Studying Protein Structures in the Gas Phase
Although the “native” solution structures of many proteins are known, little is known about how denatured forms fold into the native state. This is because isolating and determining structures for a large number of solution-phase intermediates is difficult. We are approaching this problem quite differently by studying the structures of naked proteins in the gas phase. Although it seems unlikely that proteins in the gas phase will have structures that are identical to those found in solution, it is straightforward to separate gas-phase intermediates and follow the dynamics associated with folding.