- Kinetics of Conformational Change and Protein Folding
Conformational transitions are fundamental in structural biology and biochemistry. In almost every case, the motion of a protein either is the function or is a necessary part of the function. As examples, consider motor proteins whose job is to generate motion or enzymes, which typically rearrange conformation to perform catalysis and/or release their products. “Signaling”—the transmission of information from one part of the cell to another-is typically accomplished by allosteric binding events (see Figure 10.1). In allosteric signaling, protein X binds to Y, causing conformational changes in Y that lead it to bind Z, and so on. (The fact that Y didn’t bind Z before binding X makes it allostery.) Of course, protein folding is a change of conformation, by definition.