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Biochemistry. 1997 Dec 9;36(49):15134-9.

Effect of prolyl isomerase on the folding reactions of staphylococcal nuclease.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas 78284-7760, USA.


The low-temperature fluorescence-detected refolding of staphylococcal nuclease (SNase) can be described by three slow kinetic phases. The slowest phase is absent in the P117G mutant of SNase. Peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase (cyclophilin), which has been shown to catalyze the slow folding reactions of some proteins, was employed to determine which of the refolding reactions of SNase and P117G SNase involve proline isomerization. We report here that all three folding phases of the wild type and the slower phase of P117G SNase are catalyzed by prolyl isomerase, indicating that proline isomerization is involved in these fluorescence-detected phases in the refolding of SNase. Since the rates of these phases are denaturant-dependent, we conclude that the slow folding steps involve isomerization of non-native cis proline peptide bonds and are tightly coupled to denaturant-sensitive structural changes.

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