Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9485402
Biochemistry 1998 Feb;37(8):2529-37
The equilibrium unfolding and the kinetic folding and unfolding of the 67 residue Fyn-SH3 domain have been investigated. Equilibrium unfolding experiments indicate that, despite the lack of both disulfide bonds and prosthetic groups, Fyn-SH3 is relatively stable with a free energy of folding of -6.0 +/- 0.6 kcal mol-1 at 20 degrees C. Kinetic experiments indicate that the domain refolds in a rapid two-state manner without significant population of intermediates (k = 94.3 s-1 in H2O at 20 degrees C). Despite the presence of two proline residues, the refolding of the domain is monophasic, and no significant proline isomerization-like refolding phase is observed. This can be attributed to an extremely low level of the incorrect (cis) isomer of the structurally important Pro134 residue in the protein denatured in 8 M guanidine hydrochloride. Analysis of the temperature and guanidine hydrochloride dependence of the folding rate suggests that the folding transition state of this protein is relatively well organized. A comparison with the refolding kinetics and thermodynamics of other homologous SH3 domains indicates that these exhibit an equivalent degree of transition state organization. This potentially arises from conservation of key features of the transition state conformation despite sometimes relatively low overall sequence identity. Such a comparison further suggests that relative thermodynamic stability is an important factor in determining the relative folding rates of natural proteins with a common fold, but that specific details of the amino acid sequence can also play a significant role in individual cases.