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Biochemistry. 1992 Apr 28;31(16):3947-55.

Use of liquid hydrocarbon and amide transfer data to estimate contributions to thermodynamic functions of protein folding from the removal of nonpolar and polar surface from water.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706.


This extension of the liquid hydrocarbon model seeks to quantify the thermodynamic contributions to protein stability from the removal of nonpolar and polar surface from water. Thermodynamic data for the transfer of hydrocarbons and organic amides from water to the pure liquid phase are analyzed to obtain contributions to the thermodynamics of folding from the reduction in water-accessible surface area. Although the removal of nonpolar surface makes the dominant contribution to the standard heat capacity change of folding (delta C0fold), here we show that inclusion of the contribution from removal of polar surface allows a quantitative prediction of delta C0fold within the uncertainty of the calorimetrically determined value. Moreover, analysis of the contribution of polar surface area to the enthalpy of transfer of liquid amides provides a means of estimating the contributions from changes in nonpolar and polar surface area as well as other factors to the enthalpy of folding (delta H0fold). In addition to estimates of delta H0fold, this extension of the liquid hydrocarbon model provides a thermodynamic explanation for the observation [Privalov, P. L., & Khechinashvili, N. N. (1974) J. Mol. Biol. 86, 665-684] that the specific enthalpy of folding (cal g-1) of a number of globular proteins converges to a common value at approximately 383 K. Because amounts of nonpolar and polar surface area buried by these proteins upon folding are found to be linear functions of molar mass, estimates of both delta C0fold and delta H0fold may be obtained given only the molar mass of the protein of interest.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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