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J Mol Biol. 2004 Dec 10;344(5):1199-209.

Analysis of void volumes in proteins and application to stability of the p53 tumour suppressor protein.

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School of Animal and Microbial Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 228, Reading RG6 6AJ, UK.


We have developed a new method for the analysis of voids in proteins (defined as empty cavities not accessible to solvent). This method combines analysis of individual discrete voids with analysis of packing quality. While these are different aspects of the same effect, they have traditionally been analysed using different approaches. The method has been applied to the calculation of total void volume and maximum void size in a non-redundant set of protein domains and has been used to examine correlations between thermal stability and void size. The tumour-suppressor protein p53 has then been compared with the non-redundant data set to determine whether its low thermal stability results from poor packing. We found that p53 has average packing, but the detrimental effects of some previously unexplained mutations to p53 observed in cancer can be explained by the creation of unusually large voids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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