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Biochemistry. 1992 Aug 18;31(32):7243-8.

Kinetic analysis of folding and unfolding the 56 amino acid IgG-binding domain of streptococcal protein G.

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Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Rockville 20850.


The 56 amino acid B domain of protein G (GB) is a stable globular folding unit with no disulfide cross-links. The physical properties of GB offer extraordinary flexibility for evaluating the energetics of the folding reaction. The protein is monomeric and very soluble in both folded and unfolded forms. The folding reaction has been previously examined by differential scanning calorimetry (Alexander et al., 1992) and found to exhibit two-state unfolding behavior over a wide pH range with an unfolding transition near 90 degrees C (GB1) at neutral pH. Here, the kinetics of folding and unfolding two naturally occurring versions of GB have been measured using stopped-flow mixing methods and analyzed according to transition-state theory. GB contains no prolines, and the kinetics of folding and unfolding can be fit to a single, first-order rate constant over the temperature range of 5-35 degrees C. The major thermodynamic changes going from the unfolded state to the transition state are (1) a large decrease in heat capacity (delta Cp), indicating that the transition state is compact and solvent inaccessible relative to the unfolded state; (2) a large loss of entropy; and (3) a small increase in enthalpy. The most surprising feature of the folding of GB compared to that of previously studied proteins is that its folding approximates a rapid diffusion controlled process with little increase in enthalpy going from the unfolded to the transition state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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