Testing the diffusing boundary model for the helix–coil transition in peptides

PNAS, 2013, 110,32, 12905-12910 published on 22.07.2013
The dynamics of peptide α-helices have been studied extensively for many years, and the kinetic mechanism of the helix–coil dynamics has been discussed controversially. Recent experimental results have suggested that equilibrium helix–coil dynamics are governed by movement of the helix/coil boundary along the peptide chain, which leads to slower unfolding kinetics in the helix center compared with the helix ends and position-independent helix formation kinetics. We tested this diffusion of boundary model in helical peptides of different lengths by triplet-triplet energy transfer measurements and compared the data with simulations based on a kinetic linear Ising model.
TU München