Much of the current understanding of the protein folding problem derives from studies of proteins in dilute solutions. However, in many systems of scientific and engineering interest, proteins must fold in concentrated, heterogeneous environments. Cells are crowded with many molecular species, and chaperones often sequester proteins and promote rapid folding. Proteins are also present in high concentrations in the manufacture, storage, and delivery of biotherapeutics. How does crowding generally affect the stability of the native state? Are all crowding agents created equal? If not, can generic structural or chemical features forecast their effects on protein stability?

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