Thermodynamics and kinetics of non-native interactions in protein folding: a single point mutant significantly stabilizes the N-terminal domain of L9 by modulating non-native interactions in the denatured state. Academic Article uri icon


  • Comparatively little is known about the role of non-native interactions in protein folding and their role in both folding and stability is controversial. We demonstrate that non-native electrostatic interactions involving specific residues in the denatured state can have a significant effect upon protein stability and can persist in the transition state for folding. Mutation of a single surface exposed residue, Lys12 to Met, in the N-terminal domain of the ribosomal protein L9 (NTL9), significantly increased the stability of the protein and led to faster folding. Structural and energetic studies of the wild-type and K12M mutant show that the 1.9 kcal mol(-1) increase in stability is not due to native state effects, but rather is caused by modulation of specific non-native electrostatic interactions in the denatured state. pH dependent stability measurements confirm that the increased stability of the K12M is due to the elimination of favorable non-native interactions in the denatured state. Kinetic studies show that the non-native electrostatic interactions involving K12 persist in the transition state. The analysis demonstrates that canonical Phi-values can arise from the disruption of non-native interactions as well as from the development of native interactions.

published proceedings

  • J Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Cho, J., Sato, S., & Raleigh, D. P.

citation count

  • 101

complete list of authors

  • Cho, Jae-Hyun||Sato, Satoshi||Raleigh, Daniel P

publication date

  • January 2004