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Comparative Study of Protein Unfolding in Aqueous Urea and Dimethyl Sulfoxide Solutions: Surface Polarity, Solvent Specificity, and Sequence of Secondary Structure Melting

Roy, Susmita and Bagchi, Biman (2014) Comparative Study of Protein Unfolding in Aqueous Urea and Dimethyl Sulfoxide Solutions: Surface Polarity, Solvent Specificity, and Sequence of Secondary Structure Melting. In: JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 118 (21). pp. 5691-5697.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp5037348

Abstract

Elucidation of possible pathways between folded (native) and unfolded states of a protein is a challenging task, as the intermediates are often hard to detect. Here, we alter the solvent environment in a controlled manner by choosing two different cosolvents of water, urea, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and study unfolding of four different proteins to understand the respective sequence of melting by computer simulation methods. We indeed find interesting differences in the sequence of melting of alpha helices and beta sheets in these two solvents. For example, in 8 M urea solution, beta-sheet parts of a protein are found to unfold preferentially, followed by the unfolding of alpha helices. In contrast, 8 M DMSO solution unfolds alpha helices first, followed by the separation of beta sheets for the majority of proteins. Sequence of unfolding events in four different alpha/beta proteins and also in chicken villin head piece (HP-36) both in urea and DMSO solutions demonstrate that the unfolding pathways are determined jointly by relative exposure of polar and nonpolar residues of a protein and the mode of molecular action of a solvent on that protein.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to the AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2014 05:51
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2014 05:51
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/49370

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