a designed α-helical protein. Our experimental determination of transition path times and our analysis of the simulations point to non-native salt bridges between helices as the source, which provides a quantitative glimpse of how specific intramolecular interactions influence protein folding rates by altering dynamics and not activation free energies.

  6. Statistical mechanics of kinetic proofreading in protein folding in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Gulukota, K; Wolynes, P G

    1994-01-01

    The statistical energy landscape picture of protein folding has led to the understanding that the energy landscape must have guiding forces leading to a protein folding funnel in order to avoid the Levinthal paradox in vitro. Since folding in vivo often requires the action of chaperone molecules and ATP hydrolysis, we must ask whether folding in a system maintained away from equilibrium can avoid the Levinthal paradox in other ways. We describe a model of the action of chaperone molecules in protein folding in vivo on the basis of a repetitive cycle of binding and unbinding, allowing the possibility of kinetic proofreading. We also study models in which chaperone binding is locally biased, depending on the similarity of the conformation to the native one. We show that while kinetic proofreading can modestly facilitate folding, it is insufficient by itself to overcome the Levinthal paradox. On the other hand, such kinetic proofreading with biasing can provide the nonequilibrium analog of a folding funnel and greatly enhance folding yields and speed up folding. PMID:7937758

  7. In vivo aspects of protein folding and quality control.

    PubMed

    Balchin, David; Hayer-Hartl, Manajit; Hartl, F Ulrich

    2016-07-01

    Most proteins must fold into unique three-dimensional structures to perform their biological functions. In the crowded cellular environment, newly synthesized proteins are at risk of misfolding and forming toxic aggregate species. To ensure efficient folding, different classes of molecular chaperones receive the nascent protein chain emerging from the ribosome and guide it along a productive folding pathway. Because proteins are structurally dynamic, constant surveillance of the proteome by an integrated network of chaperones and protein degradation machineries is required to maintain protein homeostasis (proteostasis). The capacity of this proteostasis network declines during aging, facilitating neurodegeneration and other chronic diseases associated with protein aggregation. Understanding the proteostasis network holds the promise of identifying targets for pharmacological intervention in these pathologies. PMID:27365453

  8. Folding and escape of nascent proteins at ribosomal exit tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bui, Phuong Thuy; Hoang, Trinh Xuan

    2016-03-01

    We investigate the interplay between post-translational folding and escape of two small single-domain proteins at the ribosomal exit tunnel by using Langevin dynamics with coarse-grained models. It is shown that at temperatures lower or near the temperature of the fastest folding, folding proceeds concomitantly with the escape process, resulting in vectorial folding and enhancement of foldability of nascent proteins. The concomitance between the two processes, however, deteriorates as temperature increases. Our folding simulations as well as free energy calculation by using umbrella sampling show that, at low temperatures, folding at the tunnel follows one or two specific pathways without kinetic traps. It is shown that the escape time can be mapped to a one-dimensional diffusion model with two different regimes for temperatures above and below the folding transition temperature. Attractive interactions between amino acids and attractive sites on the tunnel wall lead to a free energy barrier along the escape route of the protein. It is suggested that this barrier slows down the escape process and consequently promotes correct folding of the released nascent protein.

  9. Metal ion coupled protein folding and allosteric motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei

    2014-03-01

    Many proteins need the help of cofactors for their successful folding and functioning. Metal ions, i.e., Zn2+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ etc., are typical biological cofactors. Binding of metal ions can reshape the energy landscapes of proteins, thereby modifying the folding and allosteric motions. For example, such binding may make the intrinsically disordered proteins have funneled energy landscapes, consequently, ensures their spontaneous folding. In addition, the binding may activate certain biological processes by inducing related conformational changes of regulation proteins. However, how the local interactions involving the metal ion binding can induce the global conformational motions of proteins remains elusive. Investigating such question requires multiple models with different details, including quantum mechanics, atomistic models, and coarse grained models. In our recent work, we have been developing such multiscale methods which can reasonably model the metal ion binding induced charge transfer, protonation/deprotonation, and large conformational motions of proteins. With such multiscale model, we elucidated the zinc-binding induced folding mechanism of classical zinc finger and the calcium-binding induced dynamic symmetry breaking in the allosteric motions of calmodulin. In addition, we studied the coupling of folding, calcium binding and allosteric motions of calmodulin domains. In this talk, I will introduce the above progresses on the metal ion coupled protein folding and allosteric motions. We thank the finacial support from NSFC and the 973 project.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-13

    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 (13)C-labeled retinal cofactor and extensively (13)C-(15)N-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.

  12. Exploring one-state downhill protein folding in single molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianwei; Campos, Luis A.; Cerminara, Michele; Wang, Xiang; Ramanathan, Ravishankar; English, Douglas S.; Muñoz, Victor

    2012-01-01

    A one-state downhill protein folding process is barrierless at all conditions, resulting in gradual melting of native structure that permits resolving folding mechanisms step-by-step at atomic resolution. Experimental studies of one-state downhill folding have typically focused on the thermal denaturation of proteins that fold near the speed limit (ca. 106 s-1) at their unfolding temperature, thus being several orders of magnitude too fast for current single-molecule methods, such as single-molecule FRET. An important open question is whether one-state downhill folding kinetics can be slowed down to make them accessible to single-molecule approaches without turning the protein into a conventional activated folder. Here we address this question on the small helical protein BBL, a paradigm of one-state downhill thermal (un)folding. We decreased 200-fold the BBL folding-unfolding rate by combining chemical denaturation and low temperature, and carried out free-diffusion single-molecule FRET experiments with 50-μs resolution and maximal photoprotection using a recently developed Trolox-cysteamine cocktail. These experiments revealed a single conformational ensemble at all denaturing conditions. The chemical unfolding of BBL was then manifested by the gradual change of this unique ensemble, which shifts from high to low FRET efficiency and becomes broader at increasing denaturant. Furthermore, using detailed quantitative analysis, we could rule out the possibility that the BBL single-molecule data are produced by partly overlapping folded and unfolded peaks. Thus, our results demonstrate the one-state downhill folding regime at the single-molecule level and highlight that this folding scenario is not necessarily associated with ultrafast kinetics. PMID:22184219

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Folding stability modulation of the villin headpiece helical subdomain by 4-fluorophenylalanine and 4-methylphenylalanine.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Wei-Lin; Shih, Ting-Chia; Horng, Jia-Cherng

    2015-11-01

    HP36, the helical subdomain of villin headpiece, contains a hydrophobic core composed of three phenylalanine residues (Phe47, Phe51, and Phe58). Hydrophobic effects and electrostatic interactions were shown to be the critical factors in stabilizing this core and the global structure. To assess the interactions among Phe47, Phe51, and Phe58 residues and investigate how they affect the folding stability, we implanted 4-fluorophenylalanine (Z) and 4-methylphenylalanine (X) into the hydrophobic core of HP36. We chemically synthesized HP36 and its seven variants including four single mutants whose Phe51 or Phe58 was replaced with Z or X, and three double mutants whose Phe51 and Phe58 were both substituted. Circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance measurements show that the variants exhibit a native HP36 like fold, of which F51Z and three double mutants are more stable than the wild type. Molecular modeling provided detailed interaction energy within the phenylalanine residues, revealing that electrostatic interactions dominate the stability modulation upon the introduction of 4-fluorophenylalanine and 4-methylphenylalanine. Our results show that these two non-natural amino acids can successfully tune the interactions in a relatively compact hydrophobic core and the folding stability without inducing dramatic steric effects. Such an approach may be applied to other folded motifs or proteins.

  17. Mechanisms of protein-folding diseases at a glance

    PubMed Central

    Valastyan, Julie S.; Lindquist, Susan

    2014-01-01

    For a protein to function appropriately, it must first achieve its proper conformation and location within the crowded environment inside the cell. Multiple chaperone systems are required to fold proteins correctly. In addition, degradation pathways participate by destroying improperly folded proteins. The intricacy of this multisystem process provides many opportunities for error. Furthermore, mutations cause misfolded, nonfunctional forms of proteins to accumulate. As a result, many pathological conditions are fundamentally rooted in the protein-folding problem that all cells must solve to maintain their function and integrity. Here, to illustrate the breadth of this phenomenon, we describe five examples of protein-misfolding events that can lead to disease: improper degradation, mislocalization, dominant-negative mutations, structural alterations that establish novel toxic functions, and amyloid accumulation. In each case, we will highlight current therapeutic options for battling such diseases. PMID:24396149

  18. Microwave-enhanced folding and denaturation of globular proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohr, Henrik; Bohr, Jakob

    2000-04-01

    It is shown that microwave irradiation can affect the kinetics of the folding process of some globular proteins, especially β-lactoglobulin. At low temperature the folding from the cold denatured phase of the protein is enhanced, while at a higher temperature the denaturation of the protein from its folded state is enhanced. In the latter case, a negative temperature gradient is needed for the denaturation process, suggesting that the effects of the microwaves are nonthermal. This supports the notion that coherent topological excitations can exist in proteins. The application of microwaves hold promises for a wide range of biotechnological applications, such as protein synthesis, protein aggregation, etc., and may have implications for biological systems as well.

  19. 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.

  20. The Skp chaperone helps fold soluble proteins in vitro by inhibiting aggregation*

    PubMed Central

    Entzminger, Kevin C.; Chang, Christine; Myhre, Ryan O.; McCallum, Katie C.; Maynard, Jennifer A.

    2013-01-01

    The periplasmic seventeen kilodalton protein (Skp) chaperone has been characterized primarily for its role in outer membrane protein (OMP) biogenesis, during which the jellyfish-like trimeric protein encapsulates partially folded OMPs, protecting them from the aqueous environment until delivery to the BAM outer membrane protein insertion complex. However, Skp is increasingly recognized as a chaperone that also assists in folding soluble proteins in the bacterial periplasm. In this capacity, Skp co-expression increases the active yields of many recombinant proteins and bacterial virulence factors. Using a panel of single-chain antibodies and a single-chain T-cell receptor (collectively termed scFvs) possessing varying stabilities and biophysical characteristics, we performed in vivo expression, and in vitro folding and aggregation assays in the presence or absence of Skp. For Skp-sensitive scFvs, the presence of Skp during in vitro refolding assays reduced aggregation but did not alter the observed folding rates, resulting in a higher overall yield of active protein. Of the proteins analyzed, Skp sensitivity in all assays correlated with the presence of folding intermediates, as observed with urea denaturation studies. These results are consistent with Skp acting as a holdase, sequestering partially folded intermediates and thereby preventing aggregation. Because not all soluble proteins are sensitive to Skp co-expression, we hypothesize that the presence of a long-lived protein folding intermediate renders a protein sensitive to Skp. Improved understanding of the bacterial periplasmic protein folding machinery may assist in high-level recombinant protein expression and may help identify novel approaches to block bacterial virulence. PMID:22650963

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-14

    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

  2. An overview of protein-folding techniques: issues and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Sikder, Abdur Rahman; Zomaya, Albert Y

    2005-01-01

    The importance of protein folding has been recognised for many years. Almost a half century ago, Linus Pauling discovered two quite simple, regular arrangements of amino acids--the alpha-helix and the beta-sheet that are found in almost every protein. In the early 1960s, Christian Anfinsen showed that the proteins actually "tie" themselves: If proteins become unfolded, they fold back into proper shape of their own accord; no shaper or folder is needed. The nature of the unfolded state plays a great role in understanding proteins. Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, mad cow disease, and many cancers are inherited emphysema. Recent discoveries show that all these apparently unrelated diseases result from protein folding gone wrong. Theoretical and computational studies have recently achieved noticeable success in reproducing various features of the folding mechanism of several small to medium-sized fast-folding proteins. This survey presents the state-of-the-art in protein structure prediction methods from a computer scientist perspective. PMID:18048125

  3. 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

  4. Strategies for folding of affinity tagged proteins using GroEL and osmolytes

    PubMed Central

    Katayama, Hiroo; McGill, Mitchell; Kearns, Andrew; Brzozowski, Marek; Degner, Nicholas; Harnett, Bliss; Kornilayev, Boris; Matkovic-Calogovic, Dubravka; Holyoak, Todd; Calvet, James P.; Gogol, Edward P.; Seed, John; Fisher, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    Obtaining a proper fold of affinity tagged chimera proteins can be difficult. Frequently, the protein of interest aggregates after the chimeric affinity tag is cleaved off, even when the entire chimeric construct is initially soluble. If the attached protein is incorrectly folded, chaperone proteins such as GroEL bind to the misfolded construct and complicate both folding and affinity purification. Since chaperonin/osmolyte mixtures facilitate correct folding from the chaperonin, we explored the possibility that we could use this intrinsic binding reaction to advantage to refold two difficult-to-fold chimeric constructs. In one instance, we were able to recover activity from a properly folded construct after the construct was released from the chaperonin in the presence of osmolytes. As an added advantage, we have also found that this method involving chaperonins can enable researchers to decide 1) if further stabilization of the folded product is required and 2) if the protein construct in question will ever be competent to fold with osmolytes. PMID:19082872

  5. Strategies for folding of affinity tagged proteins using GroEL and osmolytes.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Hiroo; McGill, Mitchell; Kearns, Andrew; Brzozowski, Marek; Degner, Nicholas; Harnett, Bliss; Kornilayev, Boris; Matković-Calogović, Dubravka; Holyoak, Todd; Calvet, James P; Gogol, Edward P; Seed, John; Fisher, Mark T

    2009-03-01

    Obtaining a proper fold of affinity tagged chimera proteins can be difficult. Frequently, the protein of interest aggregates after the chimeric affinity tag is cleaved off, even when the entire chimeric construct is initially soluble. If the attached protein is incorrectly folded, chaperone proteins such as GroEL bind to the misfolded construct and complicate both folding and affinity purification. Since chaperonin/osmolyte mixtures facilitate correct folding from the chaperonin, we explored the possibility that we could use this intrinsic binding reaction to advantage to refold two difficult-to-fold chimeric constructs. In one instance, we were able to recover activity from a properly folded construct after the construct was released from the chaperonin in the presence of osmolytes. As an added advantage, we have also found that this method involving chaperonins can enable researchers to decide (1) if further stabilization of the folded product is required and (2) if the protein construct in question will ever be competent to fold with osmolytes. PMID:19082872

  6. 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.

  7. Stability and solubility of proteins from extremophiles.

    PubMed

    Greaves, Richard B; Warwicker, Jim

    2009-03-13

    Charges are important for hyperthermophile protein structure and function. However, the number of charges and their predicted contributions to folded state stability are not correlated, implying that more charge does not imply greater stability. The charge properties that distinguish hyperthermophile proteins also differentiate psychrophile proteins from mesophile proteins, but in the opposite direction and to a smaller extent. We conclude that charge number relates to solubility, whereas protein stability is determined by charge location. Most other structural properties are poorly separated over the ambient temperature range, apart from the burial of certain amino acids. Of particular interest are large non-polar sidechains that tend to increased exposure in proteins evolved to function at higher temperatures. Looking at tryptophan in more detail, this increase is often located close to the termini of secondary structure elements, and is discussed in terms of a novel potential role in protein thermostabilisation.

  8. Assessment of optimized Markov models in protein fold classification.

    PubMed

    Lampros, Christos; Simos, Thomas; Exarchos, Themis P; Exarchos, Konstantinos P; Papaloukas, Costas; Fotiadis, Dimitrios I

    2014-08-01

    Protein fold classification is a challenging task strongly associated with the determination of proteins' structure. In this work, we tested an optimization strategy on a Markov chain and a recently introduced Hidden Markov Model (HMM) with reduced state-space topology. The proteins with unknown structure were scored against both these models. Then the derived scores were optimized following a local optimization method. The Protein Data Bank (PDB) and the annotation of the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) database were used for the evaluation of the proposed methodology. The results demonstrated that the fold classification accuracy of the optimized HMM was substantially higher compared to that of the Markov chain or the reduced state-space HMM approaches. The proposed methodology achieved an accuracy of 41.4% on fold classification, while Sequence Alignment and Modeling (SAM), which was used for comparison, reached an accuracy of 38%. PMID:25152041

  9. Picosecond to nanosecond dynamics provide a source of conformational entropy for protein folding.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Andreas M; Demmel, Franz; Ollivier, Jacques; Seydel, Tilo

    2016-08-01

    Myoglobin can be trapped in fully folded structures, partially folded molten globules, and unfolded states under stable equilibrium conditions. Here, we report an experimental study on the conformational dynamics of different folded conformational states of apo- and holomyoglobin in solution. Global protein diffusion and internal molecular motions were probed by neutron time-of-flight and neutron backscattering spectroscopy on the picosecond and nanosecond time scales. Global protein diffusion was found to depend on the α-helical content of the protein suggesting that charges on the macromolecule increase the short-time diffusion of protein. With regard to the molten globules, a gel-like phase due to protein entanglement and interactions with neighbouring macromolecules was visible due to a reduction of the global diffusion coefficients on the nanosecond time scale. Diffusion coefficients, residence and relaxation times of internal protein dynamics and root mean square displacements of localised internal motions were determined for the investigated structural states. The difference in conformational entropy ΔSconf of the protein between the unfolded and the partially or fully folded conformations was extracted from the measured root mean square displacements. Using thermodynamic parameters from the literature and the experimentally determined ΔSconf values we could identify the entropic contribution of the hydration shell ΔShydr of the different folded states. Our results point out the relevance of conformational entropy of the protein and the hydration shell for stability and folding of myoglobin. PMID:27425443

  10. Novel protein folds and their nonsequential structural analogs

    PubMed Central

    Guerler, Aysam; Knapp, Ernst-Walter

    2008-01-01

    Newly determined protein structures are classified to belong to a new fold, if the structures are sufficiently dissimilar from all other so far known protein structures. To analyze structural similarities of proteins, structure alignment tools are used. We demonstrate that the usage of nonsequential structure alignment tools, which neglect the polypeptide chain connectivity, can yield structure alignments with significant similarities between proteins of known three-dimensional structure and newly determined protein structures that possess a new fold. The recently introduced protein structure alignment tool, GANGSTA, is specialized to perform nonsequential alignments with proper assignment of the secondary structure types by focusing on helices and strands only. In the new version, GANGSTA+, the underlying algorithms were completely redesigned, yielding enhanced quality of structure alignments, offering alignment against a larger database of protein structures, and being more efficient. We applied DaliLite, TM-align, and GANGSTA+ on three protein crystal structures considered to be novel folds. Applying GANGSTA+ to these novel folds, we find proteins in the ASTRAL40 database, which possess significant structural similarities, albeit the alignments are nonsequential and in some cases involve secondary structure elements aligned in reverse orientation. A web server is available at http://agknapp.chemie.fu-berlin.de/gplus for pairwise alignment, visualization, and database comparison. PMID:18583523

  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. 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

  13. De Novo Evolutionary Emergence of a Symmetrical Protein Is Shaped by Folding Constraints.

    PubMed

    Smock, Robert G; Yadid, Itamar; Dym, Orly; Clarke, Jane; Tawfik, Dan S

    2016-01-28

    Molecular evolution has focused on the divergence of molecular functions, yet we know little about how structurally distinct protein folds emerge de novo. We characterized the evolutionary trajectories and selection forces underlying emergence of β-propeller proteins, a globular and symmetric fold group with diverse functions. The identification of short propeller-like motifs (<50 amino acids) in natural genomes indicated that they expanded via tandem duplications to form extant propellers. We phylogenetically reconstructed 47-residue ancestral motifs that form five-bladed lectin propellers via oligomeric assembly. We demonstrate a functional trajectory of tandem duplications of these motifs leading to monomeric lectins. Foldability, i.e., higher efficiency of folding, was the main parameter leading to improved functionality along the entire evolutionary trajectory. However, folding constraints changed along the trajectory: initially, conflicts between monomer folding and oligomer assembly dominated, whereas subsequently, upon tandem duplication, tradeoffs between monomer stability and foldability took precedence. PMID:26806127

  14. A new zinc binding fold underlines the versatility of zinc binding modules in protein evolution.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, Belinda K; Matthews, Jacqueline M; Kwan, Ann H Y; Newton, Anthea; Gell, David A; Crossley, Merlin; Mackay, Joel P

    2002-05-01

    Many different zinc binding modules have been identified. Their abundance and variety suggests that the formation of zinc binding folds might be relatively common. We have determined the structure of CH1(1), a 27-residue peptide derived from the first cysteine/histidine-rich region (CH1) of CREB binding protein (CBP). This peptide forms a highly ordered zinc-dependent fold that is distinct from known folds. The structure differs from a subsequently determined structure of a larger region from the CH3 region of CBP, and the CH1(1) fold probably represents a nonphysiologically active form. Despite this, the fold is thermostable and tolerant to both multiple alanine mutations and changes in the zinc-ligand spacing. Our data support the idea that zinc binding domains may arise frequently. Additionally, such structures may prove useful as scaffolds for protein design, given their stability and robustness.

  15. De Novo Evolutionary Emergence of a Symmetrical Protein Is Shaped by Folding Constraints.

    PubMed

    Smock, Robert G; Yadid, Itamar; Dym, Orly; Clarke, Jane; Tawfik, Dan S

    2016-01-28

    Molecular evolution has focused on the divergence of molecular functions, yet we know little about how structurally distinct protein folds emerge de novo. We characterized the evolutionary trajectories and selection forces underlying emergence of β-propeller proteins, a globular and symmetric fold group with diverse functions. The identification of short propeller-like motifs (<50 amino acids) in natural genomes indicated that they expanded via tandem duplications to form extant propellers. We phylogenetically reconstructed 47-residue ancestral motifs that form five-bladed lectin propellers via oligomeric assembly. We demonstrate a functional trajectory of tandem duplications of these motifs leading to monomeric lectins. Foldability, i.e., higher efficiency of folding, was the main parameter leading to improved functionality along the entire evolutionary trajectory. However, folding constraints changed along the trajectory: initially, conflicts between monomer folding and oligomer assembly dominated, whereas subsequently, upon tandem duplication, tradeoffs between monomer stability and foldability took precedence.

  16. De Novo Evolutionary Emergence of a Symmetrical Protein Is Shaped by Folding Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Smock, Robert G.; Yadid, Itamar; Dym, Orly; Clarke, Jane; Tawfik, Dan S.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Molecular evolution has focused on the divergence of molecular functions, yet we know little about how structurally distinct protein folds emerge de novo. We characterized the evolutionary trajectories and selection forces underlying emergence of β-propeller proteins, a globular and symmetric fold group with diverse functions. The identification of short propeller-like motifs (<50 amino acids) in natural genomes indicated that they expanded via tandem duplications to form extant propellers. We phylogenetically reconstructed 47-residue ancestral motifs that form five-bladed lectin propellers via oligomeric assembly. We demonstrate a functional trajectory of tandem duplications of these motifs leading to monomeric lectins. Foldability, i.e., higher efficiency of folding, was the main parameter leading to improved functionality along the entire evolutionary trajectory. However, folding constraints changed along the trajectory: initially, conflicts between monomer folding and oligomer assembly dominated, whereas subsequently, upon tandem duplication, tradeoffs between monomer stability and foldability took precedence. PMID:26806127

  17. 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

  18. Exploring the folding pathway of green fluorescent protein through disulfide engineering.

    PubMed

    Pitman, Derek J; Banerjee, Shounak; Macari, Stephen J; Castaldi, Christopher A; Crone, Donna E; Bystroff, Christopher

    2015-03-01

    We have introduced two disulfide crosslinks into the loop regions on opposite ends of the beta barrel in superfolder green fluorescent protein (GFP) in order to better understand the nature of its folding pathway. When the disulfide on the side opposite the N/C-termini is formed, folding is 2× faster, unfolding is 2000× slower, and the protein is stabilized by 16 kJ/mol. But when the disulfide bond on the side of the termini is formed we see little change in the kinetics and stability. The stabilization upon combining the two crosslinks is approximately additive. When the kinetic effects are broken down into multiple phases, we observe Hammond behavior in the upward shift of the kinetic m-value of unfolding. We use these results in conjunction with structural analysis to assign folding intermediates to two parallel folding pathways. The data are consistent with a view that the two fastest transition states of folding are "barrel closing" steps. The slower of the two phases passes through an intermediate with the barrel opening occurring between strands 7 and 8, while the faster phase opens between 9 and 4. We conclude that disulfide crosslink-induced perturbations in kinetics are useful for mapping the protein folding pathway.

  19. Direct molecular dynamics observation of protein folding transition state ensemble.

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Feng; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Buldyrev, Sergey V; Stanley, H Eugene; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2002-01-01

    The concept of the protein transition state ensemble (TSE), a collection of the conformations that have 50% probability to convert rapidly to the folded state and 50% chance to rapidly unfold, constitutes the basis of the modern interpretation of protein engineering experiments. It has been conjectured that conformations constituting the TSE in many proteins are the expanded and distorted forms of the native state built around a specific folding nucleus. This view has been supported by a number of on-lattice and off-lattice simulations. Here we report a direct observation and characterization of the TSE by molecular dynamic folding simulations of the C-Src SH3 domain, a small protein that has been extensively studied experimentally. Our analysis reveals a set of key interactions between residues, conserved by evolution, that must be formed to enter the kinetic basin of attraction of the native state. PMID:12496119

  20. 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.

  1. Generating folded protein structures with a lattice chain growth algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gan, Hin Hark; Tropsha, Alexander; Schlick, Tamar

    2000-10-01

    We present a new application of the chain growth algorithm to lattice generation of protein structure and thermodynamics. Given the difficulty of ab initio protein structure prediction, this approach provides an alternative to current folding algorithms. The chain growth algorithm, unlike Metropolis folding algorithms, generates independent protein structures to achieve rapid and efficient exploration of configurational space. It is a modified version of the Rosenbluth algorithm where the chain growth transition probability is a normalized Boltzmann factor; it was previously applied only to simple polymers and protein models with two residue types. The independent protein configurations, generated segment-by-segment on a refined cubic lattice, are based on a single interaction site for each amino acid and a statistical interaction energy derived by Miyazawa and Jernigan. We examine for several proteins the algorithm's ability to produce nativelike folds and its effectiveness for calculating protein thermodynamics. Thermal transition profiles associated with the internal energy, entropy, and radius of gyration show characteristic folding/unfolding transitions and provide evidence for unfolding via partially unfolded (molten-globule) states. From the configurational ensembles, the protein structures with the lowest distance root-mean-square deviations (dRMSD) vary between 2.2 to 3.8 Å, a range comparable to results of an exhaustive enumeration search. Though the ensemble-averaged dRMSD values are about 1.5 to 2 Å larger, the lowest dRMSD structures have similar overall folds to the native proteins. These results demonstrate that the chain growth algorithm is a viable alternative to protein simulations using the whole chain.

  2. A highly stable protein chimera built from fragments of different folds.

    PubMed

    Shanmugaratnam, Sooruban; Eisenbeis, Simone; Höcker, Birte

    2012-11-01

    Proteins increased in complexity during the course of evolution. Domains as well as subdomain-sized fragments were recruited and adapted to form new proteins and novel folds. This concept can be used in engineering to construct new proteins. We previously reported the combination of fragments from two ancient protein folds, a flavodoxin-like and a (βα)₈-barrel protein. Here we report two further attempts at engineering a chimeric protein from fragments of these folds. While one of the constructs showed a high tendency to aggregate, the other turned out to be a highly stable, well-structured protein. In terms of stability against heat and chemical denaturation this chimera, named NarLHisF, is superior to the earlier presented CheYHisF. This is the second instance of a chimera build from two different protein folds, which demonstrates how easily recombination can lead to the development and diversification of new proteins--a mechanism that most likely occurred frequently in the course of evolution. Based on the results of the failed and the successful chimera, we discuss important considerations for a general design strategy for fold chimeras.

  3. Intermediates in the folding equilibrium of repeat proteins from the TPR family.

    PubMed

    González-Charro, Vicente; Rey, Antonio

    2014-09-01

    In recent decades, advances in computational methods and experimental biophysical techniques have improved our understanding of protein folding. Although some of these advances have been remarkable, the structural variability of globular proteins usually encountered makes it difficult to extract general features of their folding processes. To overcome this difficulty, experimental and computational studies of the folding of repeat (or modular) proteins are of interest. Because their native structures can be described as linear arrays of the same, repeated, supersecondary structure unit, it is possible to seek a possibly independent behavior of the different modules without taking into account the intrinsic stability associated with different secondary structure motifs. In this work we have used a Monte Carlo-based simulation to study the folding equilibrium of four repeat proteins belonging to the tetratricopeptide repeat family. Our studies provide new insights into their energy profiles, enabling investigation about the existence of intermediate states and their relative stabilities. We have also performed structural analyses to describe the structure of these intermediates, going through the vast number of conformations obtained from the simulations. In this way, we have tried to identify the regions of each protein in which the modular structure yields a different behavior and, more specifically, regions of the proteins that can stay folded when the rest of the chain has been thermally denatured.

  4. Folding of a large protein at high structural resolution

    PubMed Central

    Walters, Benjamin T.; Mayne, Leland; Hinshaw, James R.; Sosnick, Tobin R.; Englander, S. Walter

    2013-01-01

    Kinetic folding of the large two-domain maltose binding protein (MBP; 370 residues) was studied at high structural resolution by an advanced hydrogen-exchange pulse-labeling mass-spectrometry method (HX MS). Dilution into folding conditions initiates a fast molecular collapse into a polyglobular conformation (<20 ms), determined by various methods including small angle X-ray scattering. The compaction produces a structurally heterogeneous state with widespread low-level HX protection and spectroscopic signals that match the equilibrium melting posttransition-state baseline. In a much slower step (7-s time constant), all of the MBP molecules, although initially heterogeneously structured, form the same distinct helix plus sheet folding intermediate with the same time constant. The intermediate is composed of segments that are distant in the MBP sequence but adjacent in the native protein where they close the longest residue-to-residue contact. Segments that are most HX protected in the early molecular collapse do not contribute to the initial intermediate, whereas the segments that do participate are among the less protected. The 7-s intermediate persists through the rest of the folding process. It contains the sites of three previously reported destabilizing mutations that greatly slow folding. These results indicate that the intermediate is an obligatory step on the MBP folding pathway. MBP then folds to the native state on a longer time scale (∼100 s), suggestively in more than one step, the first of which forms structure adjacent to the 7-s intermediate. These results add a large protein to the list of proteins known to fold through distinct native-like intermediates in distinct pathways. PMID:24191053

  5. Folding Myoglobin within a Sol-Gel Glass: Protein Folding Constrained to a Small Volume

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Eric S.; Leonard, Emma F.; Foulke, Jocelyn A.; Oliff, Matthew C.; Salisbury, Rosanne D.; Kim, David Y.

    2008-01-01

    The unfolding and refolding reaction of myoglobin was examined in solution and within a porous silica sol-gel glass. The sol-gel pores constrain the protein to a volume that is the same size and shape as the folded native state accompanied by a few layers of water solvation. Denaturants such as low pH buffers can be diffused through the gel pores to the protein to initiate unfolding and refolding. Acid-induced unfolding was hindered by the steric constraints imposed by the gel pores such that more denaturing conditions were required within the gel than in solution to create the unfolded state. No new folding intermediates were observed. Refolding of myoglobin was not complete in millimolar pH 7 buffer alone. Addition of 25% glycerol to the pH 7 buffer resulted in nearly complete refolding, and the use of 1 M phosphate buffer resulted in complete refolding. The role of this cosolvent and salt in disrupting the ordered water surrounding the protein within the gel is discussed in light of the Hofmeister series and entropic trapping via a diminished hydrophobic effect within the gel. These results are consistent with the premises of folding models in which secondary and tertiary structures are considered to form within a compact conformation of the protein backbone. PMID:18339762

  6. 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.

  7. Autonomously Folding Protein Fragments Reveal Differences in the Energy Landscapes of Homologous RNases H

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Laura E.; Marqusee, Susan

    2015-01-01

    An important approach to understanding how a protein sequence encodes its energy landscape is to compare proteins with different sequences that fold to the same general native structure. In this work, we compare E. coli and T. thermophilus homologs of the protein RNase H. Using protein fragments, we create equilibrium mimics of two different potential partially-folded intermediates (Icore and Icore+1) hypothesized to be present on the energy landscapes of these two proteins. We observe that both T. thermophilus RNase H (ttRNH) fragments are folded and have distinct stabilities, indicating that both regions are capable of autonomous folding and that both intermediates are present as local minima on the ttRNH energy landscape. In contrast, the two E. coli RNase H (ecRNH) fragments have very similar stabilities, suggesting that the presence of additional residues in the Icore+1 fragment does not affect the folding or structure as compared to Icore. NMR experiments provide additional evidence that only the Icore intermediate is populated by ecRNH. This is one of the biggest differences that has been observed between the energy landscapes of these two proteins. Additionally, we used a FRET experiment in the background of full-length ttRNH to specifically monitor the formation of the Icore+1 intermediate. We determine that the ttRNH Icore+1 intermediate is likely the intermediate populated prior to the rate-limiting barrier to global folding, in contrast to E. coli RNase H for which Icore is the folding intermediate. This result provides new insight into the nature of the rate-limiting barrier for the folding of RNase H. PMID:25803034

  8. Thermodynamically important contacts in folding of model proteins.

    PubMed

    Scala, A; Dokholyan, N V; Buldyrev, S V; Stanley, H E

    2001-03-01

    We introduce a quantity, the entropic susceptibility, that measures the thermodynamic importance-for the folding transition-of the contacts between amino acids in model proteins. Using this quantity, we find that only one equilibrium run of a computer simulation of a model protein is sufficient to select a subset of contacts that give rise to the peak in the specific heat observed at the folding transition. To illustrate the method, we identify thermodynamically important contacts in a model 46-mer. We show that only about 50% of all contacts present in the protein native state are responsible for the sharp peak in the specific heat at the folding transition temperature, while the remaining 50% of contacts do not affect the specific heat.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homouz, D.; Stagg, L.; Wittungstafshede, P.; Cheung, M.

    2009-01-01

    Protein dynamics in cells may be different from that in dilute solutions in vitro since the environment in cells is highly concentrated with other macromolecules. This volume exclusion due to macromolecular crowding is predicted to affect both equilibrium and kinetic processes involving protein conformational changes. To quantify macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding mechanisms, here we have investigated the folding energy landscape of an alpha/beta protein, apoflavodoxin, in the presence of inert macromolecular crowding agents using in silico and in vitro approaches. By coarse-grained molecular simulations and topology-based potential interactions, we probed the effects of increased volume fraction of crowding agents (phi_c) as well as of crowding agent geometry (sphere or spherocylinder) at high phi_c. 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 have identified 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. The test-tube experiments confirmed that apoflavodoxin's time-resolved folding path is modulated by crowding agent geometry. We propose that macromolecular crowding effects may be a tool for manipulation of protein folding and function in living cells.

  10. Disulfide bonds in ER protein folding and homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Feige, Matthias J.; Hendershot, Linda M.

    2010-01-01

    Proteins that are expressed outside the cell must be synthesized, folded and assembled in a way that ensures they can function in their designate location. Accordingly these proteins are primarily synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which has developed a chemical environment more similar to that outside the cell. This organelle is equipped with a variety of molecular chaperones and folding enzymes that both assist the folding process, while at the same time exerting tight quality control measures that are largely absent outside the cell. A major post-translational modification of ER-synthesized proteins is disulfide bridge formation, which is catalyzed by the family of protein disulfide isomerases. As this covalent modification provides unique structural advantages to extracellular proteins, multiple pathways to their formation have evolved. However, the advantages that disulfide bonds impart to these proteins come at a high cost to the cell. Very recent reports have shed light on how the cell can deal with or even exploit the side reactions of disulfide bond formation to maintain homeostasis of the ER and its folding machinery. PMID:21144725

  11. Probing the Folding-Unfolding Transition of a Thermophilic Protein, MTH1880

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Youngjin; Han, Jeongmin; Yun, Ji-Hye; Chang, Iksoo; Lee, Weontae

    2016-01-01

    The folding mechanism of typical proteins has been studied widely, while our understanding of the origin of the high stability of thermophilic proteins is still elusive. Of particular interest is how an atypical thermophilic protein with a novel fold maintains its structure and stability under extreme conditions. Folding-unfolding transitions of MTH1880, a thermophilic protein from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, induced by heat, urea, and GdnHCl, were investigated using spectroscopic techniques including circular dichorism, fluorescence, NMR combined with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Our results suggest that MTH1880 undergoes a two-state N to D transition and it is extremely stable against temperature and denaturants. The reversibility of refolding was confirmed by spectroscopic methods and size exclusion chromatography. We found that the hyper-stability of the thermophilic MTH1880 protein originates from an extensive network of both electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions coordinated by the central β-sheet. Spectroscopic measurements, in combination with computational simulations, have helped to clarify the thermodynamic and structural basis for hyper-stability of the novel thermophilic protein MTH1880. PMID:26766214

  12. The Role of Electrostatic Interactions in Folding of β-Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Caitlin M.; Dyer, R. Brian

    2016-01-01

    Atomic-level molecular dynamic simulations are capable of fully folding structurally diverse proteins; however, they are limited in their ability to accurately represent electrostatic interactions. Here we have experimentally tested the role of charged residues on stability and folding kinetics of one of the most widely simulated β-proteins, the WW domain. The folding of wild type Pin1 WW domain, which has two positively charged residues in the first turn, was compared to the fast folding mutant FiP35 Pin1, which introduces a negative charge into the first turn. A combination of FTIR spectroscopy and laser-induced temperature-jump coupled with infrared spectroscopy was used to probe changes in the amide I region. The relaxation dynamics of the peptide backbone, β-sheets and β-turns, and negatively charged aspartic acid side chain of FiP35 were measured independently by probing the corresponding bands assigned in the amide I region. Folding is initiated in the turns and the β-sheets form last. While the global folding mechanism is in good agreement with simulation predictions, we observe changes in the protonation state of aspartic acid during folding that have not been captured by simulation methods. The protonation state of aspartic acid is coupled to protein folding; the apparent pKa of aspartic acid in the folded protein is 6.4. The dynamics of the aspartic acid follow the dynamics of the intermediate phase, supporting assignment of this phase to formation of the first hairpin. These results demonstrate the importance of electrostatic interactions in turn stability and formation of extended β-sheet structures. PMID:26750867

  13. Globular Protein Folding In Vitro and In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Gruebele, Martin; Dave, Kapil; Sukenik, Shahar

    2016-07-01

    In vitro, computational, and theoretical studies of protein folding have converged to paint a rich and complex energy landscape. This landscape is sensitively modulated by environmental conditions and subject to evolutionary pressure on protein function. Of these environments, none is more complex than the cell itself, where proteins function in the cytosol, in membranes, and in different compartments. A wide variety of kinetic and thermodynamics experiments, ranging from single-molecule studies to jump kinetics and from nuclear magnetic resonance to imaging on the microscope, have elucidated how protein energy landscapes facilitate folding and how they are subject to evolutionary constraints and environmental perturbation. Here we review some recent developments in the field and refer the reader to some original work and additional reviews that cover this broad topic in protein science. PMID:27391927

  14. 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.

  15. Periodic and stochastic thermal modulation of protein folding kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Platkov, Max; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-07-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Nature’s favorite building block: Deciphering folding and capsid assembly of proteins with the HK97-fold

    PubMed Central

    Suhanovsky, Margaret M.; Teschke, Carolyn M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary For many (if not all) bacterial and archaeal tailed viruses and eukaryotic Herpesvirdae the HK97-fold serves as the major architectural element in icosahedral capsid formation while still enabling the conformational flexibility required during assembly and maturation. Auxiliary proteins or Δ-domains strictly control assembly of multiple, identical, HK97-like subunits into procapsids with specific icosahedral symmetries, rather than aberrant non-icosahedral structures. Procapsids are precursor structures that mature into capsids in a process involving release of auxiliary proteins (or cleavage of Δ-domains), dsDNA packaging, and conformational rearrangement of the HK97-like subunits. Some coat proteins built on the ubiquitous HK97-fold also have accessory domains or loops that impart specific functions, such as increased monomer, procapsid, or capsid stability. In this review, we analyze the numerous HK97-like coat protein structures that are emerging in the literature (over 40 at time of writing) by comparing their topology, additional domains, and their assembly and misassembly reactions. PMID:25864106

  18. 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

  19. Protein fold recognition using geometric kernel data fusion

    PubMed Central

    Zakeri, Pooya; Jeuris, Ben; Vandebril, Raf; Moreau, Yves

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Various approaches based on features extracted from protein sequences and often machine learning methods have been used in the prediction of protein folds. Finding an efficient technique for integrating these different protein features has received increasing attention. In particular, kernel methods are an interesting class of techniques for integrating heterogeneous data. Various methods have been proposed to fuse multiple kernels. Most techniques for multiple kernel learning focus on learning a convex linear combination of base kernels. In addition to the limitation of linear combinations, working with such approaches could cause a loss of potentially useful information. Results: We design several techniques to combine kernel matrices by taking more involved, geometry inspired means of these matrices instead of convex linear combinations. We consider various sequence-based protein features including information extracted directly from position-specific scoring matrices and local sequence alignment. We evaluate our methods for classification on the SCOP PDB-40D benchmark dataset for protein fold recognition. The best overall accuracy on the protein fold recognition test set obtained by our methods is ∼86.7%. This is an improvement over the results of the best existing approach. Moreover, our computational model has been developed by incorporating the functional domain composition of proteins through a hybridization model. It is observed that by using our proposed hybridization model, the protein fold recognition accuracy is further improved to 89.30%. Furthermore, we investigate the performance of our approach on the protein remote homology detection problem by fusing multiple string kernels. Availability and implementation: The MATLAB code used for our proposed geometric kernel fusion frameworks are publicly available at http://people.cs.kuleuven.be/∼raf.vandebril/homepage/software/geomean.php?menu=5/ Contact: pooyapaydar@gmail.com or yves

  20. Protein folding of the SAP domain, a naturally occurring two-helix bundle.

    PubMed

    Dodson, Charlotte A; Arbely, Eyal

    2015-07-01

    The SAP domain from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Tho1 protein is comprised of just two helices and a hydrophobic core and is one of the smallest proteins whose folding has been characterised. Φ-value analysis revealed that Tho1 SAP folds through a transition state where helix 1 is the most extensively formed element of secondary structure and flickering native-like core contacts from Leu35 are also present. The contacts that contribute most to native state stability of Tho1 SAP are not formed in the transition state.

  1. Statistical Mechanical Model for pH-Induced Protein Folding: Application to Apomyoglobin.

    PubMed

    Mizukami, Takuya; Sakuma, Yosuke; Maki, Kosuke

    2016-09-01

    Despite the major role of pH in protein folding and stability, a quantitative understanding of the pH-induced protein folding mechanism remains elusive. Two conventional models, the Monod-Wyman-Changeux and Linderstrøm-Lang smeared charge models, respectively, have been used to analyze the formation/disruption of specific native structures and fluctuating non-native states. However, there are only a few models that can represent the overall kinetic events of folding/unfolding independent of the properties of relevant molecular species, which has hampered the efforts to systematically analyze pH-induced folding. Here, we constructed a statistical mechanical model that incorporates the protonation mechanism of conventional models along with a combined manual search and least-squares fitting procedure, which was used to investigate the folding of horse apomyoglobin over a wide pH range (2.2-6.7), with a time window ranging from ∼40 μs to ∼100 s, using continuous-/stopped-flow fluorescence at 8 °C. Quantitative analysis assuming a five-state sequential scheme indicated that (1) pH-induced folding/unfolding is represented by both specific binding and Coulombic interactions; (2) kinetic folding/unfolding intermediates share kinetic mechanisms with the equilibrium intermediate, indicating their equivalence; and (3) native-like properties are acquired successively during folding by intermediates and in transition states. This model could also be applied to a variety of association/dissociation processes. PMID:27491483

  2. Folding analysis of the most complex Stevedore's protein knot.

    PubMed

    Wang, Iren; Chen, Szu-Yu; Hsu, Shang-Te Danny

    2016-01-01

    DehI is a homodimeric haloacid dehalogenase from Pseudomonas putida that contains the most complex 61 Stevedore's protein knot within its folding topology. To examine how DehI attains such an intricate knotted topology we combined far-UV circular dichroism (CD), intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to investigate its folding mechanism. Equilibrium unfolding of DehI by chemical denaturation indicated the presence of two highly populated folding intermediates, I and I'. While the two intermediates vary in secondary structure contents and tertiary packing according to CD and intrinsic fluorescence, respectively, their overall dimension and compactness are similar according to SAXS. Three single-tryptophan variants (W34, W53, and W196) were generated to probe non-cooperative unfolding events localized around the three fluorophores. Kinetic fluorescence measurements indicated that the transition from the intermediate I' to the unfolded state is rate limiting. Our multiparametric folding analyses suggest that DehI unfolds through a linear folding pathway with two distinct folding intermediates by initial hydrophobic collapse followed by nucleation condensation, and that knotting precedes the formation of secondary structures. PMID:27527519

  3. In the Multi-domain Protein Adenylate Kinase, Domain Insertion Facilitates Cooperative Folding while Accommodating Function at Domain Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Giri Rao, V. V. Hemanth; Gosavi, Shachi

    2014-01-01

    Having multiple domains in proteins can lead to partial folding and increased aggregation. Folding cooperativity, the all or nothing folding of a protein, can reduce this aggregation propensity. In agreement with bulk experiments, a coarse-grained structure-based model of the three-domain protein, E. coli Adenylate kinase (AKE), folds cooperatively. Domain interfaces have previously been implicated in the cooperative folding of multi-domain proteins. To understand their role in AKE folding, we computationally create mutants with deleted inter-domain interfaces and simulate their folding. We find that inter-domain interfaces play a minor role in the folding cooperativity of AKE. On further analysis, we find that unlike other multi-domain proteins whose folding has been studied, the domains of AKE are not singly-linked. Two of its domains have two linkers to the third one, i.e., they are inserted into the third one. We use circular permutation to modify AKE chain-connectivity and convert inserted-domains into singly-linked domains. We find that domain insertion in AKE achieves the following: (1) It facilitates folding cooperativity even when domains have different stabilities. Insertion constrains the N- and C-termini of inserted domains and stabilizes their folded states. Therefore, domains that perform conformational transitions can be smaller with fewer stabilizing interactions. (2) Inter-domain interactions are not needed to promote folding cooperativity and can be tuned for function. In AKE, these interactions help promote conformational dynamics limited catalysis. Finally, using structural bioinformatics, we suggest that domain insertion may also facilitate the cooperative folding of other multi-domain proteins. PMID:25393408

  4. Iron-sulfur protein folds, iron-sulfur chemistry, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Jacques

    2008-02-01

    An inventory of unique local protein folds around Fe-S clusters has been derived from the analysis of protein structure databases. Nearly 50 such folds have been identified, and over 90% of them harbor low-potential [2Fe-2S](2+,+) or [4Fe-4S](2+,+) clusters. In contrast, high-potential Fe-S clusters, notwithstanding their structural diversity, occur in only three different protein folds. These observations suggest that the extant population of Fe-S protein folds has to a large extent been shaped in the reducing iron- and sulfur-rich environment that is believed to have predominated on this planet until approximately two billion years ago. High-potential active sites are then surmised to be rarer because they emerged later, in a more oxidizing biosphere, in conditions where iron and sulfide had become poorly available, Fe-S clusters were less stable, and in addition faced competition from heme iron and copper active sites. Among the low-potential Fe-S active sites, protein folds hosting [4Fe-4S](2+,+) clusters outnumber those with [2Fe-2S](2+,+) ones by a factor of 3 at least. This is in keeping with the higher chemical stability and versatility of the tetranuclear clusters, compared with the binuclear ones. It is therefore suggested that, at least while novel Fe-S sites are evolving within proteins, the intrinsic chemical stability of the inorganic moiety may be more important than the stabilizing effect of the polypeptide chain. The discovery rate of novel Fe-S-containing protein folds underwent a sharp increase around 1995, and has remained stable to this day. The current trend suggests that the mapping of the Fe-S fold space is not near completion, in agreement with predictions made for protein folds in general. Altogether, the data collected and analyzed here suggest that the extant structural landscape of Fe-S proteins has been shaped to a large extent by primeval geochemical conditions on one hand, and iron-sulfur chemistry on the other.

  5. Selection maintaining protein stability at equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Miyazawa, Sanzo

    2016-02-21

    The common understanding of protein evolution has been that neutral mutations are fixed by random drift, and a proportion of neutral mutations depending on the strength of structural and functional constraints primarily determines evolutionary rate. Recently it was indicated that fitness costs due to misfolded proteins are a determinant of evolutionary rate and selection originating in protein stability is a driving force of protein evolution. Here we examine protein evolution under the selection maintaining protein stability. Protein fitness is a generic form of fitness costs due to misfolded proteins; s=κexp(ΔG/kT)(1-exp(ΔΔG/kT)), where s and ΔΔG are selective advantage and stability change of a mutant protein, ΔG is the folding free energy of the wildtype protein, and κ is a parameter representing protein abundance and indispensability. The distribution of ΔΔG is approximated to be a bi-Gaussian distribution, which represents structurally slightly- or highly-constrained sites. Also, the mean of the distribution is negatively proportional to ΔG. The evolution of this gene has an equilibrium point (ΔGe) of protein stability, the range of which is consistent with observed values in the ProTherm database. The probability distribution of Ka/Ks, the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rate per site, over fixed mutants in the vicinity of the equilibrium shows that nearly neutral selection is predominant only in low-abundant, non-essential proteins of ΔGe>-2.5 kcal/mol. In the other proteins, positive selection on stabilizing mutations is significant to maintain protein stability at equilibrium as well as random drift on slightly negative mutations, although the average 〈Ka/Ks〉 is less than 1. Slow evolutionary rates can be caused by both high protein abundance/indispensability and large effective population size, which produces positive shifts of ΔΔG through decreasing ΔGe, and strong structural constraints, which directly make

  6. Understanding Protein Folding from Advances of Fluorescence Energy Transfer.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tcherkasskaya, Olga; Gronenborn, Angela M.

    2001-03-01

    A multi-site fluorescence energy transfer method was developed for the study of protein folding. Technique uses "tyrosine-phenylalanine" substitution mutagenesis to place the "tyrosine-guest" into positions of interest into the protein structure. Tetranitromethane modification of the tyrosine-guest renders this amino acid an acceptor of the tryptophan fluorescence. This approach can be applied to any protein system, and, most importantly, does not require single- or double-labeling of the protein molecule by a donor and/or an acceptor fluorophore. It is equally suited for equilibrium as well as kinetic studies of folding. We tested the methodology to monitor the equilibrium (un)folding of the immunoglobulin binding domain B1 of streptococcal protein G (GB1) induced by guanidine hydrochloride. Wild-type GB1 contains three tyrosines located at positions 3, 33, 45 and a single tryptophan residue at position 43. Two of the three tyrosines were replaced in turn, thereby allowing us to measure the energy transfer from Trp43 to each particular tyrosine. Overall, multi-parametrical experiments on GB1 including circular dichroism, steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, as well as fluorescence energy transfer revealed the existence of highly stable unfolded intermediates, which precede the formation of the rigid (native) secondary structure.

  7. 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

  8. Dynameomics: A Consensus View of the Protein Unfolding/Folding Transition State Ensemble across a Diverse Set of Protein Folds

    PubMed Central

    Jonsson, Amanda L.; Scott, Kathryn A.; Daggett, Valerie

    2009-01-01

    Abstract The Dynameomics project aims to simulate a representative sample of all globular protein metafolds under both native and unfolding conditions. We have identified protein unfolding transition state (TS) ensembles from multiple molecular dynamics simulations of high-temperature unfolding in 183 structurally distinct proteins. These data can be used to study individual proteins and individual protein metafolds and to mine for TS structural features common across all proteins. Separating the TS structures into four different fold classes (all proteins, all-α, all-β, and mixed α/β and α + β) resulted in no significant difference in the overall protein properties. The residues with the most contacts in the native state lost the most contacts in the TS ensemble. On average, residues beginning in an α-helix maintained more structure in the TS ensemble than did residues starting in β-strands or any other conformation. The metafolds studied here represent 67% of all known protein structures, and this is, to our knowledge, the largest, most comprehensive study of the protein folding/unfolding TS ensemble to date. One might have expected broad distributions in the average global properties of the TS relative to the native state, indicating variability in the amount of structure present in the TS. Instead, the average global properties converged with low standard deviations across metafolds, suggesting that there are general rules governing the structure and properties of the TS. PMID:19948125

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Biomimetic Transmembrane Channels with High Stability and Transporting Efficiency from Helically Folded Macromolecules.

    PubMed

    Lang, Chao; Li, Wenfang; Dong, Zeyuan; Zhang, Xin; Yang, Feihu; Yang, Bing; Deng, Xiaoli; Zhang, Chenyang; Xu, Jiayun; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-08-01

    Membrane channels span the cellular lipid bilayers to transport ions and molecules into cells with sophisticated properties including high efficiency and selectivity. It is of particular biological importance in developing biomimetic transmembrane channels with unique functions by means of chemically synthetic strategies. An artificial unimolecular transmembrane channel using pore-containing helical macromolecules is reported. The self-folding, shape-persistent, pore-containing helical macromolecules are able to span the lipid bilayer, and thus result in extraordinary channel stability and high transporting efficiency for protons and cations. The lifetime of this artificial unimolecular channel in the lipid bilayer membrane is impressively long, rivaling those of natural protein channels. Natural channel mimics designed by helically folded polymeric scaffolds will display robust and versatile transport-related properties at single-molecule level.

  13. Hydrophobic effect in protein folding and other noncovalent processes involving proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Spolar, R S; Ha, J H; Record, M T

    1989-01-01

    Large negative standard heat capacity changes (delta CP degree much less than 0) are the hallmark of processes that remove nonpolar surface from water, including the transfer of nonpolar solutes from water to a nonaqueous phase and the folding, aggregation/association, and ligand-binding reactions of proteins [Sturtevant, J. M. (1977) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74, 2236-2240]. More recently, Baldwin [Baldwin, R. L. (1986) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83, 8069-8072] proposed that the delta CP degree of protein folding could be used to quantify the contribution of the burial of nonpolar surface (the hydrophobic effect) to the stability of a globular protein. We demonstrate that identical correlations between the delta CP degree and the change in water-accessible nonpolar surface area (delta Anp) are obtained for both the transfer of nonpolar solutes from water to the pure liquid phase and the folding of small globular proteins: delta CP degree/delta Anp = -(0.28 +/- 0.05) (where delta Anp is expressed in A2 and delta CP degree is expressed in cal.mol-1.K-1; 1 cal = 4.184 J). The fact that these correlations are identical validates the proposals by both Sturtevant and Baldwin that the hydrophobic effect is in general the dominant contributor to delta CP degree and provides a straightforward means of estimating the contribution of the hydrophobic driving force (delta Ghyd degree) to the standard free energy change of a noncovalent process characterized by a large negative delta CP degree in the physiological temperature range: delta Ghyd degree congruent to (80 +/- 10)delta CP degree. PMID:2813394

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Protein folds and families: sequence and structure alignments.

    PubMed

    Holm, L; Sander, C

    1999-01-01

    Dali and HSSP are derived databases organizing protein space in the structurally known regions. We use an automatic structure alignment program (Dali) for the classification of all known 3D structures based on all-against-all comparison of 3D structures in the Protein Data Bank. The HSSP database associates 1D sequences with known 3D structures using a position-weighted dynamic programming method for sequence profile alignment (MaxHom). As a result, the HSSP database not only provides aligned sequence families, but also implies secondary and tertiary structures covering 36% of all sequences in Swiss-Prot. The structure classification by Dali and the sequence families in HSSP can be browsed jointly from a web interface providing a rich network of links between neighbours in fold space, between domains and proteins, and between structures and sequences. In particular, this results in a database of explicit multiple alignments of protein families in the twilight zone of sequence similarity. The organization of protein structures and families provides a map of the currently known regions of the protein universe that is useful for the analysis of folding principles, for the evolutionary unification of protein families and for maximizing the information return from experimental structure determination. The databases are available from http://www.embl-ebi.ac.uk/dali/

  17. Protein folding on biosensor tips: folding of maltodextrin glucosidase monitored by its interactions with GroEL.

    PubMed

    Pastor, Ashutosh; Singh, Amit K; Fisher, Mark T; Chaudhuri, Tapan K

    2016-08-01

    Protein folding has been extensively studied for the past six decades by employing solution-based methods such as solubility, enzymatic activity, secondary structure analysis, and analytical methods like FRET, NMR, and HD exchange. However, for rapid analysis of the folding process, solution-based approaches are often plagued with aggregation side reactions resulting in poor yields. In this work, we demonstrate that a bio-layer interferometry (BLI) chaperonin detection system can identify superior refolding conditions for denatured proteins. The degree of immobilized protein folding as a function of time can be detected by monitoring the binding of the high-affinity nucleotide-free form of the chaperonin GroEL. GroEL preferentially interacts with proteins that have hydrophobic surfaces exposed in their unfolded or partially folded form, so a decrease in GroEL binding can be correlated with burial of hydrophobic surfaces as folding progresses. The magnitude of GroEL binding to the protein immobilized on bio-layer interferometry biosensor inversely reflects the extent of protein folding and hydrophobic residue burial. We demonstrate conditions where accelerated folding can be observed for the aggregation-prone protein maltodextrin glucosidase (MalZ). Superior immobilized folding conditions identified on the bio-layer interferometry biosensor surface were reproduced on Ni-NTA sepharose bead surfaces and resulted in significant improvement in folding yields of released MalZ (measured by enzymatic activity) compared to bulk refolding conditions in solution. PMID:27367928

  18. Protein Folding Mechanism of the Dimeric AmphiphysinII/Bin1 N-BAR Domain

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Tobias; Balbach, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    The human AmphyphisinII/Bin1 N-BAR domain belongs to the BAR domain superfamily, whose members sense and generate membrane curvatures. The N-BAR domain is a 57 kDa homodimeric protein comprising a six helix bundle. Here we report the protein folding mechanism of this protein as a representative of this protein superfamily. The concentration dependent thermodynamic stability was studied by urea equilibrium transition curves followed by fluorescence and far-UV CD spectroscopy. Kinetic unfolding and refolding experiments, including rapid double and triple mixing techniques, allowed to unravel the complex folding behavior of N-BAR. The equilibrium unfolding transition curve can be described by a two-state process, while the folding kinetics show four refolding phases, an additional burst reaction and two unfolding phases. All fast refolding phases show a rollover in the chevron plot but only one of these phases depends on the protein concentration reporting the dimerization step. Secondary structure formation occurs during the three fast refolding phases. The slowest phase can be assigned to a proline isomerization. All kinetic experiments were also followed by fluorescence anisotropy detection to verify the assignment of the dimerization step to the respective folding phase. Based on these experiments we propose for N-BAR two parallel folding pathways towards the homodimeric native state depending on the proline conformation in the unfolded state. PMID:26368922

  19. Stabilized polyacrylic saccharide protein conjugates

    DOEpatents

    Callstrom, Matthew R.; Bednarski, Mark D.; Gruber, Patrick R.

    1996-01-01

    This invention is directed to water soluble protein polymer conjugates which are stabile in hostile environments. The conjugate comprises a protein which is linked to an acrylic polymer at multiple points through saccharide linker groups.

  20. Influence of fluorination on the thermodynamics of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Buer, Benjamin C; Levin, Benjamin J; Marsh, E Neil G

    2012-08-01

    The introduction of highly fluorinated analogues of hydrophobic amino acid residues into proteins has proved an effective and general strategy for increasing protein stability toward both chemical denaturants and heat. However, the thermodynamic basis for this stabilizing effect, whether enthalpic or entropic in nature, has not been extensively investigated. Here we describe studies in which the values of ΔH°, ΔS°, and ΔCp° have been determined for the unfolding of a series of 12 small, de novo-designed proteins in which the hydrophobic core is packed with various combinations of fluorinated and non-fluorinated amino acid residues. The increase in the free energy of unfolding with increasing fluorine content is associated with increasingly unfavorable entropies of unfolding and correlates well with calculated changes in apolar solvent-accessible surface area. ΔCp° for unfolding is positive for all the proteins and, similarly, correlates with changes in apolar solvent-accessible surface area. ΔH° for unfolding shows no correlation with either fluorine content or changes in apolar solvent-accessible surface area. We conclude that conventional hydrophobic effects adequately explain the enhanced stabilities of most highly fluorinated proteins. The extremely high thermal stability of these proteins results, in part, from their very low per-residue ΔCp°, as has been observed for natural thermostable proteins.

  1. Assessing the effect of dynamics on the closed-loop protein-folding hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Chintapalli, Sree V; Illingworth, Christopher J R; Upton, Graham J G; Sacquin-Mora, Sophie; Reeves, Philip J; Mohammedali, Hani S; Reynolds, Christopher A

    2014-02-01

    The closed-loop (loop-n-lock) hypothesis of protein folding suggests that loops of about 25 residues, closed through interactions between the loop ends (locks), play an important role in protein structure. Coarse-grain elastic network simulations, and examination of loop lengths in a diverse set of proteins, each supports a bias towards loops of close to 25 residues in length between residues of high stability. Previous studies have established a correlation between total contact distance (TCD), a metric of sequence distances between contacting residues (cf. contact order), and the log-folding rate of a protein. In a set of 43 proteins, we identify an improved correlation (r(2) = 0.76), when the metric is restricted to residues contacting the locks, compared to the equivalent result when all residues are considered (r(2) = 0.65). This provides qualified support for the hypothesis, albeit with an increased emphasis upon the importance of a much larger set of residues surrounding the locks. Evidence of a similar-sized protein core/extended nucleus (with significant overlap) was obtained from TCD calculations in which residues were successively eliminated according to their hydrophobicity and connectivity, and from molecular dynamics simulations. Our results suggest that while folding is determined by a subset of residues that can be predicted by application of the closed-loop hypothesis, the original hypothesis is too simplistic; efficient protein folding is dependent on a considerably larger subset of residues than those involved in lock formation.

  2. 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

  3. Molten globules, entropy-driven conformational change and protein folding.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Robert L; Rose, George D

    2013-02-01

    The exquisite side chain close-packing in the protein core and at binding interfaces has prompted a conviction that packing selectivity is the primary mechanism for molecular recognition in folding and/or binding reactions. Contrary to this view, molten globule proteins can adopt native topology and bind targets tightly and specifically in the absence of side chain close-packing. The molten globule is a highly dynamic form with native-like secondary structure and a loose protein core that admits solvent. The related (but still controversial) dry molten globule is an expanded form of the native protein with largely intact topology but a tighter protein core that excludes solvent. Neither form retains side chain close-packing, and therefore both structure and function must result from other factors, assuming that the reality of the dry molten globule is accepted. This simplifying realization calls for a re-evaluation of established models. PMID:23237704

  4. Protein folding and amyloid formation in various environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Edward P.

    Understanding and predicting the effect of various environments that differ in terms of pH and the presence of cosolutes and macromolecules on protein properties is a formidable challenge. Yet this knowledge is crucial in understanding the effect of cellular environments on a protein. By combining thermodynamic theories of solution condition effects with statistical mechanics and computer simulations we develop a molecular perspective of protein folding and amyloid formation that was previously unobtainable. The resulting Molecular Transfer Model offers, in some instances, quantitatively accurate predictions of cosolute and pH effects on various protein properties. We show that protein denatured state properties can change significantly with osmolyte concentration, and that residual structure can persist at high denaturant concentrations. We study the single molecule mechanical unfolding of proteins at various pH values and varying osmolyte and denaturant concentrations. We find that the the effect of varying solution conditions on a protein under tension can be understood and qualitatively predicted based on knowledge of that protein's behavior in the absence of force. We test the accuracy of FRET inferred denatured state properties and find that currently, only qualitative estimates of denatured state properties can be obtained with these experimental methods. We also explore the factors governing helix formation in peptides confined to carbon nanotubes. We find that the interplay of the peptide's sequence and dimensions, the nanotube's diameter, hydrophobicity and chemical heterogeneity, lead to a rich diversity of behavior in helix formation. We determine the structural and thermodynamic basis for the dock-lock mechanism of peptide deposition to a mature amyloid fibril. We find multiple basins of attraction on the free energy surface associated with structural transitions of the adding monomer. The models we introduce offer a better understanding of protein

  5. 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).

  6. Catalysis of protein folding by chaperones accelerates evolutionary dynamics in adapting cell populations.

    PubMed

    Cetinbaş, Murat; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2013-01-01

    Although molecular chaperones are essential components of protein homeostatic machinery, their mechanism of action and impact on adaptation and evolutionary dynamics remain controversial. Here we developed a physics-based ab initio multi-scale model of a living cell for population dynamics simulations to elucidate the effect of chaperones on adaptive evolution. The 6-loci genomes of model cells encode model proteins, whose folding and interactions in cellular milieu can be evaluated exactly from their genome sequences. A genotype-phenotype relationship that is based on a simple yet non-trivially postulated protein-protein interaction (PPI) network determines the cell division rate. Model proteins can exist in native and molten globule states and participate in functional and all possible promiscuous non-functional PPIs. We find that an active chaperone mechanism, whereby chaperones directly catalyze protein folding, has a significant impact on the cellular fitness and the rate of evolutionary dynamics, while passive chaperones, which just maintain misfolded proteins in soluble complexes have a negligible effect on the fitness. We find that by partially releasing the constraint on protein stability, active chaperones promote a deeper exploration of sequence space to strengthen functional PPIs, and diminish the non-functional PPIs. A key experimentally testable prediction emerging from our analysis is that down-regulation of chaperones that catalyze protein folding significantly slows down the adaptation dynamics. PMID:24244114

  7. Stability of two-fold screw axis structures for cellulose

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diffraction crystallography indicates that most forms of crystalline cellulose have two-fold screw axis symmetry. Even if exact symmetry is absent, the degree of pseudo symmetry is very high. On the other hand, this symmetry leads to short contacts between H4 and H1' across the glycosidic linkage....

  8. Protein Folding and Quality Control in the ER

    PubMed Central

    Araki, Kazutaka; Nagata, Kazuhiro

    2011-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) uses an elaborate surveillance system called the ER quality control (ERQC) system. The ERQC facilitates folding and modification of secretory and membrane proteins and eliminates terminally misfolded polypeptides through ER-associated degradation (ERAD) or autophagic degradation. This mechanism of ER protein surveillance is closely linked to redox and calcium homeostasis in the ER, whose balance is presumed to be regulated by a specific cellular compartment. The potential to modulate proteostasis and metabolism with chemical compounds or targeted siRNAs may offer an ideal option for the treatment of disease. PMID:21875985

  9. 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...

  10. Outer Membrane Protein Folding and Topology from a Computational Transfer Free Energy Scale.

    PubMed

    Lin, Meishan; Gessmann, Dennis; Naveed, Hammad; Liang, Jie

    2016-03-01

    Knowledge of the transfer free energy of amino acids from aqueous solution to a lipid bilayer is essential for understanding membrane protein folding and for predicting membrane protein structure. Here we report a computational approach that can calculate the folding free energy of the transmembrane region of outer membrane β-barrel proteins (OMPs) by combining an empirical energy function with a reduced discrete state space model. We quantitatively analyzed the transfer free energies of 20 amino acid residues at the center of the lipid bilayer of OmpLA. Our results are in excellent agreement with the experimentally derived hydrophobicity scales. We further exhaustively calculated the transfer free energies of 20 amino acids at all positions in the TM region of OmpLA. We found that the asymmetry of the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane as well as the TM residues of an OMP determine its functional fold in vivo. Our results suggest that the folding process of an OMP is driven by the lipid-facing residues in its hydrophobic core, and its NC-IN topology is determined by the differential stabilities of OMPs in the asymmetrical outer membrane. The folding free energy is further reduced by lipid A and assisted by general depth-dependent cooperativities that exist between polar and ionizable residues. Moreover, context-dependency of transfer free energies at specific positions in OmpLA predict regions important for protein function as well as structural anomalies. Our computational approach is fast, efficient and applicable to any OMP.

  11. Purification and characterization of oligonucleotide binding (OB)-fold protein from medicinal plant Tinospora cordifolia.

    PubMed

    Amir, Mohd; Haque, Md Anzarul; Wahiduzzaman; Dar, Mohammad Aasif; Islam, Asimul; Ahmad, Faizan; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz

    2016-01-01

    The oligonucleotide binding fold (OB-fold) is a small structural motif present in many proteins. It is originally named for its oligonucleotide or oligosaccharide binding properties. These proteins have been identified as essential for replication, recombination and repair of DNA. We have successfully purified a protein contains OB-fold from the stem of Tinospora cordifolia, a medicinal plants of north India. Stems were crushed and centrifuged, and fraction obtained at 60% ammonium sulphate was extensively dialyzed and applied to the weak anion exchange chromatography on Hi-Trap DEAE-FF in 50mM Tris-HCl buffer at pH 8.0. Eluted fractions were concentrated and applied to gel filtration column to get pure protein. We observed a single band of 20-kDa on SDS-PAGE. Finally, the protein was identified as OB-fold by MALDI-TOF. The purified OB-fold protein was characterized for its secondary structural elements using circular dichroism (CD) in the far-UV region. Generally the OB-fold has a characteristic feature as five-stranded beta-sheet coiled to form a closed beta- barrel. To estimate its chemical stability, guanidinium chloride-induced denaturation curve was followed by observing changes in the far-UV CD as a function of the denaturant concentration. Analysis of this denaturation curve gave values of 8.90±0.25kcalmol(-1) and 3.78±0.18M for ΔGD° (Gibbs free energy change at 25°C) and Cm (midpoint of denaturation), respectively. To determine heat stability parameters of OB-fold protein, differential scanning calorimetry was performed. Calorimetric values of ΔGD°, Tm (midpoint of denaturation), ΔHm (enthalpy change at Tm), and ΔCp (constant-pressure heat capacity change) are 9.05±0.27kcalmol(-1), 85.2±0,3°C, 105±4kcalmol(-1) and 1.6±0.08kcalmol(-1)K(-1). This is the first report on the isolation, purification and characterization of OB-fold protein from a medicinal plant T. cordifolia. PMID:26613539

  12. Energetic frustrations in protein folding at residue resolution: a homologous simulation study of Im9 proteins.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Folding and stability of the aquaglyceroporin GlpF: Implications for human aqua(glycero)porin diseases.

    PubMed

    Klein, Noreen; Neumann, Jennifer; O'Neil, Joe D; Schneider, Dirk

    2015-02-01

    Aquaporins are highly selective polytopic transmembrane channel proteins that facilitate the permeation of water across cellular membranes in a large diversity of organisms. Defects in aquaporin function are associated with common diseases, such as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, congenital cataract and certain types of cancer. In general, aquaporins have a highly conserved structure; from prokaryotes to humans. The conserved structure, together with structural dynamics and the structural framework for substrate selectivity is discussed. The folding pathway of aquaporins has been a topic of several studies in recent years. These studies revealed that a conserved protein structure can be reached by following different folding pathways. Based on the available data, we suggest a complex folding pathway for aquaporins, starting from the insertion of individual helices up to the formation of the tetrameric aquaporin structure. The consequences of some known mutations in human aquaporin-encoding genes, which most likely affect the folding and stability of human aquaporins, are discussed.

  16. Arsenite interferes with protein folding and triggers formation of protein aggregates in yeast.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Therese; Navarrete, Clara; Sharma, Sandeep K; Sideri, Theodora C; Ibstedt, Sebastian; Priya, Smriti; Grant, Chris M; Christen, Philipp; Goloubinoff, Pierre; Tamás, Markus J

    2012-11-01

    Several metals and metalloids profoundly affect biological systems, but their impact on the proteome and mechanisms of toxicity are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that arsenite causes protein aggregation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Various molecular chaperones were found to be associated with arsenite-induced aggregates indicating that this metalloid promotes protein misfolding. Using in vivo and in vitro assays, we show that proteins in the process of synthesis/folding are particularly sensitive to arsenite-induced aggregation, that arsenite interferes with protein folding by acting on unfolded polypeptides, and that arsenite directly inhibits chaperone activity. Thus, folding inhibition contributes to arsenite toxicity in two ways: by aggregate formation and by chaperone inhibition. Importantly, arsenite-induced protein aggregates can act as seeds committing other, labile proteins to misfold and aggregate. Our findings describe a novel mechanism of toxicity that may explain the suggested role of this metalloid in the etiology and pathogenesis of protein folding disorders associated with arsenic poisoning.

  17. Coupled protein diffusion and folding in the cell.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Hsp70 biases the folding pathways of client proteins.

    PubMed

    Sekhar, Ashok; Rosenzweig, Rina; Bouvignies, Guillaume; Kay, Lewis E

    2016-05-17

    The 70-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp70) family of chaperones bind cognate substrates to perform a variety of different processes that are integral to cellular homeostasis. Although detailed structural information is available on the chaperone, the structural features of folding competent substrates in the bound form have not been well characterized. Here we use paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) NMR spectroscopy to probe the existence of long-range interactions in one such folding competent substrate, human telomere repeat binding factor (hTRF1), which is bound to DnaK in a globally unfolded conformation. We show that DnaK binding modifies the energy landscape of the substrate by removing long-range interactions that are otherwise present in the unbound, unfolded conformation of hTRF1. Because the unfolded state of hTRF1 is only marginally populated and transiently formed, it is inaccessible to standard NMR approaches. We therefore developed a (1)H-based CEST experiment that allows measurement of PREs in sparse states, reporting on transiently sampled conformations. Our results suggest that DnaK binding can significantly bias the folding pathway of client substrates such that secondary structure forms first, followed by the development of longer-range contacts between more distal parts of the protein. PMID:27140645

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Combining in Vitro Folding with Cell Free Protein Synthesis for Membrane Protein Expression.

    PubMed

    Focke, Paul J; Hein, Christopher; Hoffmann, Beate; Matulef, Kimberly; Bernhard, Frank; Dötsch, Volker; Valiyaveetil, Francis I

    2016-08-01

    Cell free protein synthesis (CFPS) has emerged as a promising methodology for protein expression. While polypeptide production is very reliable and efficient using CFPS, the correct cotranslational folding of membrane proteins during CFPS is still a challenge. In this contribution, we describe a two-step protocol in which the integral membrane protein is initially expressed by CFPS as a precipitate followed by an in vitro folding procedure using lipid vesicles for converting the protein precipitate to the correctly folded protein. We demonstrate the feasibility of using this approach for the K(+) channels KcsA and MVP and the amino acid transporter LeuT. We determine the crystal structure of the KcsA channel obtained by CFPS and in vitro folding to show the structural similarity to the cellular expressed KcsA channel and to establish the feasibility of using this two-step approach for membrane protein production for structural studies. Our studies show that the correct folding of these membrane proteins with complex topologies can take place in vitro without the involvement of the cellular machinery for membrane protein biogenesis. This indicates that the folding instructions for these complex membrane proteins are contained entirely within the protein sequence. PMID:27384110

  2. Tryptophan fluorescence reveals induced folding of Vibrio harveyi acyl carrier protein upon interaction with partner enzymes.

    PubMed

    Gong, Huansheng; Murphy, Peter W; Langille, Gavin M; Minielly, Sarah J; Murphy, Anne; McMaster, Christopher R; Byers, David M

    2008-11-01

    We have introduced tryptophan as a local fluorescent probe to monitor the conformation of Vibrio harveyi acyl carrier protein (ACP), a small flexible protein that is unfolded at neutral pH but must undergo reversible conformational change during the synthesis and delivery of bacterial fatty acids. Consistent with known 3D structures of ACP, steady-state fluorescence and quenching experiments indicated that Trp at positions 46, 50, and 72 are buried in the hydrophobic core upon Mg(2+)-induced ACP folding, whereas residues 25 and 45 remain in a hydrophilic environment on the protein surface. Attachment of fatty acids to the phosphopantetheine prosthetic group progressively stabilized the folded conformation of all Trp-substituted ACPs, but longer chains (14:0) were less effective than medium chains (8:0) in shielding Trp from acrylamide quenching in the L46W protein. Interaction with ACP-dependent enzymes LpxA and holo-ACP synthase also caused folding of L46W; fluorescence quenching indicated proximity of Trp-45 in helix II of ACP in LpxA binding. Our results suggest that divalent cations and fatty acylation produce differing environments in the ACP core and also reveal enzyme partner-induced folding of ACP, a key feature of "natively unfolded" proteins.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Simplified protein models can rival all atom simulations in predicting folding pathways and structure

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 native-like 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 native-like propensities in the unfolded state do not necessarily determine the order of structure formation, a departure from a major conclusion of the MD 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. PMID:23889448

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26080403

  8. 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. PMID:26080403

  9. A deeply knotted protein structure and how it might fold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, William R.

    2000-08-01

    The search for knots in protein has uncovered little that would cause Alexander the Great to reach for his sword. Excluding knots formed by post-translational crosslinking, the few proteins considered to be knotted form simple trefoil knots with one end of the chain extending through a loop by only a few residues, ten in the `best' example. A knot in an open chain (as distinct from a closed circle) is not rigorously defined and many weak protein knots disappear if the structure is viewed from a different angle. Here I describe a computer algorithm to detect knots in open chains that is not sensitive to viewpoint and that can define the region of the chain giving rise to the knot. It characterizes knots in proteins by the number of residues that must be removed from each end to abolish the knot. I applied this algorithm to the protein structure database and discovered a deep, figure-of-eight knot in the plant protein acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase. I propose a protein folding pathway that may explain how such a knot is formed.

  10. A deeply knotted protein structure and how it might fold.

    PubMed

    Taylor, W R

    2000-08-24

    The search for knots in protein has uncovered little that would cause Alexander the Great to reach for his sword. Excluding knots formed by post-translational crosslinking, the few proteins considered to be knotted form simple trefoil knots with one end of the chain extending through a loop by only a few residues, ten in the 'best' example. A knot in an open chain (as distinct from a closed circle) is not rigorously defined and many weak protein knots disappear if the structure is viewed from a different angle. Here I describe a computer algorithm to detect knots in open chains that is not sensitive to viewpoint and that can define the region of the chain giving rise to the knot. It characterizes knots in proteins by the number of residues that must be removed from each end to abolish the knot. I applied this algorithm to the protein structure database and discovered a deep, figure-of-eight knot in the plant protein acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase. I propose a protein folding pathway that may explain how such a knot is formed.

  11. The Safety Dance: Biophysics of Membrane Protein Folding and Misfolding in a Cellular Context

    PubMed Central

    Schlebach, Jonathan P.; Sanders, Charles R.

    2015-01-01

    Most biological processes require the production and degradation of proteins, a task that weighs heavily on the cell. Mutations that compromise the conformational stability of proteins place both specific and general burdens on cellular protein homeostasis (proteostasis) in ways that contribute to numerous diseases. Efforts to elucidate the chain of molecular events responsible for diseases of protein folding address one of the foremost challenges in biomedical science. However, relatively little is known about the processes by which mutations prompt the misfolding of α-helical membrane proteins, which rely on an intricate network of cellular machinery to acquire and maintain their functional structures within cellular membranes. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the physical principles that guide membrane protein biogenesis and folding in the context of mammalian cells. Additionally, we explore how pathogenic mutations that influence biogenesis may differ from those that disrupt folding and assembly, as well as how this may relate to disease mechanisms and therapeutic intervention. These perspectives indicate an imperative for the use of information from structural, cellular, and biochemical studies of membrane proteins in the design of novel therapeutics and in personalized medicine. PMID:25420508

  12. Electrostatics, structure prediction, and the energy landscapes for protein folding and binding.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Min-Yeh; Zheng, Weihua; Balamurugan, D; Schafer, Nicholas P; Kim, Bobby L; Cheung, Margaret S; Wolynes, Peter G

    2016-01-01

    While being long in range and therefore weakly specific, electrostatic interactions are able to modulate the stability and folding landscapes of some proteins. The relevance of electrostatic forces for steering the docking of proteins to each other is widely acknowledged, however, the role of electrostatics in establishing specifically funneled landscapes and their relevance for protein structure prediction are still not clear. By introducing Debye-Hückel potentials that mimic long-range electrostatic forces into the Associative memory, Water mediated, Structure, and Energy Model (AWSEM), a transferable protein model capable of predicting tertiary structures, we assess the effects of electrostatics on the landscapes of thirteen monomeric proteins and four dimers. For the monomers, we find that adding electrostatic interactions does not improve structure prediction. Simulations of ribosomal protein S6 show, however, that folding stability depends monotonically on electrostatic strength. The trend in predicted melting temperatures of the S6 variants agrees with experimental observations. Electrostatic effects can play a range of roles in binding. The binding of the protein complex KIX-pKID is largely assisted by electrostatic interactions, which provide direct charge-charge stabilization of the native state and contribute to the funneling of the binding landscape. In contrast, for several other proteins, including the DNA-binding protein FIS, electrostatics causes frustration in the DNA-binding region, which favors its binding with DNA but not with its protein partner. This study highlights the importance of long-range electrostatics in functional responses to problems where proteins interact with their charged partners, such as DNA, RNA, as well as membranes.

  13. Folding Behaviors of Protein (Lysozyme) Confined in Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelle.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fu-Gen; Jiang, Yao-Wen; Chen, Zhan; Yu, Zhi-Wu

    2016-04-19

    The folding/unfolding behavior of proteins (enzymes) in confined space is important for their properties and functions, but such a behavior remains largely unexplored. In this article, we reported our finding that lysozyme and a double hydrophilic block copolymer, methoxypoly(ethylene glycol)5K-block-poly(l-aspartic acid sodium salt)10 (mPEG(5K)-b-PLD10), can form a polyelectrolyte complex micelle with a particle size of ∼30 nm, as verified by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The unfolding and refolding behaviors of lysozyme molecules in the presence of the copolymer were studied by microcalorimetry and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Upon complex formation with mPEG(5K)-b-PLD10, lysozyme changed from its initial native state to a new partially unfolded state. Compared with its native state, this copolymer-complexed new folding state of lysozyme has different secondary and tertiary structures, a decreased thermostability, and significantly altered unfolding/refolding behaviors. It was found that the native lysozyme exhibited reversible unfolding and refolding upon heating and subsequent cooling, while lysozyme in the new folding state (complexed with the oppositely charged PLD segments of the polymer) could unfold upon heating but could not refold upon subsequent cooling. By employing the heating-cooling-reheating procedure, the prevention of complex formation between lysozyme and polymer due to the salt screening effect was observed, and the resulting uncomplexed lysozyme regained its proper unfolding and refolding abilities upon heating and subsequent cooling. Besides, we also pointed out the important role the length of the PLD segment played during the formation of micelles and the monodispersity of the formed micelles. Furthermore, the lysozyme-mPEG(5K)-b-PLD10 mixtures prepared in this work were all transparent, without the formation of large aggregates or precipitates in solution as frequently observed in other protein

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27573113

  15. Metal Cations in G-Quadruplex Folding and Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Debmalya; Mirihana Arachchilage, Gayan; Basu, Soumitra

    2016-09-01

    This review is focused on the structural and physico-chemical aspects of metal cation coordination to G-Quadruplexes (GQ) and their effects on GQ stability and conformation. G-Quadruplex structures are non-canonical secondary structures formed by both DNA and RNA. G-quadruplexes regulate a wide range of important biochemical processes. Besides the sequence requirements, the coordination of monovalent cations in the GQ is essential for its formation and determines the stability and polymorphism of GQ structures. The nature, location and dynamics of the cation coordination and their impact on the overall GQ stability are dependent on several factors such as the ionic radii, hydration energy and the bonding strength to the O6 of guanines. The intracellular monovalent cation concentration and the localized ion concentrations determine the formation of GQs and can potentially dictate their regulatory roles. A wide range of biochemical and biophysical studies on an array of GQ enabling sequences have generated at a minimum the knowledge base that allows us to often predict the stability of GQs in presence of the physiologically relevant metal ions, however, prediction of conformation of such GQs is still out of the realm.

  16. Metal Cations in G-Quadruplex Folding and Stability

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Debmalya; Mirihana Arachchilage, Gayan; Basu, Soumitra

    2016-01-01

    This review is focused on the structural and physicochemical aspects of metal cation coordination to G-Quadruplexes (GQ) and their effects on GQ stability and conformation. G-quadruplex structures are non-canonical secondary structures formed by both DNA and RNA. G-quadruplexes regulate a wide range of important biochemical processes. Besides the sequence requirements, the coordination of monovalent cations in the GQ is essential for its formation and determines the stability and polymorphism of GQ structures. The nature, location, and dynamics of the cation coordination and their impact on the overall GQ stability are dependent on several factors such as the ionic radii, hydration energy, and the bonding strength to the O6 of guanines. The intracellular monovalent cation concentration and the localized ion concentrations determine the formation of GQs and can potentially dictate their regulatory roles. A wide range of biochemical and biophysical studies on an array of GQ enabling sequences have generated at a minimum the knowledge base that allows us to often predict the stability of GQs in the presence of the physiologically relevant metal ions, however, prediction of conformation of such GQs is still out of the realm.

  17. Metal Cations in G-Quadruplex Folding and Stability

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Debmalya; Mirihana Arachchilage, Gayan; Basu, Soumitra

    2016-01-01

    This review is focused on the structural and physicochemical aspects of metal cation coordination to G-Quadruplexes (GQ) and their effects on GQ stability and conformation. G-quadruplex structures are non-canonical secondary structures formed by both DNA and RNA. G-quadruplexes regulate a wide range of important biochemical processes. Besides the sequence requirements, the coordination of monovalent cations in the GQ is essential for its formation and determines the stability and polymorphism of GQ structures. The nature, location, and dynamics of the cation coordination and their impact on the overall GQ stability are dependent on several factors such as the ionic radii, hydration energy, and the bonding strength to the O6 of guanines. The intracellular monovalent cation concentration and the localized ion concentrations determine the formation of GQs and can potentially dictate their regulatory roles. A wide range of biochemical and biophysical studies on an array of GQ enabling sequences have generated at a minimum the knowledge base that allows us to often predict the stability of GQs in the presence of the physiologically relevant metal ions, however, prediction of conformation of such GQs is still out of the realm. PMID:27668212

  18. Metal Cations in G-Quadruplex Folding and Stability.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Debmalya; Mirihana Arachchilage, Gayan; Basu, Soumitra

    2016-01-01

    This review is focused on the structural and physicochemical aspects of metal cation coordination to G-Quadruplexes (GQ) and their effects on GQ stability and conformation. G-quadruplex structures are non-canonical secondary structures formed by both DNA and RNA. G-quadruplexes regulate a wide range of important biochemical processes. Besides the sequence requirements, the coordination of monovalent cations in the GQ is essential for its formation and determines the stability and polymorphism of GQ structures. The nature, location, and dynamics of the cation coordination and their impact on the overall GQ stability are dependent on several factors such as the ionic radii, hydration energy, and the bonding strength to the O6 of guanines. The intracellular monovalent cation concentration and the localized ion concentrations determine the formation of GQs and can potentially dictate their regulatory roles. A wide range of biochemical and biophysical studies on an array of GQ enabling sequences have generated at a minimum the knowledge base that allows us to often predict the stability of GQs in the presence of the physiologically relevant metal ions, however, prediction of conformation of such GQs is still out of the realm. PMID:27668212

  19. 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

  20. A probabilistic approach to the effect of water hydrogen bonds on the kinetics of protein folding and protein denaturation.

    PubMed

    Djikaev, Y S; Ruckenstein, E

    2010-02-26

    Previously, we presented a review of our kinetic models for the nucleation mechanism of protein folding and for the protein thermal denaturation in a barrierless way. A protein was treated as a random heteropolymer consisting of hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and neutral beads. As a crucial idea of the model, an overall potential around the cluster of native residues wherein a residue performs a chaotic motion was considered as the combination of the average dihedral, effective pairwise, and confining potentials. The overall potential as a function of the distance from the cluster has a double well shape. This allowed one to develop kinetic models for the nucleation mechanism of protein folding (NMPF) and barrierless protein denaturation (BPD) by using the mean first passage time analysis. In the original models, however, hydrogen bonding effects were taken into account only indirectly which affected the accuracy of the models because hydrogen bonding does play a crucial role in the folding, stability, and denaturation of proteins. To improve the NMPF and BPD models and explicitly take into account the hydrogen bonding "water-water" and "water-protein residue", we have developed a probabilistic hydrogen bond (PHB) model for the effect of hydrogen bond networks of water molecules around two solute particles (immersed in water) on their interaction, and have then combined the PHB model with the NMPF and BPD models. In this paper, that can be regarded as sequel of our previous review, we analyze the modified NMPF and BPD models that explicitly take into account the effect of water-water hydrogen bonding on these processes. As expected, the application of the modified models to the folding/unfolding of two model proteins (one short, consisting of 124 residues and the other large, consisting of 2500 residues) demonstrate that the hydrogen bond networks play a very important role in the protein folding/unfolding phenomena.

  1. 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.

  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. Determination of essential ingredients for protein folding and design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dima, Ruxandra Ioana

    This thesis describes computational studies of some essential ingredients for making progress in the problems of protein folding and design. First, using an observed parallel between heteropolymers and proteins, we outline a strategy for obtaining the free energy of a typical designed heteropolymer and we show its effectiveness on some exactly enumerable lattice models of proteins. Next, we analyze the various existing procedures for building scoring functions in proteins again using a lattice model. We find that the best method is likely to be one based on energy considerations but yet would not require the knowledge of viable alternative conformations which compete significantly with the native conformation in housing a given sequence. Finally, starting from this observation, we introduce a novel method for the extraction of the interaction potentials between the various types of amino acids present in real proteins. We validate this method on a lattice model and we then apply it to real proteins. In both cases, we obtain excellent results on tests of the quality of the extracted parameters.

  4. Quantifying hub-like behavior in protein folding networks

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Alex

    2013-01-01

    The free energy landscape of a protein is a function of many interdependent degrees of freedom. For this reason, conceptual constructs (e.g., funnels) have been useful to visualize these landscapes. One relatively new construct is the idea of a hub-like native state that is the final destination of many non-interconverting folding pathways. This is in contrast to the idea of a single predominant folding pathway connecting the native state to a rapidly interconverting ensemble of unfolded states. The key quantity to distinguish between these two ideas is the connectivity of the unfolded ensemble. We present a metric to determine this connectivity for a given network, which can be calculated either from continuous folding trajectories, or a Markov model. The metric determines how often a region of space is used as an intermediate on transition paths that connect two other regions of space, and we use it here to determine how often two parts of the unfolded ensemble are connected directly, versus how often these transitions are mediated by the native state. PMID:24027492

  5. A Combinatorial NMR and EPR Approach for Evaluating the Structural Ensemble of Partially Folded Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Jampani Nageswara; Jao, Christine C.; Hegde, Balachandra G.; Langen, Ralf; Ulmer, Tobias S.

    2010-01-01

    Partially folded proteins, characterized as exhibiting secondary structure elements with loose or absent tertiary contacts, represent important intermediates in both physiological protein folding and pathological protein misfolding. To aid in the characterization of the structural state(s) of such proteins, a novel structure calculation scheme is presented that combines structural restraints derived from pulsed EPR and NMR spectroscopy. The methodology is established for the protein α-synuclein (αS), which exhibits characteristics of a partially folded protein when bound to a micelle of the detergent sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (SLAS). By combining 18 EPR-derived interelectron spin label distance distributions with NMR-based secondary structure definitions and bond vector restraints, interelectron distances were correlated and a set of theoretical ensemble basis populations was calculated. A minimal set of basis structures, representing the partially folded state of SLAS-bound αS, was subsequently derived by back-calculating correlated distance distributions. A surprising variety of well-defined protein-micelle interactions was thus revealed in which the micelle is engulfed by two differently arranged anti-parallel αS helices. The methodology further provided the population ratios between dominant ensemble structural states, whereas limitation in obtainable structural resolution arose from spin label flexibility and residual uncertainties in secondary structure definitions. To advance the understanding of protein-micelle interactions, the present study concludes by showing that, in marked contrast to secondary structure stability, helix dynamics of SLAS-bound αS correlate with the degree of protein-induced departures from free micelle dimensions. PMID:20524659

  6. Activity, stability and folding analysis of the chitinase from Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Patricia L A; Minchaca, Alexis Z; Mares, Rosa E; Ramos, Marco A

    2016-02-01

    Human amebiasis, caused by the parasitic protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, remains as a significant public health issue in developing countries. The life cycle of the parasite compromises two main stages, trophozoite and cyst, linked by two major events: encystation and excystation. Interestingly, the cyst stage has a chitin wall that helps the parasite to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Since the amebic chitinase, EhCHT1, has been recognized as a key player in both encystation and excystation, it is plausible to consider that specific inhibition could arrest the life cycle of the parasite and, thus, stop the infection. However, to selectively target EhCHT1 it is important to recognize its unique biochemical features to have the ability to control its cellular function. Hence, to gain further insights into the structure-function relationship, we conducted an experimental approach to examine the effects of pH, temperature, and denaturant concentration on the enzymatic activity and protein stability. Additionally, dependence on in vivo oxidative folding was further studied using a bacterial model. Our results attest the potential of EhCHT1 as a target for the design and development of new or improved anti-amebic therapeutics. Likewise, the potential of the oxidoreductase EhPDI, involved in oxidative folding of amebic proteins, was also confirmed.

  7. Activity, stability and folding analysis of the chitinase from Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Patricia L A; Minchaca, Alexis Z; Mares, Rosa E; Ramos, Marco A

    2016-02-01

    Human amebiasis, caused by the parasitic protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, remains as a significant public health issue in developing countries. The life cycle of the parasite compromises two main stages, trophozoite and cyst, linked by two major events: encystation and excystation. Interestingly, the cyst stage has a chitin wall that helps the parasite to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Since the amebic chitinase, EhCHT1, has been recognized as a key player in both encystation and excystation, it is plausible to consider that specific inhibition could arrest the life cycle of the parasite and, thus, stop the infection. However, to selectively target EhCHT1 it is important to recognize its unique biochemical features to have the ability to control its cellular function. Hence, to gain further insights into the structure-function relationship, we conducted an experimental approach to examine the effects of pH, temperature, and denaturant concentration on the enzymatic activity and protein stability. Additionally, dependence on in vivo oxidative folding was further studied using a bacterial model. Our results attest the potential of EhCHT1 as a target for the design and development of new or improved anti-amebic therapeutics. Likewise, the potential of the oxidoreductase EhPDI, involved in oxidative folding of amebic proteins, was also confirmed. PMID:26526675

  8. Chemical, physical, and theoretical kinetics of an ultrafast folding protein.

    PubMed

    Kubelka, Jan; Henry, Eric R; Cellmer, Troy; Hofrichter, James; Eaton, William A

    2008-12-01

    An extensive set of equilibrium and kinetic data is presented and analyzed for an ultrafast folding protein--the villin subdomain. The equilibrium data consist of the excess heat capacity, tryptophan fluorescence quantum yield, and natural circular-dichroism spectrum as a function of temperature, and the kinetic data consist of time courses of the quantum yield from nanosecond-laser temperature-jump experiments. The data are well fit with three kinds of models--a three-state chemical-kinetics model, a physical-kinetics model, and an Ising-like theoretical model that considers 10(5) possible conformations (microstates). In both the physical-kinetics and theoretical models, folding is described as diffusion on a one-dimensional free-energy surface. In the physical-kinetics model the reaction coordinate is unspecified, whereas in the theoretical model, order parameters, either the fraction of native contacts or the number of native residues, are used as reaction coordinates. The validity of these two reaction coordinates is demonstrated from calculation of the splitting probability from the rate matrix of the master equation for all 10(5) microstates. The analysis of the data on site-directed mutants using the chemical-kinetics model provides information on the structure of the transition-state ensemble; the physical-kinetics model allows an estimate of the height of the free-energy barrier separating the folded and unfolded states; and the theoretical model provides a detailed picture of the free-energy surface and a residue-by-residue description of the evolution of the folded structure, yet contains many fewer adjustable parameters than either the chemical- or physical-kinetics models.

  9. Effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding and aggregation studied by density functional theory: Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinjo, Akira R.; Takada, Shoji

    2002-11-01

    Inside the living cell is inherently crowded with proteins and other macromolecules. Thus, it is indispensable to take into account various interactions between the protein and other macromolecules for thorough understanding of protein functions in cellular contexts. Here we focus on the excluded volume interaction imposed on the protein by surrounding macromolecules or ``crowding agents.'' We have presented a theoretical framework for describing equilibrium properties of proteins in crowded solutions [A. R. Kinjo and S. Takada, Phys. Rev. E (to be published)]. In the present paper, we extend the theory to describe nonequilibrium properties of proteins in crowded solutions. Dynamics simulations exhibit qualitatively different morphologies depending on the aggregating conditions, and it was found that macromolecular crowding accelerates the onset of aggregation while stabilizing the native protein in the quasiuniform phase before the onset of aggregation. It is also observed, however, that the aggregation may be kinetically inhibited in highly crowded conditions. The effects of crowding on folding and unfolding of proteins are also examined, and the results suggest that fast folding is an important factor in preventing aggregation of denatured proteins.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Initiation sites of protein folding by NMR analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Freund, S M; Wong, K B; Fersht, A R

    1996-01-01

    Detailed characterization of denatured states of proteins is necessary to understand the interactions that funnel the large number of possible conformations along fast routes for folding. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments based on the nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) detect hydrogen atoms close in space and provide information about local structure. Here we present an NMR procedure that detects almost all sequential NOEs between amide hydrogen atoms (HN-HN NOE), including those in random coil regions in a protein, barnase, in urea solutions. A semi-quantitative analysis of these HN-HN NOEs identified partly structured regions that are in remarkable agreement with those found to form early on the reaction pathway. Our results strongly suggest that the folding of barnase initiates at the first helix and the beta-turn between the third and the fourth strands. This strategy of defining residual structure has also worked for cold-denatured barstar and guanidinium hydrochloride-denatured chymotrypsin inhibitor 2 and so should be generally applicable. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 PMID:8855224

  14. Temperature dependence of the hydrophobic interaction in protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Baldwin, R L

    1986-01-01

    Accurate calorimetric data for the thermodynamics of transfer of six liquid hydrocarbons to water have been combined with solubility data to provide a model for the temperature dependence of the hydrophobic interaction in protein folding. The model applies at temperatures for which the change in heat capacity (delta Cp) is constant. The extrapolated value of the temperature (Ts) at which the entropy of transfer (delta S degrees) reaches zero is strikingly similar (Ts = 112.8 degrees C +/- 2.2 degrees C) for the six hydrocarbons. This finding provides an interpretation for the empirical relation discovered by Sturtevant: the ratio delta S degrees/delta Cp measured at 25 degrees C is constant for the transfer of nonpolar substances from nonaqueous media to water. Constancy of this ratio is equivalent to Ts = constant. When applied to protein folding, the hydrocarbon model gives estimates of the contributions of the hydrophobic interaction to the entropy and enthalpy changes on unfolding and, by difference, estimates of the residual contributions from other sources. The major share of the large enthalpy change observed on unfolding at high temperatures comes from the hydrophobic interaction. The hydrophobic interaction changes from being entropy-driven at 22 degrees C to being enthalpy-driven at 113 degrees C. Finally, the hydrocarbon model predicts that plots of the specific entropy change on unfolding versus temperature should nearly intersect close to 113 degrees C, as observed by Privalov. PMID:3464944

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:27574021

  17. Specificity of the initial collapse in the folding of the cold shock protein.

    PubMed

    Magg, Christine; Kubelka, Jan; Holtermann, Georg; Haas, Elisha; Schmid, Franz X

    2006-07-28

    The two-state folding reaction of the cold shock protein from Bacillus caldolyticus (Bc-Csp) is preceded by a rapid chain collapse. A fast shortening of intra-protein distances was revealed by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements with protein variants that carried individual pairs of donor and acceptor chromophores at various positions along the polypeptide chain. Here we investigated the specificity of this rapid compaction. Energy transfer experiments that probed the stretching of strand beta2 and the close approach between the strands beta1 and beta2 revealed that the beta1-beta2 hairpin is barely formed in the collapsed form, although it is native-like in the folding transition state of Bc-Csp. The time course of the collapse could not be resolved by pressure or temperature jump experiments, indicating that the collapsed and extended forms are not separated by an energy barrier. The co-solute (NH4)2SO4 stabilizes both native Bc-Csp and the collapsed form, which suggests that the large hydrated SO4(2-) ions are excluded from the surface of the collapsed form in a similar fashion as they are excluded from folded Bc-Csp. Ethylene glycol increases the stability of proteins because it is excluded preferentially from the backbone, which is accessible in the unfolded state. The collapsed form of Bc-Csp resembles the unfolded form in its interaction with ethylene glycol, suggesting that in the collapsed form the backbone is still accessible to water and small molecules. Our results thus rule out that the collapsed form is a folding intermediate with native-like chain topology. It is better described as a mixture of compact conformations that belong to the unfolded state ensemble. However, some of its structural elements are reminiscent of the native protein.

  18. Effects of positively charged redox molecules on disulfide-coupled protein folding.

    PubMed

    Okumura, Masaki; Shimamoto, Shigeru; Nakanishi, Takeyoshi; Yoshida, Yu-ichiro; Konogami, Tadafumi; Maeda, Shogo; Hidaka, Yuji

    2012-11-01

    In vitro folding of disulfide-containing proteins is generally regulated by redox molecules, such as glutathione. However, the role of the cross-disulfide-linked species formed between the redox molecule and the protein as a folding intermediate in the folding mechanism is poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the charge on a redox molecule on disulfide-coupled protein folding. Several types of aliphatic thiol compounds including glutathione were examined for the folding of disulfide-containing-proteins, such as lysozyme and prouroguanylin. The results indicate that the positive charge and its dispersion play a critical role in accelerating disulfide-coupled protein folding.

  19. A framework for describing topological frustration in models of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Norcross, Todd S; Yeates, Todd O

    2006-09-22

    In a natively folded protein of moderate or larger size, the protein backbone may weave through itself in complex ways, raising questions about what sequence of events might have to occur in order for the protein to reach its native configuration from the unfolded state. A mathematical framework is presented here for describing the notion of a topological folding barrier, which occurs when a protein chain must pass through a hole or opening, formed by other regions of the protein structure. Different folding pathways encounter different numbers of such barriers and therefore different degrees of frustration. A dynamic programming algorithm finds the optimal theoretical folding path and minimal degree of frustration for a protein based on its natively folded configuration. Calculations over a database of protein structures provide insights into questions such as whether the path of minimal frustration might tend to favor folding from one or from many sites of folding nucleation, or whether proteins favor folding around the N terminus, thereby providing support for the hypothesis that proteins fold co-translationally. The computational methods are applied to a multi-disulfide bonded protein, with computational findings that are consistent with the experimentally observed folding pathway. Attention is drawn to certain complex protein folds for which the computational method suggests there may be a preferred site of nucleation or where folding is likely to proceed through a relatively well-defined pathway or intermediate. The computational analyses lead to testable models for protein folding. PMID:16930616

  20. Protein kinesis: The dynamics of protein trafficking and stability

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    The purpose of this conference is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for exchange of state-of-the-art information on protein kinesis. This volume contains abstracts of papers in the following areas: protein folding and modification in the endoplasmic reticulum; protein trafficking; protein translocation and folding; protein degradation; polarity; nuclear trafficking; membrane dynamics; and protein import into organelles.

  1. 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.

  2. Estimation of protein folding free energy barriers from calorimetric data by multi-model Bayesian analysis.

    PubMed

    Naganathan, Athi N; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Muñoz, Victor; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M

    2011-10-14

    The realization that folding free energy barriers can be small enough to result in significant population of the species at the barrier top has sprouted in several methods to estimate folding barriers from equilibrium experiments. Some of these approaches are based on fitting the experimental thermogram measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to a one-dimensional representation of the folding free-energy surface (FES). Different physical models have been used to represent the FES: (1) a Landau quartic polynomial as a function of the total enthalpy, which acts as an order parameter; (2) the projection onto a structural order parameter (i.e. number of native residues or native contacts) of the free energy of all the conformations generated by Ising-like statistical mechanical models; and (3) mean-field models that define conformational entropy and stabilization energy as functions of a continuous local order parameter. The fundamental question that emerges is how can we obtain robust, model-independent estimates of the thermodynamic folding barrier from the analysis of DSC experiments. Here we address this issue by comparing the performance of various FES models in interpreting the thermogram of a protein with a marginal folding barrier. We chose the small α-helical protein PDD, which folds-unfolds in microseconds crossing a free energy barrier previously estimated as ~1 RT. The fits of the PDD thermogram to the various models and assumptions produce FES with a consistently small free energy barrier separating the folded and unfolded ensembles. However, the fits vary in quality as well as in the estimated barrier. Applying Bayesian probabilistic analysis we rank the fit performance using a statistically rigorous criterion that leads to a global estimate of the folding barrier and its precision, which for PDD is 1.3 ± 0.4 kJ mol(-1). This result confirms that PDD folds over a minor barrier consistent with the downhill folding regime. We have further

  3. Protein folding with implicit crowders: a study of conformational states using the Wang-Landau method.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, Travis; Yuan, Jian-Min

    2011-03-10

    In this paper we introduce the idea of the implicit crowding method to study the statistical mechanical behaviors of folding of β-sheet peptides. Using a simple bead-lattice model, we are able to consider, separately, the conformational entropy involving the bond angles along the backbone and the orientational entropy associated with the dihedral angles. We use a Ising-like model to partially account for the dihedral angle entropy and, implicitly, the hydrogen-bond formations. We also compare our results to recent experiments and find good quantitative agreement on the predicted folded fraction. On the basis of the predictions from the scaled particle theory, we investigate changes in the melting temperature of the protein, suggesting crowding enhanced stability for a variant of trpzip hairpin and a slight instability for the larger β-sheet designed proteins.

  4. Iron-nucleated folding of a metalloprotein in high urea: resolution of metal binding and protein folding events.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-10

    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. With a 100-fold molar excess of ferrous iron over denatured apoRd maintained in 5 M urea, the folded holoFe(III)Rd structure was recovered in >90% yield with a t(1/2) of <10 ms. 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, and (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 a 100-fold molar excess of iron. Analogous results obtained for 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 together distal regions of the protein chain. 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, multispectroscopy approach could clarify folding pathways of other [M(SCys)(3)]- or [M(SCys)(4)]-containing proteins.

  5. Reversible Folding of Human Peripheral Myelin Protein 22, a Tetraspan Membrane Protein†

    PubMed Central

    Schlebach, Jonathan P.; Peng, Dungeng; Kroncke, Brett M.; Mittendorf, Kathleen F.; Narayan, Malathi; Carter, Bruce D.; Sanders, Charles R.

    2013-01-01

    Misfolding of the α-helical membrane protein peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the common neurodegenerative disease known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTD) and also several other related peripheral neuropathies. Emerging evidence suggests that the propensity of PMP22 to misfold in the cell may be due to an intrinsic lack of conformational stability. Therefore, quantitative studies of the conformational equilibrium of PMP22 are needed to gain insight into the molecular basis of CMTD. In this work, we have investigated the folding and unfolding of wild type (WT) human PMP22 in mixed micelles. Both kinetic and thermodynamic measurements demonstrate that the denaturation of PMP22 by n-lauroyl sarcosine (LS) in dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles is reversible. Assessment of the conformational equilibrium indicates that a significant fraction of unfolded PMP22 persists even in the absence of the denaturing detergent. However, we find the stability of PMP22 is increased by glycerol, which facilitates quantitation of thermodynamic parameters. To our knowledge, this work represents the first report of reversible unfolding of a eukaryotic multispan membrane protein. The results indicate that WT PMP22 possesses minimal conformational stability in micelles, which parallels its poor folding efficiency in the endoplasmic reticulum. Folding equilibrium measurements for PMP22 in mixed micelles may provide an approach to assess the effects of cellular metabolites or potential therapeutic agents on its stability. Furthermore, these results pave the way for future investigation of the effects of pathogenic mutations on the conformational equilibrium of PMP22. PMID:23639031

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25245368

  9. Secondary Structural Change Can Occur Diffusely and Not Modularly during Protein Folding and Unfolding Reactions.

    PubMed

    Malhotra, Pooja; Udgaonkar, Jayant B

    2016-05-11

    A major goal of protein folding studies is to understand the structural basis of the coupling between stabilizing interactions, which leads to cooperative conformational change. The goal is challenging because of the difficulty in simultaneously measuring global cooperativity by determining population distributions of the conformations present, and the structures of these conformations. Here, hydrogen exchange (HX) into the small protein monellin was carried out under conditions where structure-opening is rate limiting for most backbone amide sites. Detection by mass spectrometry allowed characterization of not only segment-specific structure-opening rates but also the cooperativity of unfolding of the different secondary structural segments of the protein. The segment-specific pattern of HX reveals that the backbone hydrogen-bonding network disassembles in a structurally diffuse, asynchronous manner. A comparison of the site-specific transient opening rates of secondary and tertiary structure in the protein provides a structural rationale for the observation that unfolding is hierarchical and describable by exponential kinetics, despite being diffuse. Since unfolding was studied in native conditions, the sequence of events during folding in the same conditions will be the reverse of the sequence of events observed during unfolding. Hence, the formation of secondary structural units during folding would also occur in a non-cooperative, diffuse, and asynchronous manner. PMID:27093885

  10. PACE Force Field for Protein Simulations. 2. Folding Simulations of Peptides.

    PubMed

    Han, Wei; Wan, Cheuk-Kin; Wu, Yun-Dong

    2010-11-01

    We present the application of our recently developed PACE force field to the folding of peptides. These peptides include α-helical (AK17 and Fs), β-sheet (GB1m2 and Trpzip2), and mixed helical/coil (Trp-cage) peptides. With replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD), our force field can fold the five peptides into their native structures while maintaining their stabilities reasonably well. Our force field is also able to capture important thermodynamic features of the five peptides that have been observed in previous experimental and computational studies, such as different preferences for a helix-turn-helix topology for AK17 and Fs, the relative contribution of four hydrophobic side chains of GB1p to the stability of β-hairpin, and the distinct role of a hydrogen bond involving Trp-Hε and a D9/R16 salt bridge in stabilizing the Trp-cage native structure. Furthermore, multiple folding and unfolding events are observed in our microsecond-long normal MD simulations of AK17, Trpzip2, and Trp-cage. These simulations provide mechanistic information such as a "zip-out" pathway of the folding mechanism of Trpzip2 and the folding times of AK17 and Trp-cage, which are estimated to be about 51 ± 43 ns and 270 ± 110 ns, respectively. A 600 ns simulation of the peptides can be completed within one day. These features of our force field are potentially applicable to the study of thermodynamics and kinetics of real protein systems.

  11. 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.

  12. Evolutionary bridges to new protein folds: design of C-terminal Cro protein chameleon sequences.

    PubMed

    Anderson, William J; Van Dorn, Laura O; Ingram, Wendy M; Cordes, Matthew H J

    2011-09-01

    Regions of amino-acid sequence that are compatible with multiple folds may facilitate evolutionary transitions in protein structure. In a previous study, we described a heuristically designed chameleon sequence (SASF1, structurally ambivalent sequence fragment 1) that could adopt either of two naturally occurring conformations (α-helical or β-sheet) when incorporated as part of the C-terminal dimerization subdomain of two structurally divergent transcription factors, P22 Cro and λ Cro. Here we describe longer chameleon designs (SASF2 and SASF3) that in the case of SASF3 correspond to the full C-terminal half of the ordered region of a P22 Cro/λ Cro sequence alignment (residues 34-57). P22-SASF2 and λ(WDD)-SASF2 show moderate thermal stability in denaturation curves monitored by circular dichroism (T(m) values of 46 and 55°C, respectively), while P22-SASF3 and λ(WDD)-SASF3 have somewhat reduced stability (T(m) values of 33 and 49°C, respectively). (13)C and (1)H NMR secondary chemical shift analysis confirms two C-terminal α-helices for P22-SASF2 (residues 36-45 and 54-57) and two C-terminal β-strands for λ(WDD)-SASF2 (residues 40-45 and 50-52), corresponding to secondary structure locations in the two parent sequences. Backbone relaxation data show that both chameleon sequences have a relatively well-ordered structure. Comparisons of (15)N-(1)H correlation spectra for SASF2 and SASF3-containing proteins strongly suggest that SASF3 retains the chameleonism of SASF2. Both Cro C-terminal conformations can be encoded in a single sequence, showing the plausibility of linking different Cro folds by smooth evolutionary transitions. The N-terminal subdomain, though largely conserved in structure, also exerts an important contextual influence on the structure of the C-terminal region.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Slow and Bimolecular Folding of a De Novo Designed Monomeric Protein DS119

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Cheng; Dai, Ziwei; Liang, Huanhuan; Zhang, Tao; Gai, Feng; Lai, Luhua

    2013-01-01

    De novo protein design offers a unique means to test and advance our understanding of how proteins fold. However, most current design methods are native structure eccentric and folding kinetics has rarely been considered in the design process. Here, we show that a de novo designed mini-protein DS119, which folds into a βαβ structure, exhibits unusually slow and concentration-dependent folding kinetics. For example, the folding time for 50 μM of DS119 was estimated to be ∼2 s. Stopped-flow fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments further suggested that its folding was likely facilitated by a transient dimerization process. Taken together, these results highlight the need for consideration of the entire folding energy landscape in de novo protein design and provide evidence suggesting nonnative interactions can play a key role in protein folding. PMID:24209859

  18. Protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum: lessons from the human chorionic gonadotropin beta subunit.

    PubMed Central

    Ruddon, R. W.; Sherman, S. A.; Bedows, E.

    1996-01-01

    There have been few studies of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum of intact mammalian cells. In the one case where the in vivo and in vitro folding pathways of a mammalian secretory protein have been compared, the folding of the human chorionic gonadotropin beta subunit (hCG-beta), the order of formation of the detected folding intermediates is the same. The rate and efficiency with which multidomain proteins such as hCG-beta fold to native structure in intact cells is higher than in vitro, although intracellular rates of folding of the beta subunit can be approached in vitro in the presence of an optimal redox potential and protein disulfide isomerase. Understanding how proteins fold in vivo may provide a new way to diagnose and treat human illnesses that occur due to folding defects. PMID:8844836

  19. Enhancing protein stability with extended disulfide bonds.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tao; Wang, Yan; Luo, Xiaozhou; Li, Jack; Reed, Sean A; Xiao, Han; Young, Travis S; Schultz, Peter G

    2016-05-24

    Disulfide bonds play an important role in protein folding and stability. However, the cross-linking of sites within proteins by cysteine disulfides has significant distance and dihedral angle constraints. Here we report the genetic encoding of noncanonical amino acids containing long side-chain thiols that are readily incorporated into both bacterial and mammalian proteins in good yields and with excellent fidelity. These amino acids can pair with cysteines to afford extended disulfide bonds and allow cross-linking of more distant sites and distinct domains of proteins. To demonstrate this notion, we preformed growth-based selection experiments at nonpermissive temperatures using a library of random β-lactamase mutants containing these noncanonical amino acids. A mutant enzyme that is cross-linked by one such extended disulfide bond and is stabilized by ∼9 °C was identified. This result indicates that an expanded set of building blocks beyond the canonical 20 amino acids can lead to proteins with improved properties by unique mechanisms, distinct from those possible through conventional mutagenesis schemes.

  20. The utility of artificially evolved sequences in protein threading and fold recognition.

    PubMed

    Brylinski, Michal

    2013-07-01

    Template-based protein structure prediction plays an important role in Functional Genomics by providing structural models of gene products, which can be utilized by structure-based approaches to function inference. From a systems level perspective, the high structural coverage of gene products in a given organism is critical. Despite continuous efforts towards the development of more sensitive threading approaches, confident structural models cannot be constructed for a considerable fraction of proteins due to difficulties in recognizing low-sequence identity templates with a similar fold to the target. Here we introduce a new modeling stratagem, which employs a library of synthetic sequences to improve template ranking in fold recognition by sequence profile-based methods. We developed a new method for the optimization of generic protein-like amino acid sequences to stabilize the respective structures using a combined empirical scoring function, which is compatible with these commonly used in protein threading and fold recognition. We show that the artificially evolved sequences, whose average sequence identity to the wild-type sequences is as low as 13.8%, have significant capabilities to recognize the correct structures. Importantly, the quality of the corresponding threading alignments is comparable to these constructed using conventional wild-type approaches (the average TM-score is 0.48 and 0.54, respectively). Fold recognition that uses data fusion to combine ranks calculated for both wild-type and synthetic template libraries systematically improves the detection of structural analogs. Depending on the threading algorithm used, it yields on average 4-16% higher recognition rates than using the wild-type template library alone. Synthetic sequences artificially evolved for the template structures provide an orthogonal source of signal that could be exploited to detect these templates unrecognized by standard modeling techniques. It opens up new directions in

  1. 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.

  2. Structural classification of proteins and structural genomics: new insights into protein folding and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Andreeva, Antonina; Murzin, Alexey G.

    2010-01-01

    During the past decade, the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) centres have become major contributors of new families, superfamilies and folds to the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) database. The PSI results have increased the diversity of protein structural space and accelerated our understanding of it. This review article surveys a selection of protein structures determined by the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG). It presents previously undescribed β-sheet architectures such as the double barrel and spiral β-roll and discusses new examples of unusual topologies and peculiar structural features observed in proteins characterized by the JCSG and other Structural Genomics centres. PMID:20944210

  3. 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.

  4. Correlation between rate of folding, energy landscape, and topology in the folding of a model protein HP-36

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukherjee, Arnab; Bagchi, Biman

    2003-03-01

    We explore the correlation between the energy landscape and topology in the folding of a model protein (chicken villin headpiece HP-36) by using a force-field which incorporates the effects of water through a hydropathy scale and the role of helical propensity of amino acids through a nonlocal harmonic potential. Each amino acid is represented by one side chain atom which is attached to the backbone Cα atom. Sizes and interactions of all the side chain residues are different and depend on the hydrophobicity of a particular amino acid, whereas helical propensities are incorporated in the interaction of Cα atoms. Simulations have been carried out by quenching from a fixed high temperature to two different low temperatures for many initial random configurations. The simulated structures resemble the real native state rather closely, with the root mean square deviation of the best structure being 4.5 Å. Moreover, the structure shows both the helices and bends at the appropriate positions of the model protein. The simplified model allows the study of energy landscape and also of the correlation between energy landscape with the dynamics of folding and topology. The initial part of folding is very fast, followed by two distinct slow stages, with the last stage being certainly the rate determining of the folding process. The initial fast dynamics is primarily due to hydrophobic collapse. The very slow last stage of folding is accompanied by a significant and sharp increase in the relative contact order parameter but relatively small decrease in energy. Analysis of the time dependence of the formation of the individual contact pairs show rich and complicated dynamics, where some contacts wait for a long time to form. This seems to suggest that the slow late stage folding is due to long range contact formation and also that the free energy barrier is entropic in origin. Results have been correlated with the theories of protein folding.

  5. Diffusion-collision of foldons elucidates the kinetic effects of point mutations and suggests control strategies of the folding process of helical proteins.

    PubMed

    Capriotti, Emidio; Compiani, Mario

    2006-07-01

    In this article we use mutation studies as a benchmark for a minimal model of the folding process of helical proteins. The model ascribes a pivotal role to the collisional dynamics of a few crucial residues (foldons) and predicts the folding rates by exploiting information drawn from the protein sequence. We show that our model rationalizes the effects of point mutations on the kinetics of folding. The folding times of two proteins and their mutants are predicted. Stability and location of foldons have a critical role as the determinants of protein folding. This allows us to elucidate two main mechanisms for the kinetic effects of mutations. First, it turns out that the mutations eliciting the most notable effects alter protein stability through stabilization or destabilization of the foldons. Secondly, the folding rate is affected via a modification of the foldon topology by those mutations that lead to the birth or death of foldons. The few mispredicted folding rates of some mutants hint at the limits of the current version of the folding model proposed in the present article. The performance of our folding model declines in case the mutated residues are subject to strong long-range forces. That foldons are the critical targets of mutation studies has notable implications for design strategies and is of particular interest to address the issue of the kinetic regulation of single proteins in the general context of the overall dynamics of the interactome.

  6. A versatile selection system for folding competent proteins using genetic complementation in a eukaryotic host

    PubMed Central

    Lyngsø, Christina; Kjaerulff, Søren; Müller, Sven; Bratt, Tomas; Mortensen, Uffe H; Dal Degan, Florence

    2010-01-01

    Recombinant expression of native or modified eukaryotic proteins is pivotal for structural and functional studies and for industrial and pharmaceutical production of proteins. However, it is often impeded by the lack of proper folding. Here, we present a stringent and broadly applicable eukaryotic in vivo selection system for folded proteins. It is based on genetic complementation of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe growth marker gene invertase fused C-terminally to a protein library. The fusion proteins are directed to the secretion system, utilizing the ability of the eukaryotic protein quality-control systems to retain misfolded proteins in the ER and redirect them for cytosolic degradation, thereby only allowing folded proteins to reach the cell surface. Accordingly, the folding potential of the tested protein determines the ability of autotrophic colony growth. This system was successfully demonstrated using a complex insertion mutant library of TNF-α, from which different folding competent mutant proteins were uncovered. PMID:20082307

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Genetic selection designed to stabilize proteins uncovers a chaperone called Spy.

    PubMed

    Quan, Shu; Koldewey, Philipp; Tapley, Tim; Kirsch, Nadine; Ruane, Karen M; Pfizenmaier, Jennifer; Shi, Rong; Hofmann, Stephan; Foit, Linda; Ren, Guoping; Jakob, Ursula; Xu, Zhaohui; Cygler, Miroslaw; Bardwell, James C A

    2011-03-01

    To optimize the in vivo folding of proteins, we linked protein stability to antibiotic resistance, thereby forcing bacteria to effectively fold and stabilize proteins. When we challenged Escherichia coli to stabilize a very unstable periplasmic protein, it massively overproduced a periplasmic protein called Spy, which increases the steady-state levels of a set of unstable protein mutants up to 700-fold. In vitro studies demonstrate that the Spy protein is an effective ATP-independent chaperone that suppresses protein aggregation and aids protein refolding. Our strategy opens up new routes for chaperone discovery and the custom tailoring of the in vivo folding environment. Spy forms thin, apparently flexible cradle-shaped dimers. The structure of Spy is unlike that of any previously solved chaperone, making it the prototypical member of a new class of small chaperones that facilitate protein refolding in the absence of energy cofactors.

  10. The role of stabilization centers in protein thermal stability.

    PubMed

    Magyar, Csaba; Gromiha, M Michael; Sávoly, Zoltán; Simon, István

    2016-02-26

    The definition of stabilization centers was introduced almost two decades ago. They are centers of noncovalent long range interaction clusters, believed to have a role in maintaining the three-dimensional structure of proteins by preventing their decay due to their cooperative long range interactions. Here, this hypothesis is investigated from the viewpoint of thermal stability for the first time, using a large protein thermodynamics database. The positions of amino acids belonging to stabilization centers are correlated with available experimental thermodynamic data on protein thermal stability. Our analysis suggests that stabilization centers, especially solvent exposed ones, do contribute to the thermal stabilization of proteins.

  11. The role of stabilization centers in protein thermal stability.

    PubMed

    Magyar, Csaba; Gromiha, M Michael; Sávoly, Zoltán; Simon, István

    2016-02-26

    The definition of stabilization centers was introduced almost two decades ago. They are centers of noncovalent long range interaction clusters, believed to have a role in maintaining the three-dimensional structure of proteins by preventing their decay due to their cooperative long range interactions. Here, this hypothesis is investigated from the viewpoint of thermal stability for the first time, using a large protein thermodynamics database. The positions of amino acids belonging to stabilization centers are correlated with available experimental thermodynamic data on protein thermal stability. Our analysis suggests that stabilization centers, especially solvent exposed ones, do contribute to the thermal stabilization of proteins. PMID:26845354

  12. Comparing Protein Folding In vitro and In vivo: Foldability Meets the Fitness Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Hingorani, Karan S.; Gierasch, Lila M.

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we compare and contrast current knowledge about in-vitro and in-vivo protein folding. Major advances in understanding fundamental principles underlying protein folding in optimized in-vitro conditions have yielded detailed physicochemical principles of folding landscapes for small, single domain proteins. In addition, there has been increased research focusing on the key features of protein folding in the cell that differentiate it from in-vitro folding, such as co-translational folding, chaperone-facilitated folding, and folding in crowded conditions with many weak interactions. Yet these two research areas have not been bridged effectively in research carried out to date. This review points to gaps between the two that are ripe for future research. Moreover, we emphasize the biological selection pressures that impact protein folding in-vivo and how fitness drives the evolution of protein sequences in ways that may place foldability in tension with other requirements on a given protein. We suggest that viewing the physicochemical process of protein folding through the lens of evolution will unveil new insights and pose novel challenges about in-cell folding landscapes. PMID:24434632

  13. Cold denaturation as a tool to measure protein stability.

    PubMed

    Sanfelice, Domenico; Temussi, Piero Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Protein stability is an important issue for the interpretation of a wide variety of biological problems but its assessment is at times difficult. The most common parameter employed to describe protein stability is the temperature of melting, at which the populations of folded and unfolded species are identical. This parameter may yield ambiguous results. It would always be preferable to measure the whole stability curve. The calculation of this curve is greatly facilitated whenever it is possible to observe cold denaturation. Using Yfh1, one of the few proteins whose cold denaturation occurs at neutral pH and low ionic strength, we could measure the variation of its full stability curve under several environmental conditions. Here we show the advantages of gauging stability as a function of external variables using stability curves.

  14. Distinct Structural Elements Govern the Folding, Stability, and Catalysis in the Outer Membrane Enzyme PagP.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Bharat Ramasubramanian; Mahalakshmi, Radhakrishnan

    2016-09-01

    The outer membrane enzyme PagP is indispensable for lipid A palmitoylation in Gram-negative bacteria and has been implicated in resistance to host immune defenses. PagP possesses an unusual structure for an integral membrane protein, with a highly dynamic barrel domain that is tilted with respect to the membrane normal. In addition, it contains an N-terminal amphipathic helix. Recent functional and structural studies have shown that these molecular factors are critical for PagP to carry out its function in the challenging environment of the bacterial outer membrane. However, the precise contributions of the N-helix to folding and stability and residues that can influence catalytic rates remain to be addressed. Here, we identify a sequence-dependent stabilizing role for the N-terminal helix of PagP in the measured thermodynamic stability of the barrel. Using chimeric barrel sequences, we show that the Escherichia coli PagP N-terminal helix confers 2-fold greater stability to the Salmonella typhimurium barrel. Further, we find that the W78F substitution in S. typhimurium causes a nearly 20-fold increase in the specific activity in vitro for the phospholipase reaction, compared to that of E. coli PagP. Here, phenylalanine serves as a key regulator of catalysis, possibly by increasing the reaction rate. Through coevolution analysis, we detect an interaction network between seemingly unrelated segments of this membrane protein. Exchanging the structural and functional features between homologous PagP enzymes from E. coli and S. typhimurium has provided us with an understanding of the molecular factors governing PagP stability and function. PMID:27525547

  15. Distinct Structural Elements Govern the Folding, Stability, and Catalysis in the Outer Membrane Enzyme PagP.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Bharat Ramasubramanian; Mahalakshmi, Radhakrishnan

    2016-09-01

    The outer membrane enzyme PagP is indispensable for lipid A palmitoylation in Gram-negative bacteria and has been implicated in resistance to host immune defenses. PagP possesses an unusual structure for an integral membrane protein, with a highly dynamic barrel domain that is tilted with respect to the membrane normal. In addition, it contains an N-terminal amphipathic helix. Recent functional and structural studies have shown that these molecular factors are critical for PagP to carry out its function in the challenging environment of the bacterial outer membrane. However, the precise contributions of the N-helix to folding and stability and residues that can influence catalytic rates remain to be addressed. Here, we identify a sequence-dependent stabilizing role for the N-terminal helix of PagP in the measured thermodynamic stability of the barrel. Using chimeric barrel sequences, we show that the Escherichia coli PagP N-terminal helix confers 2-fold greater stability to the Salmonella typhimurium barrel. Further, we find that the W78F substitution in S. typhimurium causes a nearly 20-fold increase in the specific activity in vitro for the phospholipase reaction, compared to that of E. coli PagP. Here, phenylalanine serves as a key regulator of catalysis, possibly by increasing the reaction rate. Through coevolution analysis, we detect an interaction network between seemingly unrelated segments of this membrane protein. Exchanging the structural and functional features between homologous PagP enzymes from E. coli and S. typhimurium has provided us with an understanding of the molecular factors governing PagP stability and function.

  16. A New Scaffold of an Old Protein Fold Ensures Binding to the Bisintercalator Thiocoraline

    SciTech Connect

    Biswas, Tapan; Zolova, Olga E.; Lombó, Felipe; de la Calle, Fernando; Salas, Jose A.; Tsodikov, Oleg V.; Garneau-Tsodikova, Sylvie

    2010-09-02

    Thiocoraline is a thiodepsipeptide with potent antitumor activity. TioX, a protein with an unidentified function, is encoded by a gene of the thiocoraline biosynthetic gene cluster. The crystal structure of the full-length TioX protein at 2.15 {angstrom} resolution reveals that TioX protomer shares an ancient {beta}{alpha}{beta}{beta}{beta} fold motif with glyoxalase I and bleomycin resistance protein families, despite a very low sequence homology. Intriguingly, four TioX monomers form a unique 2-fold symmetric tetrameric assembly that is stabilized by four intermolecular disulfide bonds formed cyclically between Cys60 and Cys66 of adjacent monomers. The arrangement of two of the four monomers in the TioX tetramer is analogous to that in dimeric bleomycin resistance proteins. This analogy indicates that this novel higher-order structural scaffold of TioX may have evolved to bind thiocoraline. Our equilibrium titration studies demonstrate the binding of a thiocoraline chromophore analog, quinaldic acid, to TioX, thereby substantiating this model. Furthermore, a strain of Streptomyces albus containing an exogenous thiocoraline gene cluster devoid of functional tioX maintains thiocoraline production, albeit with a lower yield. Taken together, these observations rule out a direct enzymatic function of TioX and suggest that TioX is involved in thiocoraline resistance or secretion.

  17. Protein stability: a crystallographer’s perspective

    PubMed Central

    Deller, Marc C.; Kong, Leopold; Rupp, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Protein stability is a topic of major interest for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and food industries, in addition to being a daily consideration for academic researchers studying proteins. An understanding of protein stability is essential for optimizing the expression, purification, formulation, storage and structural studies of proteins. In this review, discussion will focus on factors affecting protein stability, on a somewhat practical level, particularly from the view of a protein crystallographer. The differences between protein conformational stability and protein compositional stability will be discussed, along with a brief introduction to key methods useful for analyzing protein stability. Finally, tactics for addressing protein-stability issues during protein expression, purification and crystallization will be discussed. PMID:26841758

  18. Sequence, structure, and cooperativity in folding of elementary protein structural motifs.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jason K; Kubelka, Ginka S; Kubelka, Jan

    2015-08-11

    Residue-level unfolding of two helix-turn-helix proteins--one naturally occurring and one de novo designed--is reconstructed from multiple sets of site-specific (13)C isotopically edited infrared (IR) and circular dichroism (CD) data using Ising-like statistical-mechanical models. Several model variants are parameterized to test the importance of sequence-specific interactions (approximated by Miyazawa-Jernigan statistical potentials), local structural flexibility (derived from the ensemble of NMR structures), interhelical hydrogen bonds, and native contacts separated by intervening disordered regions (through the Wako-Saitô-Muñoz-Eaton scheme, which disallows such configurations). The models are optimized by directly simulating experimental observables: CD ellipticity at 222 nm for model proteins and their fragments and (13)C-amide I' bands for multiple isotopologues of each protein. We find that data can be quantitatively reproduced by the model that allows two interacting segments flanking a disordered loop (double sequence approximation) and incorporates flexibility in the native contact maps, but neither sequence-specific interactions nor hydrogen bonds are required. The near-identical free energy profiles as a function of the global order parameter are consistent with expected similar folding kinetics for nearly identical structures. However, the predicted folding mechanism for the two motifs is different, reflecting the order of local stability. We introduce free energy profiles for "experimental" reaction coordinates--namely, the degree of local folding as sensed by site-specific (13)C-edited IR, which highlight folding heterogeneity and contrast its overall, average description with the detailed, local picture.

  19. Positively Selected Sites in Cetacean Myoglobins Contribute to Protein Stability

    PubMed Central

    Dasmeh, Pouria; Serohijos, Adrian W. R.; Kepp, Kasper P.; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2013-01-01

    Since divergence ∼50 Ma ago from their terrestrial ancestors, cetaceans underwent a series of adaptations such as a ∼10–20 fold increase in myoglobin (Mb) concentration in skeletal muscle, critical for increasing oxygen storage capacity and prolonging dive time. Whereas the O2-binding affinity of Mbs is not significantly different among mammals (with typical oxygenation constants of ∼0.8–1.2 µM−1), folding stabilities of cetacean Mbs are ∼2–4 kcal/mol higher than for terrestrial Mbs. Using ancestral sequence reconstruction, maximum likelihood and Bayesian tests to describe the evolution of cetacean Mbs, and experimentally calibrated computation of stability effects of mutations, we observe accelerated evolution in cetaceans and identify seven positively selected sites in Mb. Overall, these sites contribute to Mb stabilization with a conditional probability of 0.8. We observe a correlation between Mb folding stability and protein abundance, suggesting that a selection pressure for stability acts proportionally to higher expression. We also identify a major divergence event leading to the common ancestor of whales, during which major stabilization occurred. Most of the positively selected sites that occur later act against other destabilizing mutations to maintain stability across the clade, except for the shallow divers, where late stability relaxation occurs, probably due to the shorter aerobic dive limits of these species. The three main positively selected sites 66, 5, and 35 undergo changes that favor hydrophobic folding, structural integrity, and intra-helical hydrogen bonds. PMID:23505347

  20. Ras enhances Myc protein stability.

    PubMed

    Sears, R; Leone, G; DeGregori, J; Nevins, J R

    1999-02-01

    Various experiments have demonstrated a collaborative action of Myc and Ras, both in normal cell growth control as well as during oncogenesis. We now show that Ras enhances the accumulation of Myc activity by stabilizing the Myc protein. Whereas Myc has a very short half-life when produced in the absence of mitogenic signals, due to degradation by the 26S proteasome, the half-life of Myc increases markedly in growth-stimulated cells. This stabilization is dependent on the Ras/Raf/MAPK pathway and is not augmented by proteasome inhibition, suggesting that Ras inhibits the proteasome-dependent degradation of Myc. We propose that one aspect of Myc-Ras collaboration is an ability of Ras to enhance the accumulation of transcriptionally active Myc protein.

  1. 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.

  2. Connecting thermal and mechanical protein (un)folding landscapes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li; Noel, Jeffrey K; Sulkowska, Joanna I; Levine, Herbert; Onuchic, José N

    2014-12-16

    Molecular dynamics simulations supplement single-molecule pulling experiments by providing the possibility of examining the full free energy landscape using many coordinates. Here, we use an all-atom structure-based model to study the force and temperature dependence of the unfolding of the protein filamin by applying force at both termini. The unfolding time-force relation τ(F) indicates that the force-induced unfolding behavior of filamin can be characterized into three regimes: barrier-limited low- and intermediate-force regimes, and a barrierless high-force regime. Slope changes of τ(F) separate the three regimes. We show that the behavior of τ(F) can be understood from a two-dimensional free energy landscape projected onto the extension X and the fraction of native contacts Q. In the low-force regime, the unfolding rate is roughly force-independent due to the small (even negative) separation in X between the native ensemble and transition state ensemble (TSE). In the intermediate-force regime, force sufficiently separates the TSE from the native ensemble such that τ(F) roughly follows an exponential relation. This regime is typically explored by pulling experiments. While X may fail to resolve the TSE due to overlap with the unfolded ensemble just below the folding temperature, the overlap is minimal at lower temperatures where experiments are likely to be conducted. The TSE becomes increasingly structured with force, whereas the average order of structural events during unfolding remains roughly unchanged. The high-force regime is characterized by barrierless unfolding, and the unfolding time approaches a limit of ∼10 μs for the highest forces we studied. Finally, a combination of X and Q is shown to be a good reaction coordinate for almost the entire force range. PMID:25517160

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Contribution of Specific Residues of the β-Solenoid Fold to HET-s Prion Function, Amyloid Structure and Stability

    PubMed Central

    Schmidlin, Thierry; Chi, Celestine N.; Wasmer, Christian; Schütz, Anne; Ceschin, Johanna; Clavé, Corinne; Cescau, Sandra; Meier, Beat; Riek, Roland; Saupe, Sven J.

    2014-01-01

    The [Het-s] prion of the fungus Podospora anserina represents a good model system for studying the structure-function relationship in amyloid proteins because a high resolution solid-state NMR structure of the amyloid prion form of the HET-s prion forming domain (PFD) is available. The HET-s PFD adopts a specific β-solenoid fold with two rungs of β-strands delimiting a triangular hydrophobic core. A C-terminal loop folds back onto the rigid core region and forms a more dynamic semi-hydrophobic pocket extending the hydrophobic core. Herein, an alanine scanning mutagenesis of the HET-s PFD was conducted. Different structural elements identified in the prion fold such as the triangular hydrophobic core, the salt bridges, the asparagines ladders and the C-terminal loop were altered and the effect of these mutations on prion function, fibril structure and stability was assayed. Prion activity and structure were found to be very robust; only a few key mutations were able to corrupt structure and function. While some mutations strongly destabilize the fold, many substitutions in fact increase stability of the fold. This increase in structural stability did not influence prion formation propensity in vivo. However, if an Ala replacement did alter the structure of the core or did influence the shape of the denaturation curve, the corresponding variant showed a decreased prion efficacy. It is also the finding that in addition to the structural elements of the rigid core region, the aromatic residues in the C-terminal semi-hydrophobic pocket are critical for prion propagation. Mutations in the latter region either positively or negatively affected prion formation. We thus identify a region that modulates prion formation although it is not part of the rigid cross-β core, an observation that might be relevant to other amyloid models. PMID:24945274

  6. Folding Properties of Cytosine Monophosphate Kinase from E. coli Indicate Stabilization through an Additional Insert in the NMP Binding Domain

    PubMed Central

    Beitlich, Thorsten; Lorenz, Thorsten; Reinstein, Jochen

    2013-01-01

    The globular 25 kDa protein cytosine monophosphate kinase (CMPK, EC ID: 2.7.4.14) from E. coli belongs to the family of nucleoside monophosphate (NMP) kinases (NMPK). Many proteins of this family share medium to high sequence and high structure similarity including the frequently found α/β topology. A unique feature of CMPK in the family of NMPKs is the positioning of a single cis-proline residue in the CORE-domain (cis-Pro124) in conjunction with a large insert in the NMP binding domain. This insert is not found in other well studied NMPKs such as AMPK or UMP/CMPK. We have analyzed the folding pathway of CMPK using time resolved tryptophan and FRET fluorescence as well as CD. Our results indicate that unfolding at high urea concentrations is governed by a single process, whereas refolding in low urea concentrations follows at least a three step process which we interpret as follows: Pro124 in the CORE-domain is in cis in the native state (Nc) and equilibrates with its trans-isomer in the unfolded state (Uc - Ut). Under refolding conditions, at least the Ut species and possibly also the Uc species undergo a fast initial collapse to form intermediates with significant amount of secondary structure, from which the trans-Pro124 fraction folds to the native state with a 100-fold lower rate constant than the cis-Pro124 species. CMPK thus differs from homologous NMP kinases like UMP/CMP kinase or AMP kinase, where folding intermediates show much lower content of secondary structure. Importantly also unfolding is up to 100-fold faster compared to CMPK. We therefore propose that the stabilizing effect of the long NMP-domain insert in conjunction with a subtle twist in the positioning of a single cis-Pro residue allows for substantial stabilization compared to other NMP kinases with α/β topology. PMID:24205218

  7. A New Heuristic Algorithm for Protein Folding in the HP Model.

    PubMed

    Traykov, Metodi; Angelov, Slav; Yanev, Nicola

    2016-08-01

    This article presents an efficient heuristic for protein folding. The protein folding problem is to predict the compact three-dimensional structure of a protein based on its amino acid sequence. The focus is on an original integer programming model derived from a platform used for Contact Map Overlap problem.

  8. Nucleolin stabilizes G-quadruplex structures folded by the LTR promoter and silences HIV-1 viral transcription

    PubMed Central

    Tosoni, Elena; Frasson, Ilaria; Scalabrin, Matteo; Perrone, Rosalba; Butovskaya, Elena; Nadai, Matteo; Palù, Giorgio; Fabris, Dan; Richter, Sara N.

    2015-01-01

    Folding of the LTR promoter into dynamic G-quadruplex conformations has been shown to suppress its transcriptional activity in HIV-1. Here we sought to identify the proteins that control the folding of this region of proviral genome by inducing/stabilizing G-quadruplex structures. The implementation of electrophorethic mobility shift assay and pull-down experiments coupled with mass spectrometric analysis revealed that the cellular protein nucleolin is able to specifically recognize G-quadruplex structures present in the LTR promoter. Nucleolin recognized with high affinity and specificity the majority, but not all the possible G-quadruplexes folded by this sequence. In addition, it displayed greater binding preference towards DNA than RNA G-quadruplexes, thus indicating two levels of selectivity based on the sequence and nature of the target. The interaction translated into stabilization of the LTR G-quadruplexes and increased promoter silencing activity; in contrast, disruption of nucleolin binding in cells by both siRNAs and a nucleolin binding aptamer greatly increased LTR promoter activity. These data indicate that nucleolin possesses a specific and regulated activity toward the HIV-1 LTR promoter, which is mediated by G-quadruplexes. These observations provide new essential insights into viral transcription and a possible low mutagenic target for antiretroviral therapy. PMID:26354862

  9. Direct Osmolyte-Macromolecule Interactions Confer Entropic Stability to Folded States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Ropero, Francisco; van der Vegt, Nico F. A.

    2015-03-01

    Protective osmolytes are chemical compounds that shift the (bio)macromolecule folding/unfolding equilibrium toward the folded state under osmotic stresses. Traditionally it has been considered that omolytes are depleted from the macromolecule first solvation shell, leading to entropic stabilization of the folded state. Recent theoretical and experimental studies suggest that protective osmolytes may directly interact with the macromolecule. As an exemplary and experimentally well-characterized system, we herein discuss poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAM) in water whose folding/unfolding equilibrium shifts toward the folded state in the presence of urea. Based on Molecular Dynamics simulations we show that urea preferentially accumulates in the first solvation shell of PNiPAM driven by attractive van der Waals dispersion forces leading to the formation of urea clouds around the polymer. Solvation thermodynamics analysis of the folded and unfolded states discards direct urea/macromolecule interactions as driving force of the folding mechanism. Our data shows that entropic penalization of unfolded polymer chains upon increasing urea concentration drives the collapse of the polymer chain. German Research Foundation (DFG), Cluster of Excellence 259 ``Smart Interfaces - Understanding and Designing Fluid Boundaries.''

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Substrate-induced activation of a trapped IMC-mediated protein folding intermediate.

    PubMed

    Inouye, M; Fu, X; Shinde, U

    2001-04-01

    While several unfolded proteins acquire native structures through distinct folding intermediates, the physiological relevance and importance of such states in the folding kinetics remain controversial. The intramolecular chaperone (IMC) of subtilisin was used to trap a partially folded, stable crosslinked intermediate conformer (CLIC) through a disulfide bond between mutated IMC and subtilisin. The trapped CLIC contains non-native interactions. Here we show that CLIC can be induced into a catalytically active form by incubating it with small peptide substrates. The structure and catalytic properties of the activated crosslinked intermediate conformer (A-CLIC) differ from those of the fully folded enzyme in that A-CLIC lacks any endopeptidase activity toward a large protein substrate. Our results show that a disulfide-linked partially folded protein can be induced to acquire catalytic activity with a substrate specificity that is different from completely folded subtilisin. These results also suggest that protein folding intermediates may also participate in catalytic reactions.

  14. Physicochemical bases for protein folding, dynamics, and protein-ligand binding.

    PubMed

    Li, HuiMin; Xie, YueHui; Liu, CiQuan; Liu, ShuQun

    2014-03-01

    Proteins are essential parts of living organisms and participate in virtually every process within cells. As the genomic sequences for increasing number of organisms are completed, research into how proteins can perform such a variety of functions has become much more intensive because the value of the genomic sequences relies on the accuracy of understanding the encoded gene products. Although the static three-dimensional structures of many proteins are known, the functions of proteins are ultimately governed by their dynamic characteristics, including the folding process, conformational fluctuations, molecular motions, and protein-ligand interactions. In this review, the physicochemical principles underlying these dynamic processes are discussed in depth based on the free energy landscape (FEL) theory. Questions of why and how proteins fold into their native conformational states, why proteins are inherently dynamic, and how their dynamic personalities govern protein functions are answered. This paper will contribute to the understanding of structure-function relationship of proteins in the post-genome era of life science research.

  15. Activation Barrier-Limited Folding and Conformational Sampling of a Dynamic Protein Domain.

    PubMed

    Dogan, Jakob; Toto, Angelo; Andersson, Eva; Gianni, Stefano; Jemth, Per

    2016-09-20

    Folding reaction mechanisms of globular protein domains have been extensively studied by both experiment and simulation and found to be highly concerted chemical reactions in which numerous noncovalent bonds form in an apparent two-state fashion. However, less is known regarding intrinsically disordered proteins because their folding can usually be studied only in conjunction with binding to a ligand. We have investigated by kinetics the folding mechanism of such a disordered protein domain, the nuclear coactivator-binding domain (NCBD) from CREB-binding protein. While a previous computational study suggested that NCBD folds without an activation free energy barrier, our experimental data demonstrate that NCBD, despite its highly dynamic structure, displays relatively slow folding (∼10 ms at 277 K) consistent with a barrier-limited process. Furthermore, the folding kinetics corroborate previous nuclear magnetic resonance data showing that NCBD exists in two folded conformations and one more denatured conformation at equilibrium and, thus, that the folding mechanism is a three-state mechanism. The refolding kinetics is limited by unfolding of the less populated folded conformation, suggesting that the major route for interconversion between the two folded states is via the denatured state. Because the two folded conformations have been suggested to bind distinct ligands, our results have mechanistic implications for conformational sampling in protein-protein interactions. PMID:27542287

  16. Interaction Signatures Stabilizing the NAD(P)-Binding Rossmann Fold: A Structure Network Approach

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Moitrayee; Upadhyay, Roopali; Vishveshwara, Saraswathi

    2012-01-01

    The fidelity of the folding pathways being encoded in the amino acid sequence is met with challenge in instances where proteins with no sequence homology, performing different functions and no apparent evolutionary linkage, adopt a similar fold. The problem stated otherwise is that a limited fold space is available to a repertoire of diverse sequences. The key question is what factors lead to the formation of a fold from diverse sequences. Here, with the NAD(P)-binding Rossmann fold domains as a case study and using the concepts of network theory, we have unveiled the consensus structural features that drive the formation of this fold. We have proposed a graph theoretic formalism to capture the structural details in terms of the conserved atomic interactions in global milieu, and hence extract the essential topological features from diverse sequences. A unified mathematical representation of the different structures together with a judicious concoction of several network parameters enabled us to probe into the structural features driving the adoption of the NAD(P)-binding Rossmann fold. The atomic interactions at key positions seem to be better conserved in proteins, as compared to the residues participating in these interactions. We propose a “spatial motif” and several “fold specific hot spots” that form the signature structural blueprints of the NAD(P)-binding Rossmann fold domain. Excellent agreement of our data with previous experimental and theoretical studies validates the robustness and validity of the approach. Additionally, comparison of our results with statistical coupling analysis (SCA) provides further support. The methodology proposed here is general and can be applied to similar problems of interest. PMID:23284738

  17. Multiple contact network is a key determinant to protein folding rates.

    PubMed

    Gromiha, M Michael

    2009-04-01

    Understanding the relationship between amino acid sequences and folding rates of proteins is an important task in computational and molecular biology. It has been shown that topological parameters, contact order, long-range order, and total contact distance relate well with protein folding rates. In this work, we have systematically analyzed the influence of amino acid residues that form multiple contacts in protein structures to folding rates of proteins. We observed an inverse relationship between the number of residues with multiple contacts and protein folding rates. Further analysis indicates that multiple contacts are influenced by hydrophobic residues, whereas the role is minimal between the residues that are capable of forming hydrogen bonds. The propensity of multiple contacts forming residues showed that aromatic and hydrophobic residues are dominant in two-state proteins, whereas the polar residues Ser and Thr are also preferred ones in three-state proteins. In addition, multiple contact forming residues are interconnected with each other through contact networks in protein structures. The comparison between slow and fast folding proteins demonstrated the presence of more multiple contact forming residues in slow folding proteins with a limit of 4-6 contacts/residue. These results have been reflected in amino acid sequences in the form of short-, medium-, and long-range contacts, which could discriminate slow and fast folding proteins with an accuracy of 96% using a 5-fold cross-validation method.

  18. A topological and conformational stability alphabet for multipass membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiang; Barth, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    Multipass membrane proteins perform critical signal transduction and transport across membranes. How transmembrane helix (TMH) sequences encode the topology and conformational flexibility regulating these functions remains poorly understood. Here we describe a comprehensive analysis of the sequence-structure relationships at multiple interacting TMHs from all membrane proteins with structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). We found that membrane proteins can be deconstructed in interacting TMH trimer units, which mostly fold into six distinct structural classes of topologies and conformations. Each class is enriched in recurrent sequence motifs from functionally unrelated proteins, revealing unforeseen consensus and evolutionary conserved networks of stabilizing interhelical contacts. Interacting TMHs' topology and local protein conformational flexibility were remarkably well predicted in a blinded fashion from the identified binding-hotspot motifs. Our results reveal universal sequence-structure principles governing the complex anatomy and plasticity of multipass membrane proteins that may guide de novo structure prediction, design, and studies of folding and dynamics. PMID:26780406

  19. 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. PMID:26619265

  20. 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.

  1. Protein folding in the cytosol: chaperonin-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Netzer, W J; Hartl, F U

    1998-02-01

    Recent findings suggest that a combination of chaperonin-assisted and unassisted mechanisms operate in protein folding in the cytosol. While nascent chain-binding chaperones, such as Hsp70, could have a general role in maintaining the folding competence of translating polypeptide chains, the contribution of the cylindrical chaperonin complexes to overall folding is limited to a subset of aggregation-sensitive polypeptides. The majority of bacterial proteins are relatively small and they are synthesized rapidly and folded independently of the chaperonin GroEL in a posttranslational manner. Eukaryotes have a proportionally larger number of multi-domain proteins than bacteria. The individual domains of these proteins can be folded cotranslationally and sequentially. The use of this mechanism explains how large proteins fold independently of a chaperonin and could have been crucial in the evolution of a wide array of modular polypeptides in eukaryotes.

  2. Protein Folding and Amyloid Formation: Good Questions for Solid State NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tycko, Robert

    2005-03-01

    Recent results from two ongoing projects will be described. These projects illustrate the expanding capability of solid state NMR spectroscopy to provide unique information about the molecular structure of complex biochemical systems that are of current interest in the biophysical and biomedical research communities. Methodological advances that facilitate progress on these projects will be discussed briefly. In the area of protein folding, we are using solid state NMR spectroscopy to characterize the distributions of molecular structures in unfolded and partially folded states of relatively simple model proteins. The measurements are carried out on frozen glassy solutions at low temperatures. Initial results for the chemical denaturation of the 35-residue helical protein HP35 show that unfolding does not occur by a simple two-state process and that local conformational distributions in the unfolded state are remarkably non-uniform. In the area of amyloid fibrils, we are using solid state NMR to develop experimentally-based models for the molecular structure of peptide fibrils associated with Alzheimer's disease and other amyloid diseases, and to develop an understanding of the interactions that stabilize amyloid fibril structures in general. The NMR data also reveal molecular-level polymorphism in amyloid fibrils, with implications for biomedical issues such as the etiological role of fibrils in amyloid diseases and the structural basis for strains in prion diseases.

  3. Lactoperoxidase folding and catalysis relies on the stabilization of the alpha-helix rich core domain: a thermal unfolding study.

    PubMed

    Boscolo, Barbara; Leal, Sónia S; Ghibaudi, Elena M; Gomes, Cláudio M

    2007-09-01

    Lactoperoxidase (LPO) belongs to the mammalian peroxidase family and catalyzes the oxidation of halides, pseudo-halides and a number of aromatic substrates at the expense of hydrogen peroxide. Despite the complex physiological role of LPO and its potential involvement in carcinogenic mechanisms, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory processes, little is known on the folding and structural stability of this protein. We have undertaken an investigation of the conformational dynamics and catalytic properties of LPO during thermal unfolding, using complementary biophysical techniques (differential scanning calorimetry, electron spin resonance, optical absorption, fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopies) together with biological activity assays. LPO is a particularly stable protein, capable of maintaining catalysis and structural integrity up to a high temperature, undergoing irreversible unfolding at 70 degrees C. We have observed that the first stages of the thermal denaturation involve a minor conformational change occurring at 40 degrees C, possibly at the level of the protein beta-sheets, which nevertheless does not result in an unfolding transition. Only at higher temperature, the protein hydrophobic core, which is rich in alpha-helices, unfolds with concomitant disruption of the catalytic heme pocket and activity loss. Evidences concerning the stabilizing role of the disulfide bridges and the covalently bound heme cofactor are shown and discussed in the context of understanding the structural stability determinants in a relatively large protein.

  4. Sequence, structure, and cooperativity in folding of elementary protein structural motifs

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Jason K.; Kubelka, Ginka S.; Kubelka, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Residue-level unfolding of two helix-turn-helix proteins—one naturally occurring and one de novo designed—is reconstructed from multiple sets of site-specific 13C isotopically edited infrared (IR) and circular dichroism (CD) data using Ising-like statistical-mechanical models. Several model variants are parameterized to test the importance of sequence-specific interactions (approximated by Miyazawa–Jernigan statistical potentials), local structural flexibility (derived from the ensemble of NMR structures), interhelical hydrogen bonds, and native contacts separated by intervening disordered regions (through the Wako–Saitô–Muñoz–Eaton scheme, which disallows such configurations). The models are optimized by directly simulating experimental observables: CD ellipticity at 222 nm for model proteins and their fragments and 13C-amide I′ bands for multiple isotopologues of each protein. We find that data can be quantitatively reproduced by the model that allows two interacting segments flanking a disordered loop (double sequence approximation) and incorporates flexibility in the native contact maps, but neither sequence-specific interactions nor hydrogen bonds are required. The near-identical free energy profiles as a function of the global order parameter are consistent with expected similar folding kinetics for nearly identical structures. However, the predicted folding mechanism for the two motifs is different, reflecting the order of local stability. We introduce free energy profiles for “experimental” reaction coordinates—namely, the degree of local folding as sensed by site-specific 13C-edited IR, which highlight folding heterogeneity and contrast its overall, average description with the detailed, local picture. PMID:26216963

  5. The α-defensin salt-bridge induces backbone stability to facilitate folding and confer proteolytic resistance.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Håkan S; Figueredo, Sharel M; Haugaard-Kedström, Linda M; Bengtsson, Elina; Daly, Norelle L; Qu, Xiaoqing; Craik, David J; Ouellette, André J; Rosengren, K Johan

    2012-10-01

    Salt-bridge interactions between acidic and basic amino acids contribute to the structural stability of proteins and to protein-protein interactions. A conserved salt-bridge is a canonical feature of the α-defensin antimicrobial peptide family, but the role of this common structural element has not been fully elucidated. We have investigated mouse Paneth cell α-defensincryptdin-4 (Crp4) and peptide variants with mutations at Arg7 or Glu15 residue positions to disrupt the salt-bridge and assess the consequences on Crp4 structure, function, and stability. NMR analyses showed that both (R7G)-Crp4 and (E15G)-Crp4 adopt native-like structures, evidence of fold plasticity that allows peptides to reshuffle side chains and stabilize the structure in the absence of the salt-bridge. In contrast, introduction of a large hydrophobic side chain at position 15, as in (E15L)-Crp4 cannot be accommodated in the context of the Crp4 primary structure. Regardless of which side of the salt-bridge was mutated, salt-bridge variants retained bactericidal peptide activity with differential microbicidal effects against certain bacterial cell targets, confirming that the salt-bridge does not determine bactericidal activity per se. The increased structural flexibility induced by salt-bridge disruption enhanced peptide sensitivity to proteolysis. Although sensitivity to proteolysis by MMP7 was unaffected by most Arg(7) and Glu(150 substitutions, every salt-bridge variant was degraded extensively by trypsin. Moreover, the salt-bridge facilitates adoption of the characteristic α-defensin fold as shown by the impaired in vitro refolding of (E15D)-proCrp4, the most conservative salt-bridge disrupting replacement. In Crp4, therefore, the canonical α-defensin salt-bridge facilitates adoption of the characteristic α-defensin fold, which decreases structural flexibility and confers resistance todegradation by proteinases.

  6. Chain length scaling of protein folding time: Beta sheet structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrievski, K.; Kasemo, B.; Zhdanov, V. P.

    2000-07-01

    We present comprehensive 3D lattice Monte Carlo simulations of the folding kinetics of two-turn antiparallel β sheets. The model employed takes into account isotropic nonspecific interactions as in previous flexible heteropolymer models and also orientation-dependent monomer-monomer interactions, mimicking the formation of hydrogen bonds and chain rigidity. The chain length is varied from N=15 to 33. For each chain length, we calculate the fastest folding temperature, Tfast, folding temperature, Tfold, and glass-transition temperature, Tg. The time-averaged occupation probability of the native state is found to be nearly independent of N at all temperatures. The dependence of Tfast and Tfold on N is accordingly relatively weak. The temperature interval where the folding is fast rapidly decreases with increasing N. For the chain lengths chosen, Tfold slightly exceeds Tg. The dependence of the folding time τf on N is well fitted by using the power law, τf∝Nλ. The exponent λ is found to depend on temperature and on the distribution of nonspecific interactions in the chain. In particular, λ=2.7-4.0 at T=Tfast and 5.2 at T slightly below Tfold. Evaluating τf in real units at T near Tfold yields physically reasonable results.

  7. A first-principles model of early evolution: emergence of gene families, species, and preferred protein folds.

    PubMed

    Zeldovich, Konstantin B; Chen, Peiqiu; Shakhnovich, Boris E; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2007-07-01

    In this work we develop a microscopic physical model of early evolution where phenotype--organism life expectancy--is directly related to genotype--the stability of its proteins in their native conformations-which can be determined exactly in the model. Simulating the model on a computer, we consistently observe the "Big Bang" scenario whereby exponential population growth ensues as soon as favorable sequence-structure combinations (precursors of stable proteins) are discovered. Upon that, random diversity of the structural space abruptly collapses into a small set of preferred proteins. We observe that protein folds remain stable and abundant in the population at timescales much greater than mutation or organism lifetime, and the distribution of the lifetimes of dominant folds in a population approximately follows a power law. The separation of evolutionary timescales between discovery of new folds and generation of new sequences gives rise to emergence of protein families and superfamilies whose sizes are power-law distributed, closely matching the same distributions for real proteins. On the population level we observe emergence of species--subpopulations that carry similar genomes. Further, we present a simple theory that relates stability of evolving proteins to the sizes of emerging genomes. Together, these results provide a microscopic first-principles picture of how first-gene families developed in the course of early evolution.

  8. A first-principles model of early evolution: emergence of gene families, species, and preferred protein folds.

    PubMed

    Zeldovich, Konstantin B; Chen, Peiqiu; Shakhnovich, Boris E; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2007-07-01

    In this work we develop a microscopic physical model of early evolution where phenotype--organism life expectancy--is directly related to genotype--the stability of its proteins in their native conformations-which can be determined exactly in the model. Simulating the model on a computer, we consistently observe the "Big Bang" scenario whereby exponential population growth ensues as soon as favorable sequence-structure combinations (precursors of stable proteins) are discovered. Upon that, random diversity of the structural space abruptly collapses into a small set of preferred proteins. We observe that protein folds remain stable and abundant in the population at timescales much greater than mutation or organism lifetime, and the distribution of the lifetimes of dominant folds in a population approximately follows a power law. The separation of evolutionary timescales between discovery of new folds and generation of new sequences gives rise to emergence of protein families and superfamilies whose sizes are power-law distributed, closely matching the same distributions for real proteins. On the population level we observe emergence of species--subpopulations that carry similar genomes. Further, we present a simple theory that relates stability of evolving proteins to the sizes of emerging genomes. Together, these results provide a microscopic first-principles picture of how first-gene families developed in the course of early evolution. PMID:17630830

  9. Folding and Purification of Insoluble (Inclusion Body) Proteins from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Wingfield, Paul T; Palmer, Ira; Liang, Shu-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Heterologous expression of recombinant proteins in E. coli often results in the formation of insoluble and inactive protein aggregates, commonly referred to as inclusion bodies. To obtain the native (i.e., correctly folded) and hence active form of the protein from such aggregates, four steps are usually followed: (1) the cells are lysed, (2) the cell wall and outer membrane components are removed, (3) the aggregates are solubilized (or extracted) with strong protein denaturants, and (4) the solubilized, denatured proteins are folded with concomitant oxidation of reduced cysteine residues into the correct disulfide bonds to obtain the native protein. This unit features three different approaches to the final step of protein folding and purification. In the first, guanidine·HCl is used as the denaturant, after which the solubilized protein is folded (before purification) in an "oxido-shuffling" buffer system to increase the rate of protein oxidation. In the second, acetic acid is used to solubilize the protein, which is then partially purified by gel filtration before folding; the protein is then folded and oxidized by simple dialysis against water. Thirdly, folding and purification of a fusion protein using metal-chelate affinity chromatography are described. PMID:25367010

  10. What protein folding teaches us about biological function and molecular machines.

    PubMed

    Whitford, Paul C; Onuchic, José N

    2015-02-01

    Protein folding was the first area of molecular biology for which a systematic statistical-mechanical analysis of dynamics was developed. As a result, folding is described as a process by which a disordered protein chain diffuses across a high-dimensional energy landscape and finally reaches the folded ensemble. Folding studies have produced countless theoretical concepts that are generalizable to other biomolecular processes, such as the functional dynamics of molecular assemblies. Common themes in folding and function include the dominant role of excluded volume, that a balance between energetic roughness and geometrical effects guides dynamics, and that folding/functional landscapes are relatively smooth. Here, we discuss how insights into protein folding have been applied to investigate the functional dynamics of biomolecular assemblies.

  11. 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. PMID:27298227

  12. The earliest events in protein folding: Helix dynamics in proteins and model peptides

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, R.B.; Williams, S.; Woodruff, W.H.

    1996-12-31

    The earliest events in protein folding are critically important in determining the folding pathway, but have proved difficult to study by conventional approaches. We have developed new rapid initiation methods and structure-specific probes to interrogate the earliest events of protein folding. Our focus is the pathways. Folding or unfolding reactions are initiated on a fast timescale (10 ns) using a laser induced temperature jump (15 C) and probed with time-resolved infrared spectroscopy. We obtained the kinetics of the helix-coil transition for a model 21-residue peptide. The observed rate constant k{sub obs} = k{sub f} + k{sub u} for reversible kinetics; from the observed rate (6 x 10{sup 6} s{sup -1}) and the equilibrium constant favoring folding of 7.5 at 27 C, we calculate a folding lifetime of 180 ns and an unfolding lifetime of 1.4 {mu}s. The {open_quotes}molten globule{close_quotes} form of apomyoglobin (horse, pH*3, 0.15M NaCl) shows similar kinetics for helix that is unconstrained by tertiary structure (helix with an unusually low Amide I frequency, near 1633 cm{sup -1}). In {open_quotes}native{close_quotes} apomyoglobin (horse, pH*5.3, 10 mM NaCl) two very different rates (45 ns and 70 {mu}s) are observed and we infer that a third occurs on a timescales inaccessible to our experiment (> 1 ms). We suggest that the slower processes are due to helix formation that is rate-limited by the formation of tertiary structure.

  13. Susceptibility towards intramolecular disulphide-bond formation affects conformational stability and folding of human basic fibroblast growth factor.

    PubMed Central

    Estapé, D; van den Heuvel, J; Rinas, U

    1998-01-01

    The conformational stability and the folding properties of the all-beta-type protein human basic fibroblast growth factor (hFGF-2) were studied by means of fluorescence spectroscopy. The results show that the instability of the biological activity of hFGF-2 is also reflected in a low conformational stability of the molecule. The reversibility of the unfolding and refolding process was established under reducing conditions. Determination of the free-energy of unfolding in the presence of reducing agents revealed that the conformational stability of hFGF-2 (DeltaGH2Oapp congruent with21 kJ. mol-1, 25 degreesC) is low compared with other globular proteins under physiological conditions (20-60 kJ.mol-1). However, the conformational stability of hFGF-2 is particularly low under non-reducing conditions. This instability is attributed to intramolecular disulphide-bond formation, rendering the molecule more susceptible to denaturant-induced unfolding. In addition, denaturant-induced unfolding of hFGF-2 renders the protein more susceptible to irreversible oxidative denaturation. Experimental evidence is provided that the irreversibility of the unfolding and refolding process in the absence of reducing agents is linked to the formation of an intramolecular disulphide bond involving cysteines 96 and 101. PMID:9761733

  14. The histone-fold complex MHF is remodeled by FANCM to recognize branched DNA and protect genome stability

    PubMed Central

    Fox, David; Yan, Zhijiang; Ling, Chen; Zhao, Ye; Lee, Duck-Yeon; Fukagawa, Tatsuo; Yang, Wei; Wang, Weidong

    2014-01-01

    Histone-fold proteins typically assemble in multiprotein complexes to bind duplex DNA. However, one histone-fold complex, MHF, associates with Fanconi anemia (FA) protein FANCM to form a branched DNA remodeling complex that senses and repairs stalled replication forks and activates FA DNA damage response network. How the FANCM-MHF complex recognizes branched DNA is unclear. Here, we solved the crystal structure of MHF and its complex with the MHF-interaction domain (referred to as MID) of FANCM, and performed structure-guided mutagenesis. We found that the MID-MHF complex consists of one histone H3-H4-like MHF heterotetramer wrapped by a single polypeptide of MID. We identified a zinc atom-liganding structure at the central interface between MID and MHF that is critical for stabilization of the complex. Notably, the DNA-binding surface of MHF was altered by MID in both electrostatic charges and allosteric conformation. This leads to a switch in the DNA-binding preference — from duplex DNA by MHF alone, to branched DNA by the MID-MHF complex. Mutations that disrupt either the composite DNA-binding surface or the protein-protein interface of the MID-MHF complex impaired activation of the FA network and genome stability. Our data provide the structural basis of how FANCM and MHF work together to recognize branched DNA, and suggest a novel mechanism by which histone-fold complexes can be remodeled by their partners to bind special DNA structures generated during DNA metabolism. PMID:24699063

  15. Folding rates and low-entropy-loss routes of two-state proteins.

    PubMed

    Weikl, Thomas R; Dill, Ken A

    2003-06-01

    We develop a simple model for computing the rates and routes of folding of two-state proteins from the contact maps of their native structures. The model is based on the graph-theoretical concept of effective contact order (ECO). The model predicts that proteins fold by "zipping up" in a sequence of small-loop-closure events, depending on the native chain fold. Using a simple equation, with a few physical rate parameters, we obtain a good correlation with the folding rates of 24 two-state folding proteins. The model rationalizes data from Phi-value analysis that have been interpreted in terms of delocalized or polarized transition states. This model indicates how much of protein folding may take place in parallel, not along a single reaction coordinate or with a single transition state.

  16. 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

  17. Analysis of the pH-dependent thermodynamic stability, local motions, and microsecond folding kinetics of carbonmonoxycytochrome c.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rajesh

    2016-09-15

    This paper analyzes the effect of pH on thermodynamic stability, low-frequency local motions and microsecond folding kinetics of carbonmonoxycytochrome c (Cyt-CO) all across the alkaline pH-unfolding transition of protein. Thermodynamic analysis of urea-induced unfolding transitions of Cyt-CO measured between pH 6 and pH 11.9 reveals that Cyt-CO is maximally stable at pH∼9.5. Dilution of unfolded Cyt-CO into refolding medium forms a native-like compact state (NCO-state), where Fe(2+)-CO interaction persists. Kinetic and thermodynamic parameters measured for slow thermally-driven CO dissociation (NCO→N+CO) and association (N+CO→NCO) reactions between pH 6.5 and pH 13 reveal that the thermal-motions of M80-containing Ω-loop are decreased in subdenaturing limit of alkaline pH. Laser photolysis of Fe(2+)-CO bond in NCO-state triggers the microsecond folding (NCO→N). The microsecond kinetics measured all across the alkaline pH-unfolding transition of Cyt-CO produce rate rollover in the refolding limb of chevron plot, which suggests a glass transition of NCO en route to N. Between pH 7 and pH 11.9, the natural logarithm of the microsecond folding rate varies by < 1.5 units while the natural logarithm of apparent equilibrium constant varies by 11.8 units. This finding indicates that the pH-dependent ionic-interactions greatly affect the global stability of protein but have very small effect on folding kinetics. PMID:27424489

  18. Using hydroxyl radical footprinting to explore the free energy landscape of protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Calabrese, Antonio N.; Ault, James R.; Radford, Sheena E.; Ashcroft, Alison E.

    2015-01-01

    Characterisation of the conformational states adopted during protein folding, including globally unfolded/disordered structures and partially folded intermediate species, is vital to gain fundamental insights into how a protein folds. In this work we employ fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) to map the structural changes that occur in the folding of the four-helical bacterial immunity protein, Im7. Oxidative footprinting coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) is used to probe changes in the solvent accessibility of amino acid side-chains concurrent with the folding process, by quantifying the degree of oxidation experienced by the wild-type protein relative to a kinetically trapped, three-helical folding intermediate and an unfolded variant that lacks secondary structure. Analysis of the unfolded variant by FPOP–MS shows oxidative modifications consistent with the species adopting a solution conformation with a high degree of solvent accessibility. The folding intermediate, by contrast, experiences increased levels of oxidation relative to the wild-type, native protein only in regions destabilised by the amino acid substitutions introduced. The results demonstrate the utility of FPOP–MS to characterise protein variants in different conformational states and to provide insights into protein folding mechanisms that are complementary to measurements such as hydrogen/deuterium exchange labelling and Φ-value analysis. PMID:25746386

  19. Emerging role of N- and C-terminal interactions in stabilizing (β/α)8 fold with special emphasis on Family 10 xylanases

    PubMed Central

    Bhardwaj, Amit; Mahanta, Pranjal; Ramakumar, Suryanarayanarao; Ghosh, Amit; Leelavathi, Sadhu; Reddy, Vanga Siva

    2012-01-01

    Xylanases belong to an important class of industrial enzymes. Various xylanases have been purified and characterized from a plethora of organisms including bacteria, marine algae, plants, protozoans, insects, snails and crustaceans. Depending on the source, the enzymatic activity of xylanases varies considerably under various physico-chemical conditions such as temperature, pH, high salt and in the presence of proteases. Family 10 or glycosyl hydrolase 10 (GH10) xylanases are one of the well characterized and thoroughly studied classes of industrial enzymes. The TIM-barrel fold structure which is ubiquitous in nature is one of the characteristics of family 10 xylanases. Family 10 xylanases have been used as a “model system” due to their TIM-barrel fold to dissect and understand protein stability under various conditions. A better understanding of structure-stability-function relationships of family 10 xylanases allows one to apply these governing molecular rules to engineer other TIM-barrel fold proteins to improve their stability and retain function(s) under adverse conditions. In this review, we discuss the implications of N-and C-terminal interactions, observed in family 10 xylanases on protein stability under extreme conditions. The role of metal binding and aromatic clusters in protein stability is also discussed. Studying and understanding family 10 xylanase structure and function, can contribute to our protein engineering knowledge. PMID:24688655

  20. A new approach to the design of uniquely folded thermally stable proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, X.; Farid, H.; Pistor, E.; Farid, R. S.

    2000-01-01

    A new computer program (CORE) is described that predicts core hydrophobic sequences of predetermined target protein structures. A novel scoring function is employed, which for the first time incorporates parameters directly correlated to free energies of unfolding (deltaGu), melting temperatures (Tm), and cooperativity. Metropolis-driven simulated annealing and low-temperature Monte Carlo sampling are used to optimize this score, generating sequences predicted to yield uniquely folded, stable proteins with cooperative unfolding transitions. The hydrophobic core residues of four natural proteins were predicted using CORE with the backbone structure and solvent exposed residues as input. In the two smaller proteins tested (Gbeta1, 11 core amino acids; 434 cro, 10 core amino acids), the native sequence was regenerated as well as the sequence of known thermally stable variants that exhibit cooperative denaturation transitions. Previously designed sequences of variants with lower thermal stability and weaker cooperativity were not predicted. In the two larger proteins tested (myoglobin, 32 core amino acids; methionine aminopeptidase, 63 core amino acids), sequences with corresponding side-chain conformations remarkably similar to that of native were predicted. PMID:10716193

  1. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M.; Sim, Valerie L.; Woodside, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation. PMID:27346148

  2. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M.; Sim, Valerie L.; Woodside, Michael T.

    2016-06-01

    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation.

  3. Using D-amino acids to delineate the mechanism of protein folding: Application to Trp-cage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culik, Robert M.; Annavarapu, Srinivas; Nanda, Vikas; Gai, Feng

    2013-08-01

    Using the miniprotein Trp-cage as a model, we show that D-amino acids can be used to facilitate the delineation of protein folding mechanism. Specifically, we study the folding-unfolding kinetics of three Trp-cage mutants where the native glycine residue near the C-terminus of the α-helix is replaced by a D-amino acid. A previous study showed that these mutations increase the Trp-cage stability, due to a terminal capping effect. Our results show that the stabilizing effect of D-asparagine and D-glutamine originates almost exclusively from a decrease in the unfolding rate, while the D-alanine mutation results in a similar decrease in the unfolding rate, but it also increases the folding rate. Together, these results support a folding mechanism wherein the α-helix formation in the transition state is nucleated at the N-terminus, whereas those long-range native interactions stabilizing this helix are developed at the downhill side of the folding free energy barrier.

  4. A growing toolbox of techniques for studying β-barrel outer membrane protein folding and biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Horne, Jim E.; Radford, Sheena E.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27284045

  5. Chemical, physical, and theoretical kinetics of an ultrafast folding protein

    PubMed Central

    Kubelka, Jan; Henry, Eric R.; Cellmer, Troy; Hofrichter, James; Eaton, William A.

    2008-01-01

    An extensive set of equilibrium and kinetic data is presented and analyzed for an ultrafast folding protein—the villin subdomain. The equilibrium data consist of the excess heat capacity, tryptophan fluorescence quantum yield, and natural circular-dichroism spectrum as a function of temperature, and the kinetic data consist of time courses of the quantum yield from nanosecond-laser temperature-jump experiments. The data are well fit with three kinds of models—a three-state chemical-kinetics model, a physical-kinetics model, and an Ising-like theoretical model that considers 105 possible conformations (microstates). In both the physical-kinetics and theoretical models, folding is described as diffusion on a one-dimensional free-energy surface. In the physical-kinetics model the reaction coordinate is unspecified, whereas in the theoretical model, order parameters, either the fraction of native contacts or the number of native residues, are used as reaction coordinates. The validity of these two reaction coordinates is demonstrated from calculation of the splitting probability from the rate matrix of the master equation for all 105 microstates. The analysis of the data on site-directed mutants using the chemical-kinetics model provides information on the structure of the transition-state ensemble; the physical-kinetics model allows an estimate of the height of the free-energy barrier separating the folded and unfolded states; and the theoretical model provides a detailed picture of the free-energy surface and a residue-by-residue description of the evolution of the folded structure, yet contains many fewer adjustable parameters than either the chemical- or physical-kinetics models. PMID:19033473

  6. Nonlocal interactions stabilize compact folding intermediates in reduced unfolded bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Gottfried, D S; Haas, E

    1992-12-15

    To further our understanding of the protein folding process, it is desirable to examine the structural intermediates (equilibrium and kinetic) that are populated between the statistical coil state and the folded molecule. X-ray crystallography and NMR structural studies are unable to determine long-range distances in proteins under denaturing solution conditions. Nonradiative (Förster) energy transfer, however, has been shown to be a spectroscopic ruler for the measurement of distance distributions and diffusion between selected sites in proteins under a range of different solution conditions. The distributions of distances between a donor probe at the N-terminal residue and an acceptor attached to one of the four lysine residues (15, 26, 41, 46) of reduced and unfolded (in 6 M guanidine hydrochloride and 20 mM dithiothreitol) bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) were measured as a function of temperature. Even in strong denaturant and reducing agent, BPTI does not exist as a statistical coil polypeptide. It appears that nonlocal (long-range) interactions are already beginning to "fold" the protein toward a more compact, native conformation. As the temperature is increased under these conditions, hydrophobic interactions lead to an even more compact structure consistent with the predictions of phase diagrams for globular proteins. PMID:1281424

  7. Visualization of coupled protein folding and binding in bacteria and purification of the heterodimeric complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 and , 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 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.

  8. Cooperation between a salt bridge and the hydrophobic core triggers fold stabilization in a Trp-cage miniprotein.

    PubMed

    Hudáky, Péter; Stráner, Pál; Farkas, Viktor; Váradi, Györgyi; Tóth, Gábor; Perczel, András

    2008-01-22

    Miniproteins are adequate models to study various protein-structure modifying effects such as temperature, pH, point mutation(s), H-bonds, salt bridges, molecular packing, etc. Tc5b, a 20-residue Trp-cage protein is one of the smallest of such models with a stable 3D fold (Neidigh J. W. et al. (2002) Nat. Struct. Biol. 9, 425-430). However, Tc5b exhibits considerable heat-sensitivity and is only stable at relatively low temperatures. Here we report a systematic investigation of structural factors influencing the stability of Tc5b by solving its solution structure in different environments, varying temperature, and pH. The key interactions identified are the hydrophobic stacking of the aromatic rings of Tyr3 and Trp6 and the salt bridge formed between Asp9 and Arg18. To verify the importance of these interactions, selected variants (mutated, glycosylated and truncated) of Tc5b were designed, prepared, and investigated by NMR. Indeed, elimination of either of the key interactions highly destabilizes the structure. These observations enabled us to design a new variant, Tc6b, differing only by a methylene group from Tc5b, in which both key interactions are optimized simultaneously. Tc6b exhibits enhanced heat stability and adopts a stable fold at physiological temperature.

  9. 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.

  10. High-resolution x-ray crystal structures of the villin headpiece subdomain, an ultrafast folding protein

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Thang K.; Kubelka, Jan; Herbst-Irmer, Regine; Eaton, William A.; Hofrichter, James; Davies, David R.

    2005-01-01

    The 35-residue subdomain of the villin headpiece (HP35) is a small ultrafast folding protein that is being intensely studied by experiments, theory, and simulations. We have solved the x-ray structures of HP35 and its fastest folding mutant [K24 norleucine (nL)] to atomic resolution and compared their experimentally measured folding kinetics by using laser temperature jump. The structures, which are in different space groups, are almost identical to each other but differ significantly from previously solved NMR structures. Hence, the differences between the x-ray and NMR structures are probably not caused by lattice contacts or crystal/solution differences, but reflect the higher accuracy of the x-ray structures. The x-ray structures reveal important details of packing of the hydrophobic core and some additional features, such as cross-helical H bonds. Comparison of the x-ray structures indicates that the nL substitution produces only local perturbations. Consequently, the finding that the small stabilization by the mutation is completely reflected in an increased folding rate suggests that this region of the protein is as structured in the transition state as in the folded structure. It is therefore a target for engineering to increase the folding rate of the subdomain from ≈0.5 μs–1 for the nL mutant to the estimated theoretical speed limit of ≈3 μs–1. PMID:15894611

  11. 300-Fold Increase in Production of the Zn2+-Dependent Dechlorinase TrzN in Soluble Form via Apoenzyme Stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Coppin, Christopher W.; Carr, Paul D.; Aleksandrov, Alexey; Wilding, Matthew; Sugrue, Elena; Ubels, Joanna; Paks, Michael; Newman, Janet; Peat, Thomas S.; Russell, Robyn J.; Field, Martin; Weik, Martin; Oakeshott, John G.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial metalloenzymes constitute a large library of biocatalysts, a number of which have already been shown to catalyze the breakdown of toxic chemicals or industrially relevant chemical transformations. However, while there is considerable interest in harnessing these catalysts for biotechnology, for many of the enzymes, their large-scale production in active, soluble form in recombinant systems is a significant barrier to their use. In this work, we demonstrate that as few as three mutations can result in a 300-fold increase in the expression of soluble TrzN, an enzyme from Arthrobacter aurescens with environmental applications that catalyzes the hydrolysis of triazine herbicides, in Escherichia coli. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, kinetic analysis, and computational simulation, we show that the majority of the improvement in expression is due to stabilization of the apoenzyme rather than the metal ion-bound holoenzyme. This provides a structural and mechanistic explanation for the observation that many compensatory mutations can increase levels of soluble-protein production without increasing the stability of the final, active form of the enzyme. This study provides a molecular understanding of the importance of the stability of metal ion free states to the accumulation of soluble protein and shows that differences between apoenzyme and holoenzyme structures can result in mutations affecting the stability of either state differently. PMID:24771025

  12. Translocation boost protein-folding efficiency of double-barreled chaperonins.

    PubMed

    Coluzza, Ivan; van der Vies, Saskia M; Frenkel, Daan

    2006-05-15

    Incorrect folding of proteins in living cells may lead to malfunctioning of the cell machinery. To prevent such cellular disasters from happening, all cells contain molecular chaperones that assist nonnative proteins in folding into the correct native structure. One of the most studied chaperone complexes is the GroEL-GroES complex. The GroEL part has a "double-barrel" structure, which consists of two cylindrical chambers joined at the bottom in a symmetrical fashion. The hydrophobic rim of one of the GroEL chambers captures nonnative proteins. The GroES part acts as a lid that temporarily closes the filled chamber during the folding process. Several capture-folding-release cycles are required before the nonnative protein reaches its native state. Here we report molecular simulations that suggest that translocation of the nonnative protein through the equatorial plane of the complex boosts the efficiency of the chaperonin action. If the target protein is correctly folded after translocation, it is released. However, if it is still nonnative, it is likely to remain trapped in the second chamber, which then closes to start a reverse translocation process. This shuttling back and forth continues until the protein is correctly folded. Our model provides a natural explanation for the prevalence of double-barreled chaperonins. Moreover, we argue that internal folding is both more efficient and safer than a scenario where partially refolded proteins escape from the complex before being recaptured.

  13. Exploring volume, compressibility and hydration changes of folded proteins upon compression.

    PubMed

    Voloshin, Vladimir P; Medvedev, Nikolai N; Smolin, Nikolai; Geiger, Alfons; Winter, Roland

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the physical basis of the structure, stability and function of proteins in solution, including extreme environmental conditions, requires knowledge of their temperature and pressure dependent volumetric properties. One physical-chemical property of proteins that is still little understood is their partial molar volume and its dependence on temperature and pressure. We used molecular dynamics simulations of aqueous solutions of a typical monomeric folded protein, staphylococcal nuclease (SNase), to study and analyze the pressure dependence of the apparent volume, Vapp, and its components by the Voronoi-Delaunay method. We show that the strong decrease of Vapp with pressure (βT = 0.95 × 10(-5) bar(-1), in very good agreement with the experimental value) is essentially due to the compression of the molecular volume, VM, ultimately, of its internal voids, V. Changes of the intrinsic volume (defined as the Voronoi volume of the molecule), the contribution of the solvent to the apparent volume, and of the contribution of the boundary voids between the protein and the solvent have also been studied and quantified in detail. The pressure dependences of the volumetric characteristics obtained are compared with the temperature dependent behavior of these quantities and with corresponding results for a natively unfolded polypeptide. PMID:25685984

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Protein hydrolysis by immobilized and stabilized trypsin.

    PubMed

    Marques, Daniela; Pessela, Benavides C; Betancor, Lorena; Monti, Rubens; Carrascosa, Alfonso V; Rocha-Martin, Javier; Guisán, Jose M; Fernandez-Lorente, Gloria

    2011-01-01

    The preparation of novel immobilized and stabilized derivatives of trypsin is reported here. The new derivatives preserved 80% of the initial catalytic activity toward synthetic substrates [benzoyl-arginine p-nitroanilide (BAPNA)] and were 50,000-fold more thermally stable than the diluted soluble enzyme in the absence of autolysis. Trypsin was immobilized on highly activated glyoxyl-Sepharose following a two-step immobilization strategy: (a) first, a multipoint covalent immobilization at pH 8.5 that only involves low pK(a) amino groups (e.g., those derived from the activation of trypsin from trypsinogen) is performed and (b) next, an additional alkaline incubation at pH 10 is performed to favor an intense, additional multipoint immobilization between the high concentration of proximate aldehyde groups on the support surface and the high pK(a) amino groups at the enzyme surface region that participated in the first immobilization step. Interestingly, the new, highly stable trypsin derivatives were also much more active in the proteolysis of high molecular weight proteins when compared with a nonstabilized derivative prepared on CNBr-activated Sepharose. In fact, all the proteins contained a cheese whey extract had been completely proteolyzed after 6 h at pH 9 and 50°C, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Under these experimental conditions, the immobilized biocatalysts preserve more than 90% of their initial activity after 20 days. Analysis of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the best immobilized trypsin derivative showed a surface region containing two amino terminal groups and five lysine (Lys) residues that may be responsible for this novel and interesting immobilization and stabilization. Moreover, this region is relatively far from the active site of the enzyme, which could explain the good results obtained for the hydrolysis of high-molecular weight proteins.

  17. Folded state of the integral membrane colicin E1 immunity protein in solvents of mixed polarity.

    PubMed

    Taylor, R M; Zakharov, S D; Bernard Heymann, J; Girvin, M E; Cramer, W A

    2000-10-10

    The colicin E1 immunity protein (ImmE1), a 13.2-kDa hydrophobic integral membrane protein localized in the Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membrane, protects the cell from the lethal, channel-forming activity of the bacteriocin, colicin E1. Utilizing its solubility in organic solvents, ImmE1 was purified by 1-butanol extraction of isolated membranes, followed by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography in a chloroform/methanol/H(2)O (4:4:1) solvent system. Circular dichroism analysis indicated that the alpha-helical content of ImmE1 is approximately 80% in 1-butanol or 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol, consistent with a previous membrane-folding model with three extended hydrophobic transmembrane helical domains, H1-H3. Each of these extended hydrophobic domains contains a centrally located single Cys residue that could be used as a probe of protein structure. The presence of tertiary structure of purified ImmE1 in a solvent of mixed polarity, chloroform/methanol/H(2)O (4:4:1) was demonstrated by (i) the constraints on Tyr residues shown by the amplitude of near-UV circular dichroism spectra in the wavelength interval, 270-285 nm; (ii) the correlation between the near-UV Tyr CD spectrum of single and double Cys-to-X mutants of the Imm protein and their in vivo activity; (iii) the upfield shift of methyl groups in a 1D NMR spectrum, a 2D- HSQC NMR spectrum of ImmE1 in the mixed polarity solvent mixture, and a broadening and disappearance of the indole (1)H proton resonance from Trp94 in H3 by a spin label attached to Cys16 in the H2 hydrophobic domain; (iv) near-UV circular dichroism spectra with a prominent ellipticity band centered at 290 nm from a single Trp inserted into the extended hydrophobic domains. It was concluded that the colicin E1 immunity protein adopts a folded conformation in chloroform/methanol/H(2)O (4:4:1) that is stabilized by helix-helix interactions. Analysis of the probable membrane folding topology indicated that several Tyr residues in the bilayer

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Processing of cholinesterase-like α/β-hydrolase fold proteins: alterations associated with congenital disorders.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    The α/β hydrolase fold family is perhaps the largest group of proteins presenting significant structural homology with divergent functions, ranging from catalytic hydrolysis to heterophilic cell adhesive interactions to chaperones in hormone production. All the proteins of the family share a common three-dimensional core structure containing the α/β hydrolase fold domain that is crucial for proper protein function. Several mutations associated with congenital diseases or disorders have been reported in conserved residues within the α/β-hydrolase fold domain of cholinesterase-like proteins, neuroligins, butyrylcholinesterase and thyroglobulin. These mutations are known to disrupt the architecture of the common structural domain either globally or locally. Characterization of the natural mutations affecting the α/β-hydrolase fold domain in these proteins has shown that they mainly impair processing and trafficking along the secretory pathway causing retention of the mutant protein in the endoplasmic reticulum. Studying the processing of α/β-hydrolase fold mutant proteins should uncover new functions for this domain, that in some cases require structural integrity for both export of the protein from the ER and for facilitating subunit dimerization. A comparative study of homologous mutations in proteins that are closely related family members, along with the definition of new three-dimensional crystal structures, will identify critical residues for the assembly of the α/β-hydrolase fold.

  1. Subdomain Interactions Foster the Design of Two Protein Pairs with ∼80% Sequence Identity but Different Folds

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Lauren L.; He, Yanan; Chen, Yihong; Orban, John; Bryan, Philip N.

    2015-01-01

    Metamorphic proteins, including proteins with high levels of sequence identity but different folds, are exceptions to the long-standing rule-of-thumb that proteins with as little as 30% sequence identity adopt the same fold. Which topologies can be bridged by these highly identical sequences remains an open question. Here we bridge two 3-α-helix bundle proteins with two radically different folds. Using a straightforward approach, we engineered the sequences of one subdomain within maltose binding protein (MBP, α/β/α-sandwich) and another within outer surface protein A (OspA, β-sheet) to have high sequence identity (80 and 77%, respectively) with engineered variants of protein G (GA, 3-α-helix bundle). Circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of all engineered variants demonstrate that they maintain their native conformations despite substantial sequence modification. Furthermore, the MBP variant (80% identical to GA) remained active. Thermodynamic analysis of numerous GA and MBP variants suggests that the key to our approach involved stabilizing the modified MBP and OspA subdomains via external interactions with neighboring substructures, indicating that subdomain interactions can stabilize alternative folds over a broad range of sequence variation. These findings suggest that it is possible to bridge one fold with many other topologies, which has implications for protein folding, evolution, and misfolding diseases. PMID:25564862

  2. 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.

  3. Distinct Contribution of Electrostatics, Initial Conformational Ensemble, and Macromolecular Stability in RNA Folding

    SciTech Connect

    Laederach,A.; Shcherbakova, I.; Jonikas, M.; Altman, R.; Brenowitz, M.

    2007-01-01

    We distinguish the contribution of the electrostatic environment, initial conformational ensemble, and macromolecular stability on the folding mechanism of a large RNA using a combination of time-resolved 'Fast Fenton' hydroxyl radical footprinting and exhaustive kinetic modeling. This integrated approach allows us to define the folding landscape of the L-21 Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron structurally and kinetically from its earliest steps with unprecedented accuracy. Distinct parallel pathways leading the RNA to its native form upon its Mg2+-induced folding are observed. The structures of the intermediates populating the pathways are not affected by variation of the concentration and type of background monovalent ions (electrostatic environment) but are altered by a mutation that destabilizes one domain of the ribozyme. Experiments starting from different conformational ensembles but folding under identical conditions show that whereas the electrostatic environment modulates molecular flux through different pathways, the initial conformational ensemble determines the partitioning of the flux. This study showcases a robust approach for the development of kinetic models from collections of local structural probes.

  4. Signatures of the Protein Folding Pathway in Two-Dimensional Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The function of protein relies on their folding to assume the proper structure. Probing the structural variations during the folding process is crucial for understanding the underlying mechanism. We present a combined quantum mechanics/molecular dynamics simulation study that demonstrates how coherent resonant nonlinear ultraviolet spectra can be used to follow the fast folding dynamics of a mini-protein, Trp-cage. Two dimensional ultraviolet signals of the backbone transitions carry rich information of both local (secondary) and global (tertiary) structures. The complexity of signals decreases as the conformational entropy decreases in the course of the folding process. We show that the approximate entropy of the signals provides a quantitative marker of protein folding status, accessible by both theoretical calculations and experiments. PMID:24803996

  5. BiP Clustering Facilitates Protein Folding in the Endoplasmic Reticulum

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Anne S.; Petzold, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The chaperone BiP participates in several regulatory processes within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER): translocation, protein folding, and ER-associated degradation. To facilitate protein folding, a cooperative mechanism known as entropic pulling has been proposed to demonstrate the molecular-level understanding of how multiple BiP molecules bind to nascent and unfolded proteins. Recently, experimental evidence revealed the spatial heterogeneity of BiP within the nuclear and peripheral ER of S. cerevisiae (commonly referred to as ‘clusters’). Here, we developed a model to evaluate the potential advantages of accounting for multiple BiP molecules binding to peptides, while proposing that BiP's spatial heterogeneity may enhance protein folding and maturation. Scenarios were simulated to gauge the effectiveness of binding multiple chaperone molecules to peptides. Using two metrics: folding efficiency and chaperone cost, we determined that the single binding site model achieves a higher efficiency than models characterized by multiple binding sites, in the absence of cooperativity. Due to entropic pulling, however, multiple chaperones perform in concert to facilitate the resolubilization and ultimate yield of folded proteins. As a result of cooperativity, multiple binding site models used fewer BiP molecules and maintained a higher folding efficiency than the single binding site model. These insilico investigations reveal that clusters of BiP molecules bound to unfolded proteins may enhance folding efficiency through cooperative action via entropic pulling. PMID:24991821

  6. BiP clustering facilitates protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

    Griesemer, Marc; Young, Carissa; Robinson, Anne S; Petzold, Linda

    2014-07-01

    The chaperone BiP participates in several regulatory processes within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER): translocation, protein folding, and ER-associated degradation. To facilitate protein folding, a cooperative mechanism known as entropic pulling has been proposed to demonstrate the molecular-level understanding of how multiple BiP molecules bind to nascent and unfolded proteins. Recently, experimental evidence revealed the spatial heterogeneity of BiP within the nuclear and peripheral ER of S. cerevisiae (commonly referred to as 'clusters'). Here, we developed a model to evaluate the potential advantages of accounting for multiple BiP molecules binding to peptides, while proposing that BiP's spatial heterogeneity may enhance protein folding and maturation. Scenarios were simulated to gauge the effectiveness of binding multiple chaperone molecules to peptides. Using two metrics: folding efficiency and chaperone cost, we determined that the single binding site model achieves a higher efficiency than models characterized by multiple binding sites, in the absence of cooperativity. Due to entropic pulling, however, multiple chaperones perform in concert to facilitate the resolubilization and ultimate yield of folded proteins. As a result of cooperativity, multiple binding site models used fewer BiP molecules and maintained a higher folding efficiency than the single binding site model. These insilico investigations reveal that clusters of BiP molecules bound to unfolded proteins may enhance folding efficiency through cooperative action via entropic pulling. PMID:24991821

  7. BiP clustering facilitates protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

    Griesemer, Marc; Young, Carissa; Robinson, Anne S; Petzold, Linda

    2014-07-01

    The chaperone BiP participates in several regulatory processes within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER): translocation, protein folding, and ER-associated degradation. To facilitate protein folding, a cooperative mechanism known as entropic pulling has been proposed to demonstrate the molecular-level understanding of how multiple BiP molecules bind to nascent and unfolded proteins. Recently, experimental evidence revealed the spatial heterogeneity of BiP within the nuclear and peripheral ER of S. cerevisiae (commonly referred to as 'clusters'). Here, we developed a model to evaluate the potential advantages of accounting for multiple BiP molecules binding to peptides, while proposing that BiP's spatial heterogeneity may enhance protein folding and maturation. Scenarios were simulated to gauge the effectiveness of binding multiple chaperone molecules to peptides. Using two metrics: folding efficiency and chaperone cost, we determined that the single binding site model achieves a higher efficiency than models characterized by multiple binding sites, in the absence of cooperativity. Due to entropic pulling, however, multiple chaperones perform in concert to facilitate the resolubilization and ultimate yield of folded proteins. As a result of cooperativity, multiple binding site models used fewer BiP molecules and maintained a higher folding efficiency than the single binding site model. These insilico investigations reveal that clusters of BiP molecules bound to unfolded proteins may enhance folding efficiency through cooperative action via entropic pulling.

  8. Direct application of a simple model to the quantitative analysis of experiments on an ultrafast folding protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Eric

    2007-03-01

    A simple Ising-like statistical-mechanical model for protein folding (Henry and Eaton, Chem. Phys. 307, 163-185, 2004) is used to analyze a broad set of experimental data on the ultrafast folding villin subdomain. In this model each residue in the protein sequence can adopt one of two possible microscopic states corresponding to native and non-native conformations; model protein states are identified with distinct sequences of native/non-native residues. The folding properties of the protein are determined entirely by the map of inter-residue contacts in the native structure. To compute partition functions by complete enumeration of all protein states, only those states are included that contain at most two contiguous sequences of native residues. Native contacts are only permitted between residues lying in such contiguous sequences. The stability of any state of the chain is determined by the offsetting effects of the stabilizing native contacts and the destabilizing entropy losses associated with fixing residues in the native conformation and with closing loops of nonnative residues created by contacts between distinct native sequences. In a least-squares fitting analysis, the temperature-dependent populations predicted by the model for all the protein states, combined with a simple description of the spectroscopic properties of individual states, are used to model the results of spectroscopic and thermodynamic experiments. The model reproduces the temperature dependence of the excess heat capacity, tryptophan fluorescence quantum yield, circular dichroism, and relaxation rates and amplitudes, as well as the effects of site-directed mutants on the folding rates and equilibrium constants.

  9. Systematic characterization of protein folding pathways using diffusion maps: Application to Trp-cage miniprotein

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sang Beom; Dsilva, Carmeline J.; Debenedetti, Pablo G.; Kevrekidis, Ioannis G.

    2015-02-28

    Understanding the mechanisms by which proteins fold from disordered amino-acid chains to spatially ordered structures remains an area of active inquiry. Molecular simulations can provide atomistic details of the folding dynamics which complement experimental findings. Conventional order parameters, such as root-mean-square deviation and radius of gyration, provide structural information but fail to capture the underlying dynamics of the protein folding process. It is therefore advantageous to adopt a method that can systematically analyze simulation data to extract relevant structural as well as dynamical information. The nonlinear dimensionality reduction technique known as diffusion maps automatically embeds the high-dimensional folding trajectories in a lower-dimensional space from which one can more easily visualize folding pathways, assuming the data lie approximately on a lower-dimensional manifold. The eigenvectors that parametrize the low-dimensional space, furthermore, are determined systematically, rather than chosen heuristically, as is done with phenomenological order parameters. We demonstrate that diffusion maps can effectively characterize the folding process of a Trp-cage miniprotein. By embedding molecular dynamics simulation trajectories of Trp-cage folding in diffusion maps space, we identify two folding pathways and intermediate structures that are consistent with the previous studies, demonstrating that this technique can be employed as an effective way of analyzing and constructing protein folding pathways from molecular simulations.

  10. Biophysical Analysis of the MHR Motif in Folding and Domain Swapping of the HIV Capsid Protein C-Terminal Domain

    PubMed Central

    Bocanegra, Rebeca; Fuertes, Miguel Ángel; Rodríguez-Huete, Alicia; Neira, José Luis; Mateu, Mauricio G.

    2015-01-01

    Infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) depends on the function, in virion morphogenesis and other stages of the viral cycle, of a highly conserved structural element, the major homology region (MHR), within the carboxyterminal domain (CTD) of the capsid protein. In a modified CTD dimer, MHR is swapped between monomers. While no evidence for MHR swapping has been provided by structural models of retroviral capsids, it is unknown whether it may occur transiently along the virus assembly pathway. Whatever the case, the MHR-swapped dimer does provide a novel target for the development of anti-HIV drugs based on the concept of trapping a nonnative capsid protein conformation. We have carried out a thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of the domain-swapped CTD dimer in solution. The analysis includes a dissection of the role of conserved MHR residues and other amino acids at the dimerization interface in CTD folding, stability, and dimerization by domain swapping. The results revealed some energetic hotspots at the domain-swapped interface. In addition, many MHR residues that are not in the protein hydrophobic core were nevertheless found to be critical for folding and stability of the CTD monomer, which may dramatically slow down the swapping reaction. Conservation of MHR residues in retroviruses did not correlate with their contribution to domain swapping, but it did correlate with their importance for stable CTD folding. Because folding is required for capsid protein function, this remarkable MHR-mediated conformational stabilization of CTD may help to explain the functional roles of MHR not only during immature capsid assembly but in other processes associated with retrovirus infection. This energetic dissection of the dimerization interface in MHR-swapped CTD may also facilitate the design of anti-HIV compounds that inhibit capsid assembly by conformational trapping of swapped CTD dimers. PMID:25606682

  11. Hands-on Force Spectroscopy: Weird Springs and Protein Folding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Euler, Manfred

    2008-01-01

    A force spectroscopy model experiment is presented using a low-cost tensile apparatus described earlier. Force-extension measurements of twisted rubber bands are obtained. They exhibit a complex nonlinear elastic behaviour that resembles atomic force spectroscopy investigations of molecules of titin, a muscle protein. The model experiments open up…

  12. Redox regulation of protein folding in the mitochondrial intermembrane space

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Carla M.; Tienson, Heather L.

    2014-01-01

    Protein translocation pathways to the mitochondrial matrix and inner membrane have been well characterized. However, translocation into the intermembrane space, which was thought to be simply a modification of the traditional translocation pathways, is complex. The mechanism by which a subset of intermembrane space proteins, those with disulfide bonds, are translocated has been largely unknown until recently. Specifically, the intermembrane space proteins with disulfide bonds are imported via the mitochondrial intermembrane space assembly (MIA) pathway. Substrates are imported via a disulfide exchange relay with two components Mia40 and Erv1. This new breakthrough has resulted in novel concepts for assembly of proteins in the intermembrane space, suggesting that this compartment may be similar to that of the endoplasmic reticulum and the prokaryotic periplasm. As a better understanding of this pathway emerges, new paradigms for thiol-disulfide exchange mechanisms may be developed. Given that the intermembrane space is important for disease processes including apoptosis and neurodegeneration, new roles in regulation by oxidation–reduction chemistry seem likely to be relevant. PMID:18761382

  13. Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics Lecture: Single-molecule protein folding and transition paths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, William

    2012-02-01

    The transition path is the tiny fraction of an equilibrium molecular trajectory when a transition occurs by crossing the free energy barrier between two states. It is a uniquely single-molecule property, and has not yet been observed experimentally for any system in the condensed phase. The importance of the transition path in protein folding is that it contains all of the mechanistic information on how a protein folds. As a major step toward observing transition paths, we have determined the average transition-path time for a fast and a slow-folding protein from a photon-by-photon analysis of fluorescence trajectories in single-molecule FRET experiments. While the folding rate coefficients differ by 10,000-fold, surprisingly, the transition-path times differ by less than 5-fold, showing that a successful barrier crossing event takes almost the same time for a fast- and a slow-folding protein, i.e. almost the same time to fold when it actually happens.

  14. Amino Acid Distribution Rules Predict Protein Fold: Protein Grammar for Beta-Strand Sandwich-Like Structures

    PubMed Central

    Kister, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    We present an alternative approach to protein 3D folding prediction based on determination of rules that specify distribution of “favorable” residues, that are mainly responsible for a given fold formation, and “unfavorable” residues, that are incompatible with that fold, in polypeptide sequences. The process of determining favorable and unfavorable residues is iterative. The starting assumptions are based on the general principles of protein structure formation as well as structural features peculiar to a protein fold under investigation. The initial assumptions are tested one-by-one for a set of all known proteins with a given structure. The assumption is accepted as a “rule of amino acid distribution” for the protein fold if it holds true for all, or near all, structures. If the assumption is not accepted as a rule, it can be modified to better fit the data and then tested again in the next step of the iterative search algorithm, or rejected. We determined the set of amino acid distribution rules for a large group of beta sandwich-like proteins characterized by a specific arrangement of strands in two beta sheets. It was shown that this set of rules is highly sensitive (~90%) and very specific (~99%) for identifying sequences of proteins with specified beta sandwich fold structure. The advantage of the proposed approach is that it does not require that query proteins have a high degree of homology to proteins with known structure. So long as the query protein satisfies residue distribution rules, it can be confidently assigned to its respective protein fold. Another advantage of our approach is that it allows for a better understanding of which residues play an essential role in protein fold formation. It may, therefore, facilitate rational protein engineering design. PMID:25625198

  15. Malleability of the folding mechanism of the outer membrane protein PagP: parallel pathways and the effect of membrane elasticity.

    PubMed

    Huysmans, Gerard H M; Radford, Sheena E; Baldwin, Stephen A; Brockwell, David J

    2012-02-24

    Understanding the interactions between membrane proteins and the lipid bilayer is key to increasing our ability to predict and tailor the folding mechanism, structure and stability of membrane proteins. Here, we have investigated the effects of changing the membrane composition and the relative concentrations of protein and lipid on the folding mechanism of the bacterial outer membrane protein PagP. The folding pathway, monitored by tryptophan fluorescence, was found to be characterized by a burst phase, representing PagP adsorption to the liposome surface, followed by a time course that reflects the folding and insertion of the protein into the membrane. In 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (diC(12:0)PC) liposomes, the post-adsorption time course fits well to a single exponential at high lipid-to-protein ratios (LPRs), but at low LPRs, a second exponential phase with a slower folding rate constant is observed. Interrupted refolding assays demonstrated that the two exponential phases reflect the presence of parallel folding pathways. Partitioning between these pathways was found to be modulated by the elastic properties of the membrane. Folding into mixed 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine:diC(12:0)PC liposomes resulted in a decrease in PagP adsorption to the liposomes and a switch to the slower folding pathway. By contrast, inclusion of 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoserine into diC(12:0)PC liposomes resulted in a decrease in the folding rate of the fast pathway. The results highlight the effect of lipid composition in tailoring the folding mechanism of a membrane protein, revealing that membrane proteins have access to multiple, competing folding routes to a unique native structure.

  16. A hybrid MD-kMC algorithm for folding proteins in explicit solvent.

    PubMed

    Peter, Emanuel Karl; Shea, Joan-Emma

    2014-04-14

    We present a novel hybrid MD-kMC algorithm that is capable of efficiently folding proteins in explicit solvent. We apply this algorithm to the folding of a small protein, Trp-Cage. Different kMC move sets that capture different possible rate limiting steps are implemented. The first uses secondary structure formation as a relevant rate event (a combination of dihedral rotations and hydrogen-bonding formation and breakage). The second uses tertiary structure formation events through formation of contacts via translational moves. Both methods fold the protein, but via different mechanisms and with different folding kinetics. The first method leads to folding via a structured helical state, with kinetics fit by a single exponential. The second method leads to folding via a collapsed loop, with kinetics poorly fit by single or double exponentials. In both cases, folding times are faster than experimentally reported values, The secondary and tertiary move sets are integrated in a third MD-kMC implementation, which now leads to folding of the protein via both pathways, with single and double-exponential fits to the rates, and to folding rates in good agreement with experimental values. The competition between secondary and tertiary structure leads to a longer search for the helix-rich intermediate in the case of the first pathway, and to the emergence of a kinetically trapped long-lived molten-globule collapsed state in the case of the second pathway. The algorithm presented not only captures experimentally observed folding intermediates and kinetics, but yields insights into the relative roles of local and global interactions in determining folding mechanisms and rates. PMID:24499973

  17. Predicting protein folding rate change upon point mutation using residue-level coevolutionary information.

    PubMed

    Mallik, Saurav; Das, Smita; Kundu, Sudip

    2016-01-01

    Change in folding kinetics of globular proteins upon point mutation is crucial to a wide spectrum of biological research, such as protein misfolding, toxicity, and aggregations. Here we seek to address whether residue-level coevolutionary information of globular proteins can be informative to folding rate changes upon point mutations. Generating residue-level coevolutionary networks of globular proteins, we analyze three parameters: relative coevolution order (rCEO), network density (ND), and characteristic path length (CPL). A point mutation is considered to be equivalent to a node deletion of this network and respective percentage changes in rCEO, ND, CPL are found linearly correlated (0.84, 0.73, and -0.61, respectively) with experimental folding rate changes. The three parameters predict the folding rate change upon a point mutation with 0.031, 0.045, and 0.059 standard errors, respectively.

  18. Molecular origins of internal friction effects on protein-folding rates.

    PubMed

    de Sancho, David; Sirur, Anshul; Best, Robert B

    2014-07-02

    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.

  19. Efficient traversal of beta-sheet protein folding pathways using ensemble models.

    PubMed

    Shenker, Solomon; O'Donnell, Charles W; Devadas, Srinivas; Berger, Bonnie; Waldispühl, Jérôme

    2011-11-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can now predict ms-timescale folding processes of small proteins; however, this presently requires hundreds of thousands of CPU hours and is primarily applicable to short peptides with few long-range interactions. Larger and slower-folding proteins, such as many with extended β-sheet structure, would require orders of magnitude more time and computing resources. Furthermore, when the objective is to determine only which folding events are necessary and limiting, atomistic detail MD simulations can prove unnecessary. Here, we introduce the program tFolder as an efficient method for modelling the folding process of large β-sheet proteins using sequence data alone. To do so, we extend existing ensemble β-sheet prediction techniques, which permitted only a fixed anti-parallel β-barrel shape, with a method that predicts arbitrary β-strand/β-strand orientations and strand-order permutations. By accounting for all partial and final structural states, we can then model the transition from random coil to native state as a Markov process, using a master equation to simulate population dynamics of folding over time. Thus, all putative folding pathways can be energetically scored, including which transitions present the greatest barriers. Since correct folding pathway prediction is likely determined by the accuracy of contact prediction, we demonstrate the accuracy of tFolder to be comparable with state-of-the-art methods designed specifically for the contact prediction problem alone. We validate our method for dynamics prediction by applying it to the folding pathway of the well-studied Protein G. With relatively very little computation time, tFolder is able to reveal critical features of the folding pathways which were only previously observed through time-consuming MD simulations and experimental studies. Such a result greatly expands the number of proteins whose folding pathways can be studied, while the algorithmic integration of

  20. Mechanical Folding and Unfolding of Protein Barnase at the Single-Molecule Level.

    PubMed

    Alemany, Anna; Rey-Serra, Blanca; Frutos, Silvia; Cecconi, Ciro; Ritort, Felix

    2016-01-01

    The unfolding and folding of protein barnase has been extensively investigated in bulk conditions under the effect of denaturant and temperature. These experiments provided information about structural and kinetic features of both the native and the unfolded states of the protein, and debates about the possible existence of an intermediate state in the folding pathway have arisen. Here, we investigate the folding/unfolding reaction of protein barnase under the action of mechanical force at the single-molecule level using optical tweezers. We measure unfolding and folding force-dependent kinetic rates from pulling and passive experiments, respectively, and using Kramers-based theories (e.g., Bell-Evans and Dudko-Hummer-Szabo models), we extract the position of the transition state and the height of the kinetic barrier mediating unfolding and folding transitions, finding good agreement with previous bulk measurements. Measurements of the force-dependent kinetic barrier using the continuous effective barrier analysis show that protein barnase verifies the Leffler-Hammond postulate under applied force and allow us to extract its free energy of folding, ΔG0. The estimated value of ΔG0 is in agreement with our predictions obtained using fluctuation relations and previous bulk studies. To address the possible existence of an intermediate state on the folding pathway, we measure the power spectrum of force fluctuations at high temporal resolution (50 kHz) when the protein is either folded or unfolded and, additionally, we study the folding transition-path time at different forces. The finite bandwidth of our experimental setup sets the lifetime of potential intermediate states upon barnase folding/unfolding in the submillisecond timescale. PMID:26745410

  1. Inferring Stabilizing Mutations from Protein Phylogenies: Application to Influenza Hemagglutinin

    PubMed Central

    Bloom, Jesse D.; Glassman, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    One selection pressure shaping sequence evolution is the requirement that a protein fold with sufficient stability to perform its biological functions. We present a conceptual framework that explains how this requirement causes the probability that a particular amino acid mutation is fixed during evolution to depend on its effect on protein stability. We mathematically formalize this framework to develop a Bayesian approach for inferring the stability effects of individual mutations from homologous protein sequences of known phylogeny. This approach is able to predict published experimentally measured mutational stability effects (ΔΔG values) with an accuracy that exceeds both a state-of-the-art physicochemical modeling program and the sequence-based consensus approach. As a further test, we use our phylogenetic inference approach to predict stabilizing mutations to influenza hemagglutinin. We introduce these mutations into a temperature-sensitive influenza virus with a defect in its hemagglutinin gene and experimentally demonstrate that some of the mutations allow the virus to grow at higher temperatures. Our work therefore describes a powerful new approach for predicting stabilizing mutations that can be successfully applied even to large, complex proteins such as hemagglutinin. This approach also makes a mathematical link between phylogenetics and experimentally measurable protein properties, potentially paving the way for more accurate analyses of molecular evolution. PMID:19381264

  2. Structural and biochemical characterization of the cell fate determining nucleotidyltransferase fold protein MAB21L1

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira Mann, Carina C.; Kiefersauer, Reiner; Witte, Gregor; Hopfner, Karl-Peter

    2016-01-01

    The exceptionally conserved metazoan MAB21 proteins are implicated in cell fate decisions and share considerable sequence homology with the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase. cGAS is the major innate immune sensor for cytosolic DNA and produces the second messenger 2′-5′, 3′-5′ cyclic GMP-AMP. Little is known about the structure and biochemical function of other proteins of the cGAS-MAB21 subfamily, such as MAB21L1, MAB21L2 and MAB21L3. We have determined the crystal structure of human full-length MAB21L1. Our analysis reveals high structural conservation between MAB21L1 and cGAS but also uncovers important differences. Although monomeric in solution, MAB21L1 forms a highly symmetric double-pentameric oligomer in the crystal, raising the possibility that oligomerization could be a feature of MAB21L1. In the crystal, MAB21L1 is in an inactive conformation requiring a conformational change - similar to cGAS - to develop any nucleotidyltransferase activity. Co-crystallization with NTP identified a putative ligand binding site of MAB21 proteins that corresponds to the DNA binding site of cGAS. Finally, we offer a structure-based explanation for the effects of MAB21L2 mutations in patients with eye malformations. The underlying residues participate in fold-stabilizing interaction networks and mutations destabilize the protein. In summary, we provide a first structural framework for MAB21 proteins. PMID:27271801

  3. Transferable Coarse-Grained Potential for De Novo Protein Folding and Design

    PubMed Central

    Coluzza, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Protein folding and design are major biophysical problems, the solution of which would lead to important applications especially in medicine. Here we provide evidence of how a novel parametrization of the Caterpillar model may be used for both quantitative protein design and folding. With computer simulations it is shown that, for a large set of real protein structures, the model produces designed sequences with similar physical properties to the corresponding natural occurring sequences. The designed sequences require further experimental testing. For an independent set of proteins, previously used as benchmark, the correct folded structure of both the designed and the natural sequences is also demonstrated. The equilibrium folding properties are characterized by free energy calculations. The resulting free energy profiles not only are consistent among natural and designed proteins, but also show a remarkable precision when the folded structures are compared to the experimentally determined ones. Ultimately, the updated Caterpillar model is unique in the combination of its fundamental three features: its simplicity, its ability to produce natural foldable designed sequences, and its structure prediction precision. It is also remarkable that low frustration sequences can be obtained with such a simple and universal design procedure, and that the folding of natural proteins shows funnelled free energy landscapes without the need of any potentials based on the native structure. PMID:25436908

  4. Constructing a folding model for protein S6 guided by native fluctuations deduced from NMR structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammert, Heiko; Noel, Jeffrey K.; Haglund, Ellinor; Schug, Alexander; Onuchic, José N.

    2015-12-01

    The diversity in a set of protein nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures provides an estimate of native state fluctuations that can be used to refine and enrich structure-based protein models (SBMs). Dynamics are an essential part of a protein's functional native state. The dynamics in the native state are controlled by the same funneled energy landscape that guides the entire folding process. SBMs apply the principle of minimal frustration, drawn from energy landscape theory, to construct a funneled folding landscape for a given protein using only information from the native structure. On an energy landscape smoothed by evolution towards minimal frustration, geometrical constraints, imposed by the native structure, control the folding mechanism and shape the native dynamics revealed by the model. Native-state fluctuations can alternatively be estimated directly from the diversity in the set of NMR structures for a protein. Based on this information, we identify a highly flexible loop in the ribosomal protein S6 and modify the contact map in a SBM to accommodate the inferred dynamics. By taking into account the probable native state dynamics, the experimental transition state is recovered in the model, and the correct order of folding events is restored. Our study highlights how the shared energy landscape connects folding and function by showing that a better description of the native basin improves the prediction of the folding mechanism.

  5. Complex Pathways in Folding of Protein G Explored by Simulation and Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Lapidus, Lisa J.; Acharya, Srabasti; Schwantes, Christian R.; Wu, Ling; Shukla, Diwakar; King, Michael; DeCamp, Stephen J.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-01-01

    The B1 domain of protein G has been a classic model system of folding for decades, the subject of numerous experimental and computational studies. Most of the experimental work has focused on whether the protein folds via an intermediate, but the evidence is mostly limited to relatively slow kinetic observations with a few structural probes. In this work we observe folding on the submillisecond timescale with microfluidic mixers using a variety of probes including tryptophan fluorescence, circular dichroism, and photochemical oxidation. We find that each probe yields different kinetics and compare these observations with a Markov State Model constructed from large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and find a complex network of states that yield different kinetics for different observables. We conclude that there are many folding pathways before the final folding step and that these paths do not have large free energy barriers. PMID:25140430

  6. Acceleration of protein folding by four orders of magnitude through a single amino acid substitution

    PubMed Central

    Roderer, Daniel J. A.; Schärer, Martin A.; Rubini, Marina; Glockshuber, Rudi

    2015-01-01

    Cis prolyl peptide bonds are conserved structural elements in numerous protein families, although their formation is energetically unfavorable, intrinsically slow and often rate-limiting for folding. Here we investigate the reasons underlying the conservation of the cis proline that is diagnostic for the fold of thioredoxin-like thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases. We show that replacement of the conserved cis proline in thioredoxin by alanine can accelerate spontaneous folding to the native, thermodynamically most stable state by more than four orders of magnitude. However, the resulting trans alanine bond leads to small structural rearrangements around the active site that impair the function of thioredoxin as catalyst of electron transfer reactions by more than 100-fold. Our data provide evidence for the absence of a strong evolutionary pressure to achieve intrinsically fast folding rates, which is most likely a consequence of proline isomerases and molecular chaperones that guarantee high in vivo folding rates and yields. PMID:26121966

  7. How Adequate are One- and Two-Dimensional Free Energy Landscapes for Protein Folding Dynamics?

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    The molecular dynamics trajectories of protein folding or unfolding, generated with the coarse-grained united-residue force field for the B domain of staphylococcal protein A, were analyzed by principal component analysis (PCA). The folding or unfolding process was examined by using free-energy landscapes (FELs) in PC space. By introducing a novel multidimensional FEL, it was shown that the low-dimensional FELs are not always sufficient for the description of folding or unfolding processes. Similarities between the topographies of FELs along low- and high-indexed principal components were observed. PMID:19658975

  8. Single-molecule observation of protein folding in symmetric GroEL-(GroES)2 complexes.

    PubMed

    Takei, Yodai; Iizuka, Ryo; Ueno, Taro; Funatsu, Takashi

    2012-11-30

    The chaperonin, GroEL, is an essential molecular chaperone that mediates protein folding together with its cofactor, GroES, in Escherichia coli. It is widely believed that the two rings of GroEL alternate between the folding active state coupled to GroES binding during the reaction cycle. In other words, an asymmetric GroEL-GroES complex (the bullet-shaped complex) is formed throughout the cycle, whereas a symmetric GroEL-(GroES)(2) complex (the football-shaped complex) is not formed. We have recently shown that the football-shaped complex coexists with the bullet-shaped complex during the reaction cycle. However, how protein folding proceeds in the football-shaped complex remains poorly understood. Here, we used GFP as a substrate to visualize protein folding in the football-shaped complex by single-molecule fluorescence techniques. We directly showed that GFP folding occurs in both rings of the football-shaped complex. Remarkably, the folding was a sequential two-step reaction, and the kinetics were in excellent agreement with those in the bullet-shaped complex. These results demonstrate that the same reactions take place independently in both rings of the football-shaped complex to facilitate protein folding. PMID:23048033

  9. Balance Between Folding and Degradation for Hsp90-Dependent Client Proteins: A Key Role for CHIP

    PubMed Central

    Kundrat, Lenka; Regan, Lynne

    2011-01-01

    Cells must regulate the synthesis and degradation of their proteins to maintain a balance that is appropriate for their specific growth conditions. Here we present the results of an investigation of the balance between protein folding and degradation for mammalian chaperone Hsp90-dependent client proteins. The central players are the molecular chaperones Hsp70 and Hsp90, the co-chaperone HOP, and ubiquitin ligase, CHIP. Hsp70 and Hsp90 bind to HOP thus forming a ternary folding complex whereas the binding of CHIP to the chaperones has previously been shown to lead to ubiquitination and ultimately to degradation of the client proteins as well as the chaperones. To understand the folding/degradation balance in more detail, we characterized the stoichiometries of the CHIP-Hsp70 and CHIP-Hsp90 complexes and measured the corresponding dissociation constants to be ~ 1 µM and ~ 4.5 µM respectively. We quantified the rate of ubiquitination of various substrates by CHIP in vitro. We further determined that the folding and degradation machineries cannot coexist in one complex. Lastly, we measured the in vivo concentrations of Hsp70, Hsp90, HOP, and CHIP under normal conditions and when client proteins are being degraded due to inhibition of the folding pathway. These in vivo measurements along with the in vitro data allowed us to calculate the approximate cellular concentrations of the folding and degradation complexes under both conditions and formulate a quantitative model for the balance between protein folding and degradation as well as an explanation for the shift to client protein degradation when the folding pathway is inhibited. PMID:20704274

  10. Integral and differential form of the protein folding problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tramontano, Anna

    2004-07-01

    The availability of the complete genomic sequences of many species, including human, has raised enormous expectations in medicine, pharmacology, ecology, biotechnology and forensic sciences. However, knowledge is only a first step toward understanding, and we are only at the early stage of a scientific process that might lead us to satisfy all the expectations raised by the genomic projects. In this review I will discuss the present status of computational methods that attempt to infer the unique three-dimensional structure of proteins from their amino acid sequences. Although this problem has been defined as the “holy grail” of biology, it represents only one of the many hurdles in our path towards the understanding of life at a molecular level.

  11. Thermodynamic stability and kinetic foldability of a lattice protein model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jie; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Jian; Wang, Wei

    2004-04-01

    By using serial mutations, i.e., a residue replaced by 19 kinds of naturally occurring residues, the stability of native conformation and folding behavior of mutated sequences are studied. The 3×3×3 lattice protein model with two kinds of interaction potentials between the residues, namely the original Miyazawa and Jernigan (MJ) potentials and the modified MJ potentials (MMJ), is used. Effects of various sites in the mutated sequences on the stability and foldability are characterized through the Z-score and the folding time. It is found that the sites can be divided into three types, namely the hydrophobic-type (H-type), the hydrophilic-type (P-type) and the neutral-type (N-type). These three types of sites relate to the hydrophobic core, the hydrophilic surface and the parts between them. The stability of the native conformation for the serial mutated sequences increases (or decreases) as the increasing in the hydrophobicity of the mutated residues for the H-type sites (or the P-type sites), while varies randomly for the N-type sites. However, the foldability of the mutated sequences is not always consistent with the thermodynamic stability, and their relationship depends on the site types. Since the hydrophobic tendency of the MJ potentials is strong, the ratio between the number of the H-type sites and the number of the P-type sites is found to be 1:2. Differently, for the MJJ potentials it is found that such a ratio is about 1:1 which is relevant to that of real proteins. This suggests that the modification of the MJ potentials is rational in the aspect of thermodynamic stability. The folding of model proteins with the MMJ potentials is fast. However, the relationship between the foldability and the thermodynamic stability of the mutated sequences is complex.

  12. Metastasis-promoting anterior gradient 2 protein has a dimeric thioredoxin fold structure and a role in cell adhesion.

    PubMed

    Patel, Pryank; Clarke, Christopher; Barraclough, Dong Liu; Jowitt, Thomas Adam; Rudland, Philip Spencer; Barraclough, Roger; Lian, Lu-Yun

    2013-03-11

    Anterior gradient 2 (AGR2) is a normal endoplasmic reticulum protein that has two important abnormal functions, amphibian limb regeneration and human cancer metastasis promotion. These normal intracellular and abnormal extracellular roles can be attributed to the multidomain structure of AGR2. The NMR structure shows that AGR2 consists of an unstructured N-terminal region followed by a thioredoxin fold. The protein exists in monomer-dimer equilibrium with a K(d) of 8.83μM, and intermolecular salt bridges involving E60 and K64 within the folded domain serve to stabilize the dimer. The unstructured region is primarily responsible for the ability of AGR2 to promote cell adhesion, while dimerization is less important for this activity. The structural data of AGR2 show a separation between potential catalytic redox activity and adhesion function within the context of metastasis and development. PMID:23274113

  13. Stabilization of a protein nanocage through the plugging of a protein-protein interfacial water pocket.

    PubMed

    Ardejani, Maziar S; Li, Noel X; Orner, Brendan P

    2011-05-17

    The unique structural properties of the ferritin protein cages have provided impetus to focus on the methodical study of these self-assembling nanosystems. Among these proteins, Escherichia coli bacterioferritin (EcBfr), although architecturally very similar to other members of the family, shows structural instability and an incomplete self-assembly behavior by populating two oligomerization states. Through computational analysis and comparison to its homologues, we have found that this protein has a smaller than average dimeric interface on its 2-fold symmetry axis mainly because of the existence of an interfacial water pocket centered around two water-bridged asparagine residues. To investigate the possibility of engineering EcBfr for modified structural stability, we have used a semiempirical computational method to virtually explore the energy differences of the 480 possible mutants at the dimeric interface relative to that of wild-type EcBfr. This computational study also converged on the water-bridged asparagines. Replacing these two asparagines with hydrophobic amino acids resulted in proteins that folded into α-helical monomers and assembled into cages as evidenced by circular dichroism and transmission electron microscopy. Both thermal and chemical denaturation confirmed that, in all cases, these proteins, in agreement with the calculations, possessed increased stability. One of the three mutations shifts the population in favor of the higher-order oligomerization state in solution as evidenced by both size exclusion chromatography and native gel electrophoresis. These results taken together suggest that our low-level design was successful and that it may be possible to apply the strategy of targeting water pockets at protein--protein interfaces to other protein cage and self-assembling systems. More generally, this study further demonstrates the power of jointly employing in silico and in vitro techniques to understand and enhance biostructural

  14. Analyzing protein folding cooperativity by differential scanning calorimetry and NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Farber, Patrick; Darmawan, Hariyanto; Sprules, Tara; Mittermaier, Anthony

    2010-05-01

    Some marginally stable proteins undergo microsecond time scale folding reactions that involve significant populations of partly ordered forms, making it difficult to discern individual steps in their folding pathways. It has been suggested that many of these proteins fold non-cooperatively, with no significant barriers to separate the energy landscape into distinct thermodynamic states. Here we present an approach for studying the cooperativity of rapid protein folding with a combination of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation dispersion experiments, and an analysis of the temperature dependence of amide (1)H and (15)N chemical shifts. We applied this method to the PBX homeodomain (PBX-HD), which folds on the microsecond time scale and produces a broad DSC thermogram with an elevated and steeply sloping native-state heat capacity baseline, making it a candidate for barrierless folding. However, by globally fitting the NMR thermal melt and DSC data, and by comparing these results to those obtained from the NMR relaxation dispersion experiments, we show that the native form of the protein undergoes two-state exchange with a small population of the thermally denatured form, well below the melting temperature. This result directly demonstrates the coexistence of distinct folded and unfolded forms and firmly establishes that folding of PBX-HD is cooperative. Further, we see evidence of large-scale structural and dynamical changes within the native state by NMR, which helps to explain the broad and shallow DSC profile. This study illustrates the potential of combining calorimetry with NMR dynamics experiments to dissect mechanisms of protein folding.

  15. An FFT-based method for modeling protein folding and binding under crowding: benchmarking on ellipsoidal and all-atom crowders.

    PubMed

    Qin, Sanbo; Zhou, Huan-Xiang

    2013-10-01

    It is now well recognized that macromolecular crowding can exert significant effects on protein folding and binding stability. In order to calculate such effects in direct simulations of proteins mixed with bystander macromolecules, the latter (referred to as crowders) are usually modeled as spheres and the proteins represented at a coarse-grained level. Our recently developed postprocessing approach allows the proteins to be represented at the all-atom level but, for computational efficiency, has only been implemented for spherical crowders. Modeling crowder molecules in cellular environments and in vitro experiments as spheres may distort their effects on protein stability. Here we present a new method that is capable for treating aspherical crowders. The idea, borrowed from protein-protein docking, is to calculate the excess chemical potential of the proteins in crowded solution by fast Fourier transform (FFT). As the first application, we studied the effects of ellipsoidal crowders on the folding and binding free energies of all-atom proteins, and found, in agreement with previous direct simulations with coarse-grained protein models, that the aspherical crowders exert greater stabilization effects than spherical crowders of the same volume. Moreover, as demonstrated here, the FFT-based method has the important property that its computational cost does not increase strongly even when the level of details in representing the crowders is increased all the way to all-atom, thus significantly accelerating realistic modeling of protein folding and binding in cell-like environments. PMID:24187527

  16. Microscopic theory of protein folding rates. I. Fine structure of the free energy profile and folding routes from a variational approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portman, John J.; Takada, Shoji; Wolynes, Peter G.

    2001-03-01

    A microscopic theory of the free energy barriers and folding routes for minimally frustrated proteins is presented, greatly expanding on the presentation of the variational approach outlined previously [J. J. Portman, S. Takada, and P. G. Wolynes, Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 5237 (1998)]. We choose the λ-repressor protein as an illustrative example and focus on how the polymer chain statistics influence free energy profiles and partially ordered ensembles of structures. In particular, we investigate the role of chain stiffness on the free energy profile and folding routes. We evaluate the applicability of simpler approximations in which the conformations of the protein molecule along the folding route are restricted to have residues that are either entirely folded or unfolded in contiguous stretches. We find that the folding routes obtained from only one contiguous folded region corresponds to a chain with a much greater persistence length than appropriate for natural protein chains, while the folding route obtained from two contiguous folded regions is able to capture the relatively folded regions calculated within the variational approach. The free energy profiles obtained from the contiguous sequence approximations have larger barriers than the more microscopic variational theory which is understood as a consequence of partial ordering.

  17. Are there folding pathways in the functional stages of intrinsically disordered proteins?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilieva, N.; Liu, J.; Marinova, R.; Petkov, P.; Litov, L.; He, J.; Niemi, A. J.

    2016-10-01

    We proceed from the description of protein folding by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with all-atom force fields, with folding pathways interpreted in terms of soliton structures, to identify possible systematic dynamical patterns of self-organisation that govern protein folding process. We perform in silico investigations of the conformational transformations of three different proteins - MYC protein (an α-helical protein), amylin and indolicidin (IDPs with different length and binding dynamics). We discuss the emergence of soliton-mediated secondary motifs, in the case of IDPs - in the context of their functional activity. We hypothesize that soliton-like quasi-ordered conformations appear as an important intermediate stage in this process.

  18. Modulation of the maladaptive stress response to manage diseases of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Roth, Daniela Martino; Hutt, Darren M; Tong, Jiansong; Bouchecareilh, Marion; Wang, Ning; Seeley, Theo; Dekkers, Johanna F; Beekman, Jeffrey M; Garza, Dan; Drew, Lawrence; Masliah, Eliezer; Morimoto, Richard I; Balch, William E

    2014-11-01

    Diseases of protein folding arise because of the inability of an altered peptide sequence to properly engage protein homeostasis components that direct protein folding and function. To identify global principles of misfolding disease pathology we examined the impact of the local folding environment in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), Niemann-Pick type C1 disease (NPC1), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and cystic fibrosis (CF). Using distinct models, including patient-derived cell lines and primary epithelium, mouse brain tissue, and Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that chronic expression of misfolded proteins not only triggers the sustained activation of the heat shock response (HSR) pathway, but that this sustained activation is maladaptive. In diseased cells, maladaptation alters protein structure-function relationships, impacts protein folding in the cytosol, and further exacerbates the disease state. We show that down-regulation of this maladaptive stress response (MSR), through silencing of HSF1, the master regulator of the HSR, restores cellular protein folding and improves the disease phenotype. We propose that restoration of a more physiological proteostatic environment will strongly impact the management and progression of loss-of-function and gain-of-toxic-function phenotypes common in human disease. PMID:25406061

  19. Modulation of the Maladaptive Stress Response to Manage Diseases of Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Daniela Martino; Hutt, Darren M.; Tong, Jiansong; Bouchecareilh, Marion; Wang, Ning; Seeley, Theo; Dekkers, Johanna F.; Beekman, Jeffrey M.; Garza, Dan; Drew, Lawrence; Masliah, Eliezer; Morimoto, Richard I.; Balch, William E.

    2014-01-01

    Diseases of protein folding arise because of the inability of an altered peptide sequence to properly engage protein homeostasis components that direct protein folding and function. To identify global principles of misfolding disease pathology we examined the impact of the local folding environment in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), Niemann-Pick type C1 disease (NPC1), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and cystic fibrosis (CF). Using distinct models, including patient-derived cell lines and primary epithelium, mouse brain tissue, and Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that chronic expression of misfolded proteins not only triggers the sustained activation of the heat shock response (HSR) pathway, but that this sustained activation is maladaptive. In diseased cells, maladaptation alters protein structure–function relationships, impacts protein folding in the cytosol, and further exacerbates the disease state. We show that down-regulation of this maladaptive stress response (MSR), through silencing of HSF1, the master regulator of the HSR, restores cellular protein folding and improves the disease phenotype. We propose that restoration of a more physiological proteostatic environment will strongly impact the management and progression of loss-of-function and gain-of-toxic-function phenotypes common in human disease. PMID:25406061

  20. Ab initio protein folding simulations using atomic burials as informational intermediates between sequence and structure.

    PubMed

    van der Linden, Marx Gomes; Ferreira, Diogo César; de Oliveira, Leandro Cristante; Onuchic, José N; de Araújo, Antônio F Pereira

    2014-07-01

    The three-dimensional structure of proteins is determined by their linear amino acid sequences but decipherment of the underlying protein folding code has remained elusive. Recent studies have suggested that burials, as expressed by atomic distances to the molecular center, are sufficiently informative for structural determination while potentially obtainable from sequences. Here we provide direct evidence for this distinctive role of burials in the folding code, demonstrating that burial propensities estimated from local sequence can indeed be used to fold globular proteins in ab initio simulations. We have used a statistical scheme based on a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) to classify all heavy atoms of a protein into a small number of burial atomic types depending on sequence context. Molecular dynamics simulations were then performed with a potential that forces all atoms of each type towards their predicted burial level, while simple geometric constraints were imposed on covalent structure and hydrogen bond formation. The correct folded conformation was obtained and distinguished in simulations that started from extended chains for a selection of structures comprising all three folding classes and high burial prediction quality. These results demonstrate that atomic burials can act as informational intermediates between sequence and structure, providing a new conceptual framework for improving structural prediction and understanding the fundamentals of protein folding.

  1. Constructing a folding model for protein S6 guided by native fluctuations deduced from NMR structures

    SciTech Connect

    Lammert, Heiko; Noel, Jeffrey K.; Haglund, Ellinor; Onuchic, José N.; Schug, Alexander

    2015-12-28

    The diversity in a set of protein nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures provides an estimate of native state fluctuations that can be used to refine and enrich structure-based protein models (SBMs). Dynamics are an essential part of a protein’s functional native state. The dynamics in the native state are controlled by the same funneled energy landscape that guides the entire folding process. SBMs apply the principle of minimal frustration, drawn from energy landscape theory, to construct a funneled folding landscape for a given protein using only information from the native structure. On an energy landscape smoothed by evolution towards minimal frustration, geometrical constraints, imposed by the native structure, control the folding mechanism and shape the native dynamics revealed by the model. Native-state fluctuations can alternatively be estimated directly from the diversity in the set of NMR structures for a protein. Based on this information, we identify a highly flexible loop in the ribosomal protein S6 and modify the contact map in a SBM to accommodate the inferred dynamics. By taking into account the probable native state dynamics, the experimental transition state is recovered in the model, and the correct order of folding events is restored. Our study highlights how the shared energy landscape connects folding and function by showing that a better description of the native basin improves the prediction of the folding mechanism.

  2. Folding and signaling share the same pathway in a photoreceptor protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, Wouter D.

    2002-03-01

    The photoreceptor photoactive yellow protein (PYP) was used as a model system to study receptor activation and protein folding. Refolding was studied by stopped-flow absorbance spectroscopy for PYP with either a trans or a cis chromophore. Chromophore trans to cis isomerization, the mechanism of light detection by PYP, greatly affects the protein folding process. When the cis chromophore is present, the unfolded state refolding proceeds through the putative signaling state of PYP as an on-pathway intermediate. In addition, moderate denaturant concentrations result in the specific unfolding of the signaling state of PYP. Thus, the signaling state is common to the pathways of folding and signaling. This provides a novel avenue for the study of protein folding. We demonstrate how this approach can be used to establish whether a folding intermediate is on-pathway or off-pathway. The results also reveal transient partial unfolding as a molecular mechanism for signaling. The signaling intermediate of PYP exhibits properties characteristic of a molten globule, providing a challenge for the current paradigm for the relay of signals along a signal transduction chain by highly specific interactions between fully folded proteins.

  3. Folding Proteins at 500 ns/hour with Work Queue

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Wahid, Badi’; Yu, Li; Rajan, Dinesh; Feng, Haoyun; Darve, Eric; Thain, Douglas; Izaguirre, Jesús A.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular modeling is a field that traditionally has large computational costs. Until recently, most simulation techniques relied on long trajectories, which inherently have poor scalability. A new class of methods is proposed that requires only a large number of short calculations, and for which minimal communication between computer nodes is required. We considered one of the more accurate variants called Accelerated Weighted Ensemble Dynamics (AWE) and for which distributed computing can be made efficient. We implemented AWE using the Work Queue framework for task management and applied it to an all atom protein model (Fip35 WW domain). We can run with excellent scalability by simultaneously utilizing heterogeneous resources from multiple computing platforms such as clouds (Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure), dedicated clusters, grids, on multiple architectures (CPU/GPU, 32/64bit), and in a dynamic environment in which processes are regularly added or removed from the pool. This has allowed us to achieve an aggregate sampling rate of over 500 ns/hour. As a comparison, a single process typically achieves 0.1 ns/hour. PMID:25540799

  4. Connecting thermal and mechanical protein (un)folding landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Li; Noel, Jeffrey; Sulkowska, Joanna; Levine, Herbert; Onuchic, José

    2015-03-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations supplement single-molecule pulling experiments by providing the possibility of examining the full free energy landscape using many coordinates. Here, we use an all-atom structure-based model to study the force and temperature dependence of the unfolding of the protein filamin by applying force at both termini. The unfolding time-force relation τ(F) indicates that the unfolding behavior can be characterized into three regimes: barrier-limited low- and intermediate-force regimes, and a barrierless high-force regime. Slope changes of τ(F) separate the three regimes. We show that the behavior of τ(F) can be understood from a two-dimensional free energy landscape projected onto the extension X and the fraction of native contacts Q. In the low-force regime, the unfolding rate is roughly force-independent due to the small (even negative) separation in X between the native ensemble and transition state ensemble (TSE). In the intermediate-force regime, force sufficiently separates the TSE from the native ensemble such that τ(F) roughly follows an exponential relation. The TSE becomes increasingly structured with force. The high-force regime is characterized by barrierless unfolding, approaching a time limit of around 10 μs.

  5. A Model in which Hsp90 Targets Protein Folding Clefts: rationale for a New Approach to Neuroprotective Treatment of Protein Folding Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, William B.; Morishima, Yoshihiro; Gestwicki, Jason E.; Lieberman, Andrew P.; Osawa, Yoichi

    2015-01-01

    In an EBM Minireview published in 2010, we proposed that the Hsp90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery played a major role in determining the selection of proteins that have undergone oxidative or other toxic damage for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation (1). The proposal was based on a model in which the Hsp90 chaperone machinery regulates signaling by modulating ligand binding clefts (2). The model provides a framework for thinking about the development of neuroprotective therapies for protein folding diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the polyglutamine expansion disorders, such as Huntington’s disease (HD) and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Major aberrant proteins that misfold and accumulate in these diseases are ‘client’ proteins of the abundant and ubiquitous stress chaperone Hsp90 (3). These Hsp90 client proteins include tau (AD), α-synuclein (PD), huntingtin (HD) and the expanded glutamine androgen receptor (polyQ AR) (SBMA). In this minireview we update our model in which Hsp90 acts on protein folding clefts and show how it forms a rational basis for developing drugs that promote the targeted elimination of these aberrant proteins. PMID:24990484

  6. Do conformational biases of simple helical junctions influence RNA folding stability and specificity?

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Vincent B.; Lipfert, Jan; Bai, Yu; Pande, Vijay S.; Doniach, Sebastian; Herschlag, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Structured RNAs must fold into their native structures and discriminate against a large number of alternative ones, an especially difficult task given the limited information content of RNA's nucleotide alphabet. The simplest motifs within structured RNAs are two helices joined by nonhelical junctions. To uncover the fundamental behavior of these motifs and to elucidate the underlying physical forces and challenges faced by structured RNAs, we computationally and experimentally studied a tethered duplex model system composed of two helices joined by flexible single- or double-stranded polyethylene glycol tethers, whose lengths correspond to those typically observed in junctions from structured RNAs. To dissect the thermodynamic properties of these simple motifs, we computationally probed how junction topology, electrostatics, and tertiary contact location influenced folding stability. Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to assess our predictions. Single- or double-stranded junctions, independent of sequence, greatly reduce the space of allowed helical conformations and influencing the preferred location and orientation of their adjoining helices. A double-stranded junction guides the helices along a hinge-like pathway. In contrast, a single-stranded junction samples a broader set of conformations and has different preferences than the double-stranded junction. In turn, these preferences determine the stability and distinct specificities of tertiary structure formation. These sequence-independent effects suggest that properties as simple as a junction's topology can generally define the accessible conformational space, thereby stabilizing desired structures and assisting in discriminating against misfolded structures. Thus, junction topology provides a fundamental strategy for transcending the limitations imposed by the low information content of RNA primary sequence. PMID:19850914

  7. Effects of sugars on the thermal stability of a protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshima, Hiraku; Kinoshita, Masahiro

    2013-06-01

    It is experimentally known that the heat-denaturation temperature of a protein is raised (i.e., its thermal stability is enhanced) by sugar addition. In earlier works, we proposed a physical picture of thermal denaturation of proteins in which the measure of the thermal stability is defined as the solvent-entropy gain upon protein folding at 298 K normalized by the number of residues. A multipolar-model water was adopted as the solvent. The polyatomic structures of the folded and unfolded states of a protein were taken into account in the atomic detail. A larger value of the measure implies higher thermal stability. First, we show that the measure remains effective even when the model water is replaced by the hard-sphere solvent whose number density and molecular diameter are set at those of real water. The physical picture is then adapted to the elucidation of the effects of sugar addition on the thermal stability of a protein. The water-sugar solution is modeled as a binary mixture of hard spheres. The thermal stability is determined by a complex interplay of the diameter of sugar molecules dC and the total packing fraction of the solution η: dC is estimated from the volume per molecule in the sugar crystal and η is calculated using the experimental data of the solution density. We find that the protein is more stabilized as the sucrose or glucose concentration becomes higher and the stabilization effect is stronger for sucrose than for glucose. These results are in accord with the experimental observations. Using a radial-symmetric integral equation theory and the morphometric approach, we decompose the change in the measure upon sugar addition into two components originating from the protein-solvent pair and protein-solvent many-body correlations, respectively. Each component is further decomposed into the excluded-volume and solvent-accessible-surface terms. These decompositions give physical insights into the microscopic origin of the thermal-stability

  8. Protein fold recognition using HMM-HMM alignment and dynamic programming.

    PubMed

    Lyons, James; Paliwal, Kuldip K; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Heffernan, Rhys; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Sharma, Alok

    2016-03-21

    Detecting three dimensional structures of protein sequences is a challenging task in biological sciences. For this purpose, protein fold recognition has been utilized as an intermediate step which helps in classifying a novel protein sequence into one of its folds. The process of protein fold recognition encompasses feature extraction of protein sequences and feature identification through suitable classifiers. Several feature extractors are developed to retrieve useful information from protein sequences. These features are generally extracted by constituting protein's sequential, physicochemical and evolutionary properties. The performance in terms of recognition accuracy has also been gradually improved over the last decade. However, it is yet to reach a well reasonable and accepted level. In this work, we first applied HMM-HMM alignment of protein sequence from HHblits to extract profile HMM (PHMM) matrix. Then we computed the distance between respective PHMM matrices using kernalized dynamic programming. We have recorded significant improvement in fold recognition over the state-of-the-art feature extractors. The improvement of recognition accuracy is in the range of 2.7-11.6% when experimented on three benchmark datasets from Structural Classification of Proteins. PMID:26801876

  9. SRide: a server for identifying stabilizing residues in proteins.

    PubMed

    Magyar, Csaba; Gromiha, M Michael; Pujadas, Gerard; Tusnády, Gábor E; Simon, István

    2005-07-01

    Residues expected to play key roles in the stabilization of proteins [stabilizing residues (SRs)] are selected by combining several methods based mainly on the interactions of a given residue with its spatial, rather than its sequential neighborhood and by considering the evolutionary conservation of the residues. A residue is selected as a stabilizing residue if it has high surrounding hydrophobicity, high long-range order, high conservation score and if it belongs to a stabilization center. The definition of all these parameters and the thresholds used to identify the SRs are discussed in detail. The algorithm for identifying SRs was originally developed for TIM-barrel proteins [M. M. Gromiha, G. Pujadas, C. Magyar, S. Selvaraj, and I. Simon (2004), Proteins, 55, 316-329] and is now generalized for all proteins of known 3D structure. SRs could be applied in protein engineering and homology modeling and could also help to explain certain folds with significant stability. The SRide server is located at http://sride.enzim.hu.

  10. Role of arginine in the stabilization of proteins against aggregation.

    PubMed

    Baynes, Brian M; Wang, Daniel I C; Trout, Bernhardt L

    2005-03-29

    The amino acid arginine is frequently used as a solution additive to stabilize proteins against aggregation, especially in the process of protein refolding. Despite arginine's prevalence, the mechanism by which it stabilizes proteins is not presently understood. We propose that arginine deters aggregation by slowing protein-protein association reactions, with only a small concomitant effect on protein folding. The associated rate effect was observed experimentally in association of globular proteins (insulin and a monoclonal anti-insulin) and in refolding of carbonic anhydrase. We suggest that this effect arises because arginine is preferentially excluded from protein-protein encounter complexes but not from dissociated protein molecules. Such an effect is predicted by our gap effect theory [Baynes and Trout (2004) Biophys. J. 87, 1631] for "neutral crowder" additives such as arginine which are significantly larger than water but have only a small effect on the free energies of isolated protein molecules. The effect of arginine on refolding of carbonic anhydrase was also shown to be consistent with this hypothesis.

  11. Influence of Glu/Arg, Asp/Arg, and Glu/Lys Salt Bridges on α-Helical Stability and Folding Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Meuzelaar, Heleen; Vreede, Jocelyne; Woutersen, Sander

    2016-06-01

    Using a combination of ultraviolet circular dichroism, temperature-jump transient-infrared spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the effect of salt bridges between different types of charged amino-acid residue pairs on α-helix folding. We determine the stability and the folding and unfolding rates of 12 alanine-based α-helical peptides, each of which has a nearly identical composition containing three pairs of positively and negatively charged residues (either Glu(-)/Arg(+), Asp(-)/Arg(+), or Glu(-)/Lys(+)). Within each set of peptides, the distance and order of the oppositely charged residues in the peptide sequence differ, such that they have different capabilities of forming salt bridges. Our results indicate that stabilizing salt bridges (in which the interacting residues are spaced and ordered such that they favor helix formation) speed up α-helix formation by up to 50% and slow down the unfolding of the α-helix, whereas salt bridges with an unfavorable geometry have the opposite effect. Comparing the peptides with different types of charge pairs, we observe that salt bridges between side chains of Glu(-) and Arg(+) are most favorable for the speed of folding, probably because of the larger conformational space of the salt-bridging Glu(-)/Arg(+) rotamer pairs compared to Asp(-)/Arg(+) and Glu(-)/Lys(+). We speculate that the observed impact of salt bridges on the folding kinetics might explain why some proteins contain salt bridges that do not stabilize the final, folded conformation. PMID:27276251

  12. Influence of Glu/Arg, Asp/Arg, and Glu/Lys Salt Bridges on α-Helical Stability and Folding Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Meuzelaar, Heleen; Vreede, Jocelyne; Woutersen, Sander

    2016-06-01

    Using a combination of ultraviolet circular dichroism, temperature-jump transient-infrared spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the effect of salt bridges between different types of charged amino-acid residue pairs on α-helix folding. We determine the stability and the folding and unfolding rates of 12 alanine-based α-helical peptides, each of which has a nearly identical composition containing three pairs of positively and negatively charged residues (either Glu(-)/Arg(+), Asp(-)/Arg(+), or Glu(-)/Lys(+)). Within each set of peptides, the distance and order of the oppositely charged residues in the peptide sequence differ, such that they have different capabilities of forming salt bridges. Our results indicate that stabilizing salt bridges (in which the interacting residues are spaced and ordered such that they favor helix formation) speed up α-helix formation by up to 50% and slow down the unfolding of the α-helix, whereas salt bridges with an unfavorable geometry have the opposite effect. Comparing the peptides with different types of charge pairs, we observe that salt bridges between side chains of Glu(-) and Arg(+) are most favorable for the speed of folding, probably because of the larger conformational space of the salt-bridging Glu(-)/Arg(+) rotamer pairs compared to Asp(-)/Arg(+) and Glu(-)/Lys(+). We speculate that the observed impact of salt bridges on the folding kinetics might explain why some proteins contain salt bridges that do not stabilize the final, folded conformation.

  13. Two-state protein-like folding of a homopolymer chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Many small proteins fold via a first-order 'all-or-none' transition directly from an expanded coil to a compact native state. Here we study an analogous direct freezing transition from an expanded coil to a compact crystallite for a simple flexible homopolymer. Wang-Landau sampling is used to construct the 1D density of states for square-well chains of length 128. Analysis within both the micro-canonical and canonical ensembles shows that, for a chain with sufficiently short-range interactions, the usual polymer collapse transition is preempted by a direct freezing or 'folding' transition. A 2D free-energy landscape, built via subsequent multi-canonical sampling, reveals a dominant folding pathway over a single free-energy barrier. This barrier separates a high entropy ensemble of unfolded states from a low entropy set of crystallite states and the transition proceeds via the formation of a transition-state folding nucleus. Despite the non-unique homopolymer ground state, the thermodynamics of this direct freezing transition are identical to the thermodynamics of two-state protein folding. The model chain satisfies the van't Hoff calorimetric criterion for two-state folding and an Arrhenius analysis of the folding/unfolding free energy barrier yields a Chevron plot characteristic of small proteins.

  14. The cytosolic chaperone α-crystallin B rescues folding and compartmentalization of misfolded multispan transmembrane proteins.

    PubMed

    D'Agostino, Massimo; Lemma, Valentina; Chesi, Giancarlo; Stornaiuolo, Mariano; Cannata Serio, Magda; D'Ambrosio, Chiara; Scaloni, Andrea; Polishchuk, Roman; Bonatti, Stefano

    2013-09-15

    The α-crystallin B chain (CRYAB or HspB5) is a cytosolic chaperone belonging to the small heat shock protein family, which is known to help in the folding of cytosolic proteins. Here we show that CRYAB binds the mutant form of at least two multispan transmembrane proteins (TMPs), exerting an anti-aggregation activity. It rescues the folding of mutant Frizzled4, which is responsible for a rare autosomal dominant form of familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (Fz4-FEVR), and the mutant ATP7B Cu transporter (ATP7B-H1069Q) associated with a common form of Wilson's disease. In the case of Fz4-FEVR, CRYAB prevents the formation of inter-chain disulfide bridges between the lumenal ectodomains of the aggregated mutant chains, which enables correct folding and promotes appropriate compartmentalization on the plasma membrane. ATP7B-H1069Q, with help from CRYAB, folds into the proper conformation, moves to the Golgi complex, and responds to copper overload in the same manner as wild-type ATP7B. These findings strongly suggest that CRYAB plays a pivotal role, previously undetected, in the folding of multispan TMPs and, from the cytosol, is able to orchestrate folding events that take place in the lumen of the ER. Our results contribute to the explanation of the complex scenario behind multispan TMP folding; additionally, they serve to expose interesting avenues for novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:23843626

  15. Application of physical organic chemistry to engineered mutants of proteins: Hammond postulate behavior in the transition state of protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Matouschek, A; Fersht, A R

    1993-01-01

    Transition states in protein folding may be analyzed by linear free-energy relationships (LFERs) analogous to the Brønsted equation for changes in reactivity with changes in structure. There is an additional source of LFERs in protein folding: the perturbation of the equilibrium and rate constants by denaturants. These LFERs give a measure of the position of the transition state along the reaction coordinate. The transition state for folding/unfolding of barnase has been analyzed by both types of LFERs: changing the structure by protein engineering and perturbation by denaturants. The combination has allowed the direct monitoring of Hammond postulate behavior of the transition state on the reaction pathway. Movement of the transition state has been found and analyzed to give further details of the order of events in protein folding. PMID:8356089

  16. Fluorescent In Situ Folding Control for Rapid Optimization of Cell-Free Membrane Protein Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Müller-Lucks, Annika; Bock, Sinja; Wu, Binghua; Beitz, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Cell-free synthesis is an open and powerful tool for high-yield protein production in small reaction volumes predestined for high-throughput structural and functional analysis. Membrane proteins require addition of detergents for solubilization, liposomes, or nanodiscs. Hence, the number of parameters to be tested is significantly higher than with soluble proteins. Optimization is commonly done with respect to protein yield, yet without knowledge of the protein folding status. This approach contains a large inherent risk of ending up with non-functional protein. We show that fluorophore formation in C-terminal fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP) indicates the folding state of a membrane protein in situ, i.e. within the cell-free reaction mixture, as confirmed by circular dichroism (CD), proteoliposome reconstitution and functional assays. Quantification of protein yield and in-gel fluorescence intensity imply suitability of the method for membrane proteins of bacterial, protozoan, plant, and mammalian origin, representing vacuolar and plasma membrane localization, as well as intra- and extracellular positioning of the C-terminus. We conclude that GFP-fusions provide an extension to cell-free protein synthesis systems eliminating the need for experimental folding control and, thus, enabling rapid optimization towards membrane protein quality. PMID:22848743

  17. Precursory signatures of protein folding/unfolding: From time series correlation analysis to atomistic mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, P. J.; Lai, S. K.; Cheong, S. A.

    2014-05-28

    Folded conformations of proteins in thermodynamically stable states have long lifetimes. Before it folds into a stable conformation, or after unfolding from a stable conformation, the protein will generally stray from one random conformation to another leading thus to rapid fluctuations. Brief structural changes therefore occur before folding and unfolding events. These short-lived movements are easily overlooked in studies of folding/unfolding for they represent momentary excursions of the protein to explore conformations in the neighborhood of the stable conformation. The present study looks for precursory signatures of protein folding/unfolding within these rapid fluctuations through a combination of three techniques: (1) ultrafast shape recognition, (2) time series segmentation, and (3) time series correlation analysis. The first procedure measures the differences between statistical distance distributions of atoms in different conformations by calculating shape similarity indices from molecular dynamics simulation trajectories. The second procedure is used to discover the times at which the protein makes transitions from one conformation to another. Finally, we employ the third technique to exploit spatial fingerprints of the stable conformations; this procedure is to map out the sequences of changes preceding the actual folding and unfolding events, since strongly correlated atoms in different conformations are different due to bond and steric constraints. The aforementioned high-frequency fluctuations are therefore characterized by distinct correlational and structural changes that are associated with rate-limiting precursors that translate into brief segments. Guided by these technical procedures, we choose a model system, a fragment of the protein transthyretin, for identifying in this system not only the precursory signatures of transitions associated with α helix and β hairpin, but also the important role played by weaker correlations in such protein

  18. Universality and diversity of folding mechanics for three-helix bundle proteins

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jae Shick; Wallin, Stefan; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2008-01-01

    In this study we evaluate, at full atomic detail, the folding processes of two small helical proteins, the B domain of protein A and the Villin headpiece. Folding kinetics are studied by performing a large number of ab initio Monte Carlo folding simulations using a single transferable all-atom potential. Using these trajectories, we examine the relaxation behavior, secondary structure formation, and transition-state ensembles (TSEs) of the two proteins and compare our results with experimental data and previous computational studies. To obtain a detailed structural information on the folding dynamics viewed as an ensemble process, we perform a clustering analysis procedure based on graph theory. Moreover, rigorous pfold analysis is used to obtain representative samples of the TSEs and a good quantitative agreement between experimental and simulated Φ values is obtained for protein A. Φ values for Villin also are obtained and left as predictions to be tested by future experiments. Our analysis shows that the two-helix hairpin is a common partially stable structural motif that gets formed before entering the TSE in the studied proteins. These results together with our earlier study of Engrailed Homeodomain and recent experimental studies provide a comprehensive, atomic-level picture of folding mechanics of three-helix bundle proteins. PMID:18195374

  19. The Histone Database: a comprehensive resource for histones and histone fold-containing proteins.

    PubMed

    Mariño-Ramírez, Leonardo; Hsu, Benjamin; Baxevanis, Andreas D; Landsman, David

    2006-03-01

    The Histone Database is a curated and searchable collection of full-length sequences and structures of histones and nonhistone proteins containing histone-like folds, compiled from major public databases. Several new histone fold-containing proteins have been identified, including the huntingtin-interacting protein HYPM. Additionally, based on the recent crystal structure of the Son of Sevenless protein, an interpretation of the sequence analysis of the histone fold domain is presented. The database contains an updated collection of multiple sequence alignments for the four core histones (H2A, H2B, H3, and H4) and the linker histones (H1/H5) from a total of 975 organisms. The database also contains information on the human histone gene complement and provides links to three-dimensional structures of histone and histone fold-containing proteins. The Histone Database is a comprehensive bioinformatics resource for the study of structure and function of histones and histone fold-containing proteins. The database is available at http://research.nhgri.nih.gov/histones/.

  20. Role of the chaperonin cofactor Hsp10 in protein folding and sorting in yeast mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    Protein folding in mitochondria is mediated by the chaperonin Hsp60, the homologue of E. coli GroEL. Mitochondria also contain a homologue of the cochaperonin GroES, called Hsp10, which is a functional regulator of the chaperonin. To define the in vivo role of the co- chaperonin, we have used the genetic and biochemical potential of the yeast S. cerevisiae. The HSP10 gene was cloned and sequenced and temperature-sensitive lethal hsp10 mutants were generated. Our results identify Hsp10 as an essential component of the mitochondrial protein folding apparatus, participating in various aspects of Hsp60 function. Hsp10 is required for the folding and assembly of proteins imported into the matrix compartment, and is involved in the sorting of certain proteins, such as the Rieske Fe/S protein, passing through the matrix en route to the intermembrane space. The folding of the precursor of cytosolic dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), imported into mitochondria as a fusion protein, is apparently independent of Hsp10 function consistent with observations made for the chaperonin-mediated folding of DHFR in vitro. The temperature-sensitive mutations in Hsp10 map to a domain (residues 25-40) that corresponds to a previously identified mobile loop region of bacterial GroES and result in a reduced binding affinity of hsp10 for the chaperonin at the non-permissive temperature. PMID:7913473

  1. CASP10-BCL::Fold efficiently samples topologies of large proteins.

    PubMed

    Heinze, Sten; Putnam, Daniel K; Fischer, Axel W; Kohlmann, Tim; Weiner, Brian E; Meiler, Jens

    2015-03-01

    During CASP10 in summer 2012, we tested BCL::Fold for prediction of free modeling (FM) and template-based modeling (TBM)