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J Mol Biol. 1990 Jul 5;214(1):253-60.

Occurrence and role of cis peptide bonds in protein structures.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


It has been widely assumed that the occurrence of cis peptide bonds in proteins is quite rare due to unfavorable contacts between adjacent amino acid residues in this isomeric form. To investigate this assumption, the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank was examined for the occurrences of cis peptide bonds. Out of 31,005 amide bonds, only 17, or 0.05%, are cis, while 99 of the 1534 imide bonds (X-Pro), or 6.5%, are cis. These figures are considerably less than the distribution predicted on the basis of the potential energy difference between the cis and trans isomeric forms and experimental data on small peptides. It is not known whether the lower than expected occurrence of cis peptide bonds arises from constraints imposed by the protein environment, or from assumptions made in the solution of the X-ray crystal structures. However, when the occurrence of cis bonds in the data base is examined relative to the resolution of the structures, the number of cis bonds increases with increasing resolution. The distributions seen for these peptide omega bonds in the data base are not the same shape as the distributions predicted from simple potential energy barriers. They are sharper in the main, but they are also broader at the base with significant numbers of nonplanar peptide bonds. Cis peptide bonds are found primarily in bends and turns and, in the case of cis imide bonds (X-PRO), this correlation is so high that it suggests a specific role for cis imide groups in such structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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