The extremely slow α-helix/β-sheet transition of proteins is a crucial step in amylogenic diseases and represents an internal rearrangement of local contacts in an already folded protein. These internal structural rearrangements within an already folded protein are a critical aspect of biological action and are a product of conformational flow along unknown metastable local minima of the energy landscape of the compact protein. We use a diffusional IR mixer with time-resolved Fourier transform IR spectroscopy capable of 400-μs time resolution to show that the trifluoroethanol driven β-sheet to α-helix transition of β-lactoglobulin proceeds via a compact β-sheet intermediate with a lifetime of 7 ms, small compared with the overall folding time of β-lactoglobulin.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Jun 5 2001
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