- Confinement-Induced States in the Folding Landscape of the Trp-cage Miniprotein
- The journal of Physical Chemistry. B
- Volume | Issue number
- 116 | 39
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
Although protein folding is typically studied in dilute solution, folding in a cell will be affected by interactions with other biomolecules and excluded volume effects. Here, we examine the effect of hydrophobic confinement on folding of the Trp-cage miniprotein. We used replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations to probe the differences between folding in the bulk, on a hydrophobic surface, and confined between two hydrophobic walls. In addition to promotion of helix formation due to reduced conformational entropy of the unfolded state upon confinement, adsorption of Trp-cage to a hydrophobic surface stabilizes intermediate structures not present in the bulk. These new intermediate structures may alter the folding mechanism and kinetics and show the importance of including environmental effects when studying protein folding.
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