such a model, quartets of dihedral angles change simultaneously in single kinetics steps. This model can explain the experimental data, as well as predict the properties of other β-hairpins. It is, however, not straightforward to extend a model based on interactions to more complex structures because of the difficulty in defining rules that specify the rates of all elementary kinetic steps in terms of just a few parameters.

We thank Attila Szabo and Peter Wolynes for helpful comments on the manuscript.

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