Detection of residue contacts in a protein folding intermediate.

TitleDetection of residue contacts in a protein folding intermediate.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsBalbach, J., V. Forge, W. S. Lau, J. A. Jones, N. A. J. van Nuland, and C. M. Dobson
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published1997 Jul 8
KeywordsAnimals, Cattle, Lactalbumin, Protein Folding

Protein folding can be described in terms of the development of specific contacts between residues as a highly disordered polypeptide chain converts into the native state. Here we describe an NMR based strategy designed to detect such contacts by observation of nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs). Experiments with alpha-lactalbumin reveal the existence of extensive NOEs between aromatic and aliphatic protons in the archetypal molten globule formed by this protein at low pH. Analysis of their time development provides direct evidence for near-native compactness of this state. Through a rapid refolding procedure the NOE intensity can be transferred efficiently into the resolved and assigned spectrum of the native state. This demonstrates the viability of using this approach to map out time-averaged interactions between residues in a partially folded protein.

Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PubMed ID9207065
PubMed Central IDPMC23785