Most experimental studies on the dynamics of protein folding have been confined to timescales of 1 ms and longer. Yet it is obvious that many phenomena that are obligatory elements of the folding process occur on much faster timescales. For example, it is also now clear that the formation of secondary and tertiary structures can occur on nanosecond and microsecond times, respectively. Although fast events are essential to, and sometimes dominate, the overall folding process, with a few exceptions their experimental study has become possible only recently with the development of appropriate techniques. This review discusses new approaches that are capable of initiating and monitoring the fast events in protein folding with temporal resolution down to picoseconds. The first important results from those techniques, which have been obtained for the folding of some globular proteins and polypeptide models, are also discussed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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