The efficiency of folding of some proteins is increased by controlled rates of translation in vivo. A hypothesis

J Mol Biol. 1987 Jan 20;193(2):413-7. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(87)90230-0.


We propose that the way in which some proteins fold is affected by the rates at which regions of their polypeptide chains are translated in vivo. Furthermore, we suggest that their gene sequences have evolved to control the rate of translational elongation such that the synthesis of defined portions of their polypeptide chains is separated temporally. We stress that many proteins are capable of folding efficiently into their native conformations without the help of differential translation rates. For these proteins the amino acid sequence does indeed contain all the information needed for the polypeptide chain to fold correctly (even in vitro, after denaturation). However, other proteins clearly do not fold efficiently into their native conformation in vitro. We argue that the efficiency of folding of these problematic proteins in vivo may be improved by controlled synthesis of the nascent polypeptide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Codon
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Pyruvate Kinase / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Software
  • Time Factors


  • Codon
  • Pyruvate Kinase