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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 30;102(35):12401-6. Epub 2005 Aug 22.

A funneled energy landscape for cytochrome c directly predicts the sequential folding route inferred from hydrogen exchange experiments.

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  • 1Center for Theoretical Biological Physics and Department of Physics, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Proteins fold through a variety of mechanisms. For a given protein, folding routes largely depend on the protein's stability and its native-state geometry, because the landscape is funneled. These ideas are corroborated for cytochrome c by using a coarse-grained topology-based model with a perfect funnel landscape that includes explicit modeling of the heme. The results show the importance of the heme as a nucleation site and explain the observed hydrogen exchange patterns of cytochrome c within the context of energy landscape theory.

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