Graduate Student Researcher
Department of Chemistry
University of California at Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-4560
Molten Globules (MG) refer to the ensemble of partially denatured, sub-compact states of globular proteins. Existing as stable, equilibrium intermediates under a number of denaturing conditions, MG states are considered the energetic equivalent of early kinetic intermediates encountered in the protein folding pathway. An understanding of the structure, dynamics and relative energetics of these states are associated with efforts to solve the protein folding problem. We have used the techniques of Molecular Dynamics Simulations to create representative conformers of the molten globule ensemble. Characterizing differences among the ensemble members, as well as with the the Native state helps understand and interpret their behavior as highlighted with neutron scattering and NMRD experiments.