Association between foldability and aggregation propensity in small disulfide-rich proteins

Hugo Fraga, Ricardo Graña-Montes, Ricard Illa, Giovanni Covaleda, Salvador Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Disulfide-rich domains (DRDs) are small proteins whose native structure is stabilized by the presence of covalent disulfide bonds. These domains are versatile and can perform a wide range of functions. Many of these domains readily unfold on disulfide bond reduction, suggesting that in the absence of covalent bonding they might display significant disorder. Results: Here, we analyzed the degree of disorder in 97 domains representative of the different DRDs families and demonstrate that, in terms of sequence, many of them can be classified as intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) or contain predicted disordered regions. The analysis of the aggregation propensity of these domains indicates that, similar to IDPs, their sequences are more soluble and have less aggregating regions than those of other globular domains, suggesting that they might have evolved to avoid aggregation after protein synthesis and before they can attain its compact and covalently linked native structure. Innovation and Conclusion: DRDs, which resemble IDPs in the reduced state and become globular when their disulfide bonds are formed, illustrate the link between protein folding and aggregation propensities and how these two properties cannot be easily dissociated, determining the main traits of the folding routes followed by these small proteins to attain their native oxidized states. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 368-383. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-383
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2014


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