Assessing the Effect of Loop Mutations in the Folding Space of β2-Microglobulin with Molecular Dynamics Simulations
The conformational properties of hydrophobic core variant ubiquitin (Val26 to Ala mutation) in an acidic solution were studied. The intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence emission spectrum, far-UV and near-UV circular dichroic spectra, the fluorescence emission spectrum of 8-anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid in the presence of V26A ubiquitin, and urea-induced unfolding measurements indicate this variant ubiquitin to be in the partially folded molten globule conformation in solution at pH 2. The folding kinetics from molten globule to the native state was nearly identical to those from the unfolded state to the native state. This observation suggests that the equilibrium molten globule state of hydrophobic core variant ubiquitin is an on-pathway folding intermediate.