Several point mutants of human ubiquitin (Ub(T9V), Ub(F45W), Ub(F45G), and Ub(A46S)) were prepared by recombinant techniques. The NH exchange rate constants were measured by the NMR diffusion and the MEXICO methods and compared with those in the wild type to examine the influence of structural changes and to improve the understanding of this important reaction in studies of protein folding and denaturation. The observed changes follow qualitatively the polarity and steric alterations caused by the introduced amino acids. Attempts to reproduce quantitatively the observed changes by modeling studies and molecular dynamics simulations were not satisfactory.
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