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Chem Phys Lett. 2009 Jan 1;473(4-6):330-335.

Three-pulse photon echo peak shift spectroscopy as a probe of flexibility and conformational heterogeneity in protein folding.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO 80217, USA.


We investigate the equilibrium unfolding of Zn-cytochrome c in guanidine hydrochloride by three-pulse photon echo peak shift (3PEPS) spectroscopy. Unexpectedly, the measurements reveal that inhomogeneous broadening of the sample at the midpoint of the denaturation is larger than that of either native or unfolded states. To interpret this finding, we present simulations of the peak shift for both two-state and three-state unfolding models. Both the denaturant concentration dependence of the asymptotic peak shift (APS) and the wavelength dependence of the APS at the midpoint of the denaturation are different for the two models. Our data are consistent with two-state unfolding.

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