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Table 2.

Predicted and observed effects of macromolecular confinement

Predicted effect Relevant observations
Enhancement or inhibition of the association of confined macromolecules, depending upon complementarity of the shapes of oligomers and the confining cavity (Minton, 1992).   
Stabilization of native proteins against unfolding by heat or chaotropes. Magnitude of effect will increase as the size of the protein approaches the smallest dimension of the cavity (Zhou and Dill, 2001; Klimov et al., 2002).   Encapsulation of a variety of proteins in hydrated silica-sol-gel glasses (Eggers and Valentine, 2001) or in polyacrylamide gels (Bolis et al., 2004) increases the temperature of thermal denaturation. Encapsulation of ribonuclease T1 in reverse micelles increases temperature of thermal denaturation, and the denaturation temperature increases as the water content (volume?) of the micelle decreases (Shastry and Eftink, 1996).  
Acceleration of refolding to the native state (Klimov et al., 2002).   
Predicted effect Relevant observations
Enhancement or inhibition of the association of confined macromolecules, depending upon complementarity of the shapes of oligomers and the confining cavity (Minton, 1992).   
Stabilization of native proteins against unfolding by heat or chaotropes. Magnitude of effect will increase as the size of the protein approaches the smallest dimension of the cavity (Zhou and Dill, 2001; Klimov et al., 2002).   Encapsulation of a variety of proteins in hydrated silica-sol-gel glasses (Eggers and Valentine, 2001) or in polyacrylamide gels (Bolis et al., 2004) increases the temperature of thermal denaturation. Encapsulation of ribonuclease T1 in reverse micelles increases temperature of thermal denaturation, and the denaturation temperature increases as the water content (volume?) of the micelle decreases (Shastry and Eftink, 1996).  
Acceleration of refolding to the native state (Klimov et al., 2002).   

For example, a rod-like oligomer will fit more easily into a tubular cavity than a large spherical oligomer of the same stoichiometry (total volume).

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