Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Sep 14;101(37):13478-82. Epub 2004 Sep 3.

Fast folding of a helical protein initiated by the collision of unstructured chains.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, University of Chicago, 920 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


To examine whether helix formation necessarily precedes chain collision, we have measured the folding of a fully helical coiled coil that has been specially engineered to have negligible intrinsic helical propensity but high overall stability. The folding rate approaches the diffusion-limited value and is much faster than possible if folding is contingent on precollision helix formation. Therefore, the collision of two unstructured chains is the initial step of the dominant kinetic pathway, whereas helicity exerts its influence only at a later step. Folding from an unstructured encounter complex may be efficient and robust, which has implications for any biological process that couples folding to binding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center