TitleResolving Site-Specific Heterogeneity of the Unfolded State under Folding Conditions.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBhatia S, Krishnamoorthy G, Udgaonkar JB
JournalJ Phys Chem Lett
Date Published2021 Mar 25

Understanding the properties of the unfolded state under folding conditions is of fundamental importance for gaining mechanistic insight into folding as well as misfolding reactions. Toward achieving this objective, the folding reaction of a small protein, monellin, has been resolved structurally and temporally, with the use of the multisite time-resolved FRET methodology. The present study establishes that the initial polypeptide chain collapse is not only heterogeneous but also structurally asymmetric and nonuniform. The population-averaged size for the segments spanning parts of the β-sheet decreases much more than that for the α-helix. Multisite measurements enabled specific and nonspecific components of the initial chain collapse to be discerned. The expanded and compact intermediate subensembles have the properties of a nonspecifically collapsed (hence, random-coil-like) and specifically collapsed (hence, globular) polymer, respectively. During subsequent folding, both the subensembles underwent contraction to varying extents at the four monitored segments, which was close to gradual in nature. The expanded intermediate subensemble exhibited an additional very slow contraction, suggestive of the presence of non-native interactions that result in a higher effective viscosity slowing down intrachain motions under folding conditions.

Alternate JournalJ Phys Chem Lett
PubMed ID33764778