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J Mol Biol. 2005 Jan 28;345(4):869-78.

Dimerization of the p53 oligomerization domain: identification of a folding nucleus by molecular dynamics simulations.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5080, USA.

Abstract

Dimerization of the p53 oligomerization domain involves coupled folding and binding of monomers. To examine the dimerization, we have performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of dimer folding from the rate-limiting transition state ensemble (TSE). Among 799 putative transition state structures that were selected from a large ensemble of high-temperature unfolding trajectories, 129 were identified as members of the TSE via calculation of a 50% transmission coefficient from at least 20 room-temperature simulations. This study is the first to examine the refolding of a protein dimer using MD simulations in explicit water, revealing a folding nucleus for dimerization. Our atomistic simulations are consistent with experiment and offer insight that was previously unobtainable.

PMID:
15588832
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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