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FEBS Lett. 2005 Feb 14;579(5):1183-6.

No evidence for a forced-unfolding mechanism during ATP/GroES binding to substrate-bound GroEL: no observable protection of metastable Rubisco intermediate or GroEL-bound Rubisco from tritium exchange.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale School of Medicine, Boyer Center, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


In tritium-hydrogen exchange experiments, the large GroEL substrate Rubisco was unfolded and exchanged in urea/acid/tritiated water, then diluted into either protic buffer or protic buffer containing GroEL. The respective Rubisco metastable folding intermediate or Rubisco-GroEL binary complex was then separated from residual tritium after varying times of exchange by centrifugation through P-10 or G-25 resin. No significant tritium was recovered in either case, in contrast to an earlier report. Thus, although the earlier-proposed forced unfolding mechanism for the action of GroEL on a bound polypeptide, occurring during ATP/GroES binding, remains an attractive hypothesis, the data here do not provide any indication that it is involved in the folding of Rubisco.

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