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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(2), 572-588; doi:10.3390/ijms10020572
Review

Folding, Stability and Shape of Proteins in Crowded Environments: Experimental and Computational Approaches

1
, 2,*  and 1,*
Received: 11 December 2008; in revised form: 10 February 2009 / Accepted: 12 February 2009 / Published: 13 February 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Folding)
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Abstract: How the crowded environment inside cells affects folding, stability and structures of proteins is a vital question, since most proteins are made and function inside cells. Here we describe how crowded conditions can be created in vitro and in silico and how we have used this to probe effects on protein properties. We have found that folded forms of proteins become more compact in the presence of macromolecular crowding agents; if the protein is aspherical, the shape also changes (extent dictated by native-state stability and chemical conditions). It was also discovered that the shape of the macromolecular crowding agent modulates the folding mechanism of a protein; in addition, the extent of asphericity of the protein itself is an important factor in defining its folding speed.
Keywords: Macromolecular crowding; Ficoll® 70; energy landscape theory; off-lattice model; excluded volume effect; protein folding mechanism; spectroscopy Macromolecular crowding; Ficoll® 70; energy landscape theory; off-lattice model; excluded volume effect; protein folding mechanism; spectroscopy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Samiotakis, A.; Wittung-Stafshede, P.; Cheung, M.S. Folding, Stability and Shape of Proteins in Crowded Environments: Experimental and Computational Approaches. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 572-588.

AMA Style

Samiotakis A, Wittung-Stafshede P, Cheung MS. Folding, Stability and Shape of Proteins in Crowded Environments: Experimental and Computational Approaches. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2009; 10(2):572-588.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Samiotakis, Antonios; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla; Cheung, Margaret S. 2009. "Folding, Stability and Shape of Proteins in Crowded Environments: Experimental and Computational Approaches." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 10, no. 2: 572-588.



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