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J Mol Biol. 1988 Sep 5;203(1):221-32.

Analysis and prediction of the different types of beta-turn in proteins.

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Department of Crystallography, Birkbeck College, London, U.K.


beta-Turns have been extracted from 59 non-identical proteins (resolution 2 A) using the standard criterion that the distance between C alpha (i) and C alpha (i + 3) is less than 7 A (1 A = 0.1 nm). The beta-turns have been classified, using phi, psi angles, into seven conventional turn types (I, I', II, II', IV, VIa, VIb) and a new class of beta-turn, designated type VIII, in which the central residues (i + 1, i + 2) adopt an alpha R beta conformation. Most beta-turn types are found in various topological environments, with the exception of I' and II' beta-turns, where 83% and 50%, respectively, are found in beta-hairpins. Sufficient data have been gathered to enable, for the first time, the separate statistical analysis of type I and II beta-turns. The two turn types have been shown to be strikingly different in their sequence preferences. Type I turns favour Asp, Asn, Ser and Cys at i; Asp, Ser, Thr and Pro at i + 1; Asp, Ser, Asn and Arg at i + 2; Gly, Trp and Met at i + 3, whilst type II turns prefer Pro at i + 1; Gly and Asn at i + 2; Gln and Arg at i + 3. These preferences have been explained by the specific side-chain interactions observed within the X-ray structures. The positional trends for type I and II beta-turns have been incorporated into the simple empirical predictive algorithm originally developed by P.N. Lewis et al. The program has improved the positional prediction of beta-turns, and has enhanced and extended the method by predicting the type of beta-turn. Since the observed preferences reflect local interactions these predictions are applicable not only to proteins, but also to peptides, many of which are thought to contain beta-turns.

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