Energy Landscape for Fold-Switching in Regulatory Protein RfaH

Jerelle A. Joseph, Debayan Chakraborty, David J. Wales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The C-terminal domain (CTD) of bacterial regulatory protein RfaH undergoes a dramatic structural rearrangement from an α-helical hairpin to a β-barrel. We employ a quasi-continuous interpolation scheme and geometry optimization techniques to construct a kinetic transition network for this process. The computed free energy landscape at 310 K is multifunneled, and the predicted free energy ensembles are in good agreement with experiment and other simulation studies. We find that rearrangement from the α-helical conformer to the β-sheet proceeds via an essentially unstructured state. The techniques refined for the present system should be transferable to other protein conformational switches, with the potential to advance our understanding of such systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-742
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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