Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1989, 54, 2542-2549

Different rates of formation of secondary and tertiary structure during renaturation of urea-denatured human serum albumin

Josef Chmelík

Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 611 42 Brno


A comparison of the results of our polarimetric measurements with the polarographic experiments reported earlier shows that the restoration of the secondary structure during the renaturation of human serum albumin is a process which is faster than the formation of the tertiary structure. These results, which are in agreement with the data on the kinetic control of protein folding, are discussed from the viewpoint of the importance of the individual types of interactions which take place during the formation and stabilization of three-dimensional protein structures. We have been able to demonstrate the great importance of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions which together with the disulfide bonds are essential for the reversibility of the denaturation phenomena. The discussion also shows the essential role which evolution processes play in the selection of the mode of protein folding.