An early intermediate in the folding reaction of the B1 domain of protein G contains a native-like core.


The folding kinetics of a 57-residue IgG binding domain of streptococcal protein G has been studied under varying solvent conditions, using stopped-flow fluorescence methods. Although GB1 has been cited as an example of a protein that obeys a two-state folding mechanism, the following kinetic observations suggest the presence of an early folding intermediate. Under stabilizing conditions (low denaturant concentrations, especially in the presence of sodium sulfate), the kinetics of folding shows evidence of a major unresolved fluorescence change during the 1.5 ms dead time of the stopped-flow experiment (burst phase). Together with some curvature in the rate profile for the single observable folding phase, this provides clear evidence of the rapid formation of compact states with native-like fluorescence for the single tryptophan at position 43. In refolding experiments at increasing denaturant concentrations, the amplitude of the sub-millisecond phase decreases sharply and the corresponding slope (m value) is only about 30% lower than that of the equilibrium unfolding curve indicative of a pre- equilibrium transition involving cooperative unfolding of an ensemble of compact intermediates. The dependence on guanidine hydrochloride concentration of both rates and amplitudes (including the equilibrium transition) is described quantitatively by a sequential three-state mechanism, U ⇔ I ⇔ N, where an intermediate (I) in rapid equilibrium with the unfolded state (U) precedes the rate-limiting formation of the native state (N). A66-residue fragment of GB1 with an N-terminal extension containing five apolar side chains exhibits three-state kinetic behavior virtually identical to that of the 57-residue fragment. This is consistent with the presence of a well-shielded native-like core excluding the N-terminal tail in the early folding intermediate and argues against a mechanism involving random hydrophobic collapse, which would predict a correlation between overall hydrophobicity and stability of compact states.

Submission Details


Submitter: Marie Ary

Submission Date: March 6, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

Version: 1

Publication Details
Park SH;O'Neil KT;Roder H,Biochemistry (1997) An early intermediate in the folding reaction of the B1 domain of protein G contains a native-like core. PMID:9400366
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