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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Jul 6;133(26):10283-9. doi: 10.1021/ja203275f. Epub 2011 Jun 10.

Simulation of chaperonin effect on protein folding: a shift from nucleation-condensation to framework mechanism.

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Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 1, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland.


The iterative annealing mechanism (IAM) of chaperonin-assisted protein folding is explored in a framework of a well-established coarse-grained protein modeling tool, which enables the study of protein dynamics in a time-scale well beyond classical all-atom molecular mechanics. The chaperonin mechanism of action is simulated for two paradigm systems of protein folding, B domain of protein A (BdpA) and B1 domain of protein G (GB1), and compared to chaperonin-free simulations presented here for BdpA and recently published for GB1. The prediction of the BdpA transition state ensemble (TSE) is in perfect agreement with experimental findings. It is shown that periodic distortion of the polypeptide chains by hydrophobic chaperonin interactions can promote rapid folding and leads to a decrease in folding temperature. It is also demonstrated how chaperonin action prevents kinetically trapped conformations and modulates the observed folding mechanisms from nucleation-condensation to a more framework-like.

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