Basic concepts about two-state, cooperative protein folding and its relation to first-order phase transitions are reviewed. Minimalist models capable of reproducing the required free energy barrier between folded and unfolded macroscopic states are described. A significantly more restrictive “calorimetric” criterion is also discussed, which is based on direct comparison between model and experimental heat capacities with additional assumptions about conformational enthalpy variation in the unfolded state.
Departamento de Biologia Celular Universidade de Brasília, Brasília-DF 70910-900, Brazil.
Publication date: April 1, 2005
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Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.