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Biochemistry. 2000 Sep 26;39(38):11696-701.

Distinguishing between two-state and three-state models for ubiquitin folding.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, 920 East 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Conflicting results exist regarding whether the folding of mammalian ubiquitin at 25 degrees C is a simple, two-state kinetic process or a more complex, three-state process with a defined kinetic intermediate. We have measured folding rate constants up to about 1000 s(-1) using conventional rapid mixing methods in single-jump, double-jump, and continuous-flow modes. The linear dependence of folding rates on denaturant concentration and the lack of an unaccounted "burst-phase" change for the fluorescence signal indicate that a two-state folding model is adequate to describe the folding pathway. This behavior also is seen for folding in the presence of the stabilizing additives 0.23 M sodium sulfate and 1 M sodium chloride. These results stress the need for caution in interpreting deviations from ideal two-state "chevron" behavior when folding is heterogeneous or folding rate constants are near the detection limit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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