NMR determination of residual structure in a urea-denatured protein, the 434-repressor

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Science  11 Sep 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5076, pp. 1559-1563
DOI: 10.1126/science.1523410


A nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structure determination is reported for the polypeptide chain of a globular protein in strongly denaturing solution. Nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) measurements with a 7 molar urea solution of the amino-terminal 63-residue domain of the 434-repressor and distance geometry calculations showed that the polypeptide segment 54 to 59 forms a hydrophobic cluster containing the side chains of Val54, Val56, Trp58, and Leu59. This residual structure in the urea-unfolded protein is related to the corresponding region of the native, folded protein by simple rearrangements of the residues 58 to 60. Based on these observations a model for the early phase of refolding of the 434-repressor(1-63) is proposed.