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Topological reaction coordinate captures the folding transition state ensemble in a pierced lasso protein

Item Type:Article
Title:Topological reaction coordinate captures the folding transition state ensemble in a pierced lasso protein
Creators Name:Noel, J.K. and Haglund, E.
Abstract:Proteins with a pierced lasso topology (PLT) have a covalent loop created by a disulfide bond, and the backbone circles back to thread the loop. This threaded topology has unique features compared to knotted topologies; notably, the topology is controlled by the chemical environment and the covalent loop remains intact even when denatured. In this work, we use the hormone leptin as our model PLT system and study its folding using molecular dynamics simulations that employ a structure-based (Go̅-like) model. We find that the reduced protein has a two-state folding mechanism with a transition state ensemble (TSE) that can be characterized by the reaction coordinate Q, the fraction of native contacts formed. In contrast, the oxidized protein, which must thread part of the polypeptide chain through a covalent loop, has a folding process that is poorly characterized by Q. Instead, we find that a topological coordinate that monitors the residue crossing the loop can identify the TSE of oxidized leptin. By precisely identifying the predicted TSE, one may now reliably calculate theoretical phi-values for the PLT protein, thereby enabling a comparison with experimental measurements. We find the loop-threading constraint leads to noncanonical phi-values that are uniformly small because this PLT protein has a flat energy landscape through the TSE.
Keywords:Disulfides, Mathematical Methods, Nucleic Acid Structure, Protein Folding, Protein Structure
Source:Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Publisher:American Chemical Society
Page Range:117-124
Date:11 January 2024
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.3c06678
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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