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Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2001 Oct;77(2):111-75.

The architecture of parallel beta-helices and related folds.

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Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UA, UK.


Three-dimensional structures have been determined of a large number of proteins characterized by a repetitive fold where each of the repeats (coils) supplies a strand to one or more parallel beta-sheets. Some of these proteins form superfamilies of proteins, which have probably arisen by divergent evolution from a common ancestor. The classical example is the family including four families of pectinases without obviously related primary sequences, the phage P22 tailspike endorhamnosidase, chrondroitinase B and possibly pertactin from Bordetella pertusis. These show extensive stacking of similar residues to give aliphatic, aromatic and polar stacks such as the asparagine ladder. This suggests that coils can be added or removed by duplication or deletion of the DNA corresponding to one or more coils and explains how homologous proteins can have different numbers of coils. This process can also account for the evolution of other families of proteins such as the beta-rolls, the leucine-rich repeat proteins, the hexapeptide repeat family, two separate families of beta-helical antifreeze proteins and the spiral folds. These families need not be related to each other but will share features such as relative untwisted beta-sheets, stacking of similar residues and turns between beta-strands of approximately 90 degrees often stabilized by hydrogen bonding along the direction of the parallel beta-helix.Repetitive folds present special problems in the comparison of structures but offer attractive targets for structure prediction. The stacking of similar residues on a flat parallel beta-sheet may account for the formation of amyloid with beta-strands at right-angles to the fibril axis from many unrelated peptides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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