Configuration-Dependent Diffusion Dynamics of Downhill and Two-State Protein Folding

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2012-05-03

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Amer Chemical Soc

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Configuration-dependent diffusion (CDD) is important for protein folding kinetics with small thermodynamic barriers. CDD can be even more crucial in downhill folding without thermodynamic barriers. We explored the CDD of a downhill protein (BBL), and a two-state protein (CI2). The hidden kinetic barriers due to CDD were revealed. The increased similar to 1 k(B)T kinetic barrier is in line with experimental value based on other fast folding proteins. Compared to that of CI2, the effective free-energy profile of BBL is found to be significantly influenced by CDD, and the kinetics are totally determined by diffusion. These findings are consistent with both earlier bulk and single-molecule fluorescence measurements. In addition, we found the temperature dependence of CDD. We also found that the ratio of folding transition temperature against optimal kinetic folding temperature can provide both a quantitative measure for the underlying landscape topography and an indicator for the possible appearance of downhill folding. Our study can help for a better understanding of the role of diffusion in protein folding dynamics.

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Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Washington: Amer Chemical Soc, v. 116, n. 17, p. 5152-5159, 2012.

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