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Nat Struct Biol. 1997 Apr;4(4):298-304.

The kinetic folding intermediate of ribonuclease H resembles the acid molten globule and partially unfolded molecules detected under native conditions.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.

Erratum in

  • Nat Struct Biol 1997 Jun;4(6):505.


Folding of ribonuclease HI from Escherichia coli populates a kinetic intermediate detectable by stopped-flow circular dichroism. Pulse labelling hydrogen exchange reveals that this intermediate consists of a structured core region of the protein, namely helices A and D and beta-strand 4. This kinetic intermediate resembles both the acid molten globule of ribonuclease HI and rarely populated, partially unfolded forms detected under native conditions. These results indicate that the first portion of ribonuclease HI to fold is the most thermodynamically stable region of the native state, and that folding of this protein follows a hierarchical process.

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