The hydrodynamic and conformational properties of denatured proteins in dilute solutions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Published data on the characterization of unfolded proteins in dilute solutions in aqueous guanidine hydrochloride are analyzed to show that the data are not fit by either the random flight or wormlike chain models for linear chains. The analysis includes data on the intrinsic viscosity, root-mean-square radius of gyration, from small-angle X-ray scattering, and hydrodynamic radius, from the translational diffusion coefficient. It is concluded that residual structure consistent with that deduced from nuclear magnetic resonance on these solutions can explain the dilute solution results in a consistent manner through the presence of ring structures, which otherwise have an essentially flexible coil conformation. The ring structures could be in a state of continual flux and rearrangement. Calculation of the radius of gyration for the random-flight model gives a similar reduction of this measure for chains joined at their endpoints, or those containing loop with two dangling ends, each one-fourth the total length of the chain. This relative insensitivity to the details of the ring structure is taken to support the behavior observed across a range of proteins.

published proceedings

  • Protein Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Berry, G. C.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Berry, Guy C

publication date

  • January 2010