Experimental observations suggest that proteins follow different folding pathways under different environmental conditions. We perform molecular dynamics simulations of a model of the c-Crk SH3 domain over a broad range of temperatures, and identify distinct pathways in the folding transition. We determine the kinetic partition temperature-the temperature for which the c-Crk SH3 domain undergoes a rapid folding transition with minimal kinetic barriers-and observe that below this temperature the model protein may undergo a folding transition by multiple folding pathways via only one or two intermediates. Our findings suggest the hypothesis that the SH3 domain, a protein fold for which only two-state folding kinetics was observed in previous experiments, may exhibit intermediate states under conditions that strongly stabilize the native state.
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