Goldenberg, D.P., Smith, D.H. and King, J. (1983) Biopolymers, 22, 125-129

Genetic and biochemical anaylsis of in vivo protein folding and subunit assembly


The in vivo pathway of folding and subunit assembly of a trimeric bacteriophage protein has been studied by characterizing precursors to the native protein and by analyzing temperature-sensitive mutations that kinetically block the pathway. The native trimer is formed via an intermediate composed of three partially folded chains, the protrimer. At 39°C, temperature-sensitive mutations prevent the formation of both the native trimer and the protrimer, possibly by destabilizing earlier intermediates. However, the mutations do not affect the stability of the native protein, formed at 30°C. Thus, these mutations identify amino acid residues involved in interactions that determine the folding pathway.

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