There is a controversy about the major determinants of the folding rate of small single-domain proteins. To shed light on this issue, we examined a possibility that the major determinants may change depending on temperature by conducting molecular dynamics simulations for 17 small single-domain proteins using an off-lattice Go-like model over a wide range of temperature. It was shown that the rank order of the folding rates is temperature dependent, which indicates that the major determinants are dependent on temperature. It was also found that as temperature is decreased, the correlation of the folding rate with the chain length becomes weakened, whereas that with the native topology becomes enhanced. Our simulation results, therefore, may provide a clue to reconcile the apparent controversy between the study by Plaxco based on experimental data and the previous theoretical and subsequent simulation studies: the former showed that the folding rate of two-state folders does not correlate with the chain length but correlates well with the native topology, whereas the latter showed that the folding rate does correlate with the chain length. We propose a possible scenario reconciling the controversy, explaining the reason why the correlation of the folding rate with the chain length became weakened and that with the native topology became enhanced with decreasing temperature.
|Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
|Published - 2005 6月 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas