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Protein-Folding Landscapes in Multi-Chain Systems

Description: Computational studies of proteins have significantly improved our understanding of protein folding. These studies are normally carried out using chains in isolation. However, in many systems of practical interest, proteins fold in the presence of other molecules. To obtain insight into folding in such situations, we compare the thermodynamics of folding for a Miyazawa-Jernigan model 64-mer in isolation to results obtained in the presence of additional chains. The melting temperature falls as the chain concentration increases. In multi-chain systems, free-energy landscapes for folding show an increased preference for misfolded states. Misfolding is accompanied by an increase in inter-protein interactions; however, near the folding temperature, the transition from folded chains to misfolded and associated chains isentropically driven. A majority of the most probable inter-protein contacts are also native contacts, suggesting that native topology plays a role in early stages of aggregation.
Date: June 20, 2005
Creator: Cellmer, Troy; Bratko, Dusan; Prausnitz, John M. & Blanch, Harvey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effect of single-point sequence alterations on the aggregationpropensity of a model protein

Description: Sequences of contemporary proteins are believed to have evolved through process that optimized their overall fitness including their resistance to deleterious aggregation. Biotechnological processing may expose therapeutic proteins to conditions that are much more conducive to aggregation than those encountered in a cellular environment. An important task of protein engineering is to identify alternative sequences that would protect proteins when processed at high concentrations without altering their native structure associated with specific biological function. Our computational studies exploit parallel tempering simulations of coarse-grained model proteins to demonstrate that isolated amino-acid residue substitutions can result in significant changes in the aggregation resistance of the protein in a crowded environment while retaining protein structure in isolation. A thermodynamic analysis of protein clusters subject to competing processes of folding and association shows that moderate mutations can produce effects similar to those caused by changes in system conditions, including temperature, concentration, and solvent composition that affect the aggregation propensity. The range of conditions where a protein can resist aggregation can therefore be tuned by sequence alterations although the protein generally may retain its generic ability for aggregation.
Date: October 7, 2005
Creator: Bratko, Dusan; Cellmer, Troy; Prausnitz, John M. & Blanch, Harvey W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department