The earliest folding events in single-tryptophan mutants of RNase A were investigated by fluorescence measurements by using a combination of stopped-flow and continuous-flow mixing experiments covering the time range from 70 μs to 10 s. An ultrarapid double-jump mixing protocol was used to study refolding from an unfolded ensemble containing only native proline isomers. The continuous-flow measurements revealed a series of kinetic events on the submillisecond time scale that account for the burst-phase signal observed in previous stopped-flow experiments. An initial increase in fluorescence within the 70-μs dead time of the continuous-flow experiment is consistent with a relatively nonspecific collapse of the polypeptide chain whereas a subsequent decrease in fluorescence with a time constant of ≈80 μs is indicative of a more specific structural event. These rapid conformational changes are not observed if RNase A is allowed to equilibrate under denaturing conditions, resulting in formation of nonnative proline isomers. Thus, contrary to previous expectations, the isomerization state of proline peptide bonds can have a major impact on the structural events during early stages of folding.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 21 2004|
- Burst phase
- Proline isomers
ASJC Scopus subject areas