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This review describes how kinetic experiments using techniques with dramatically improved time resolution have contributed to understanding mechanisms in protein folding. Optical triggering with nanosecond laser pulses has made it possible to study the fastest-folding proteins as well as fundamental processes in folding for the first time. These include(More)
In plants, sterols play fundamental roles as membrane constituents in the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, and act as precursors for cell wall deposition. Sterols are synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but mainly accumulate in the plasma membrane. How sterols are trafficked in plant cells is largely unknown. In non-plant systems,(More)
We describe a new, time-apertured photon correlation method for resolving the transition time between two states of RNA in folding--i.e., the time of the transition between states rather than the time spent in each state. Single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy are used to obtain these measurements.(More)
Formation of a specific contact between two residues of a polypeptide chain is an important elementary process in protein folding. Here we describe a method for studying contact formation between tryptophan and cysteine based on measurements of the lifetime of the tryptophan triplet state. With tryptophan at one end of a flexible peptide and cysteine at the(More)
One of the most recurring questions in protein folding refers to the interplay between formation of secondary structure and hydrophobic collapse. In contrast with secondary structure, it is hard to isolate hydrophobic collapse from other folding events. We have directly measured the dynamics of protein hydrophobic collapse in the absence of competing(More)
Recent work on α-synuclein has shown that aggregation is controlled kinetically by the rate of reconfiguration of the unstructured chain, such that the faster the reconfiguration, the slower the aggregation. In this work we investigate this relationship by examining α-synuclein in the presence of a small molecular tweezer, CLR01, which binds selectively to(More)
α-Synuclein is a protein that is intrinsically disordered in vitro and prone to aggregation, particularly at high temperatures. In this work, we examined the ability of curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, to prevent aggregation of the protein. We found strong binding of curcumin to α-synuclein in the hydrophobic non-amyloid-β component region and(More)
We demonstrate that the sub-millisecond protein folding process referred to as "collapse" actually consists of at least two separate processes. We observe the UV fluorescence spectrum from naturally occurring tryptophans in three well-studied proteins, cytochrome c, apomyoglobin, and lysozyme, as a function of time in a microfluidic mixer with a dead time(More)
We hypothesize that the first step of aggregation of disordered proteins, such as α-synuclein, is controlled by the rate of backbone reconfiguration. When reconfiguration is fast, bimolecular association is not stable, but as reconfiguration slows, association is more stable and subsequent aggregation is faster. To investigate this hypothesis, we have(More)
Quenching of the triplet state of tryptophan by cysteine has provided a new tool for measuring the rate of forming a specific intramolecular contact in disordered polypeptides. Here, we use this technique to investigate contact formation in the denatured state of CspTm, a small cold-shock protein from Thermotoga maritima, engineered to contain a single(More)