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J Mol Biol. 1996 Jul 19;260(3):432-45.

Native-like beta-structure in a trifluoroethanol-induced partially folded state of the all-beta-sheet protein tendamistat.

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Biozentrum der Universität Basel, Abteilung Biophysikalische Chemie, Switzerland.


The effect of trifluoroethanol (TFE) on the structure of the all-beta-sheet protein tendamistat was investigated. At low concentrations TFE induces cooperative loss of the native tertiary structure leading to a partially folded state. The loss of specific side-chain interactions in the transition from the native state of the TFE-induced state is demonstrated by the disappearance of the CD bands in the aromatic region, a reduced chemical shift dispersion of the one-dimensional 1H NMR spectrum and a broad, uncooperative thermal unfolding transition of the partially folded state. An increased line-width of the NMR bands in the TFE state compared with the unfolded state suggests the presence of multiple, rapidly interconverting conformations. Hydrogen-exchange studies of amide proteins in the TFE state reveal the existence of defined hydrogen bonds at the same locations as in the native state, but with largely reduced stability. This suggests the presence of most of the native beta-sheet structure. These results are supported by Fourier transformed IR measurements, which show nearly the same amount of beta-structure in the TFE state and in the native state. Far UV CD spectroscopy suggests the induction of some alpha-helical structure upon addition of TFE, which appears to be located mainly in regions corresponding to loops or random structure in the native state and which seems to represent fluctuating conformations with preferred backbone angles rather than stable, hydrogen-bonded alpha-helices. These results show that stable non-local interactions, as they occur in beta-sheets, can form in the absence of specific side-chain interactions. The presence of a subset of the native long-range interactions and the absence of stable non-native interactions suggests that the observed partially folded state might represent an early intermediate on a hierarchical folding pathway of tendamistat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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