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Quezada, Andrea G; Jessica Diaz-Salazar, A; Cabrera, Nallely; Perez-Montfort, Ruy; Pineiro, Angel; Costas, Miguel (2017)


Structure 25(1):167-179
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Kinetic stability is a key parameter to comprehend protein behavior and it plays a central role to understand how evolution has reached the balance between function and stability in cell-relevant timescales. Using an approach that includes simulations, protein engineering, and calorimetry, we show that there is a clear correlation between kinetic stability determined by differential scanning calorimetry and protein thermal flexibility obtained from a novel method based on temperature-induced unfolding molecular dynamics simulations. Thermal flexibility quantitatively measures the increment of the conformational space available to the protein when energy in provided. The (β/α)8 barrel fold of two closely related by evolution triosephosphate isomerases from two trypanosomes are used as model systems. The kinetic stability-thermal flexibility correlation has predictive power for the studied proteins, suggesting that the strategy and methodology discussed here might be applied to other proteins in biotechnological developments, evolutionary studies, and the design of protein based therapeutics.