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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Nov 30;127(47):16388-9.

Tertiary contact formation in alpha-synuclein probed by electron transfer.

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Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91125-7400, USA.


To explore tertiary contact formation in alpha-synuclein, a natively unfolded protein implicated in Parkinson's disease, we have measured the rates of reaction between a powerful electron donor, the tryptophan (W) triplet excited state, and an acceptor, 3-nitro-tyrosine (Y(NO2)) in six different variants, probing loop sizes between 15 and 132 residues. Electron transfer rates decrease with loop size with the fastest contact time of 140 ns for the N-terminal pair and the slowest of 1.2 mus for the N- to C-terminal pair. Diffusion coefficients ranging from approximately 2 x 10-6 to approximately 10-5 cm2 s-1 were extracted from simultaneous fits of the W to Y(NO2) electron (triplet excited state) and energy transfer (singlet excited state) kinetics.

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