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J Mol Biol. 1985 Jan 5;181(1):111-21.

Fine structure of a membrane anchor domain.


We describe a detailed deletion analysis of the anchoring domain of a model membrane protein. Removal of the 23 contiguous uncharged amino acids from the carboxy terminus of the bacteriophage fl gene III protein (pIII) converts it from an integral membrane protein to a secreted periplasmic form. Deletions that remove six or fewer residues of the hydrophobic core result in no diminution of the protein's capacity to anchor in the membrane. Longer deletions into this hydrophobic domain gradually destablize the protein-membrane association. pIII derivatives with over half of the hydrophobic core deleted retain substantial residual anchor function. The basic residues, arginine and lysine, which provide a carboxy-terminal boundary for this domain, can be deleted without loss of anchoring capacity.

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