While in vitro experiments have contributed much to our understanding of protein folding, we know much less about how proteins fold in the more complex environment of the cell. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the earliest in vivo folding intermediates: the conformations adopted by nascent polypeptides during synthesis by the ribosome. The challenges related to successful folding in the cellular environment, including off-pathway aggregation and macromolecular crowding, are also discussed.
Keywords: protein, folding, co-translational, intermediate, misfolding, aggregation, ribosome, translation
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