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J Biomol Struct Dyn. 1984 Aug;2(1):93-100.

Subunit secondary structure in filamentous viruses: predictions and observations.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


The algorithm of Garnier, Osguthorpe and Robson (J. Mol. Biol. 120, 97-120, 1978) for prediction of protein secondary structure has been applied to the coat protein sequences of six filamentous bacteriophages: fd, If1, IKe, Pf1, Xf and Pf3. For subunits of Class I virions (fd, If1, IKe), the algorithm predicts a very high percentage of helix in comparison to other structure types, which is in accord with the results of laser Raman and circular dichroism measurements. For subunits of the Class II virions (Pf1, Xf, Pf3), the algorithm consistently predicts a predominance of beta structure, which is compatible with the demonstrated facility for conversion of Class II subunits from alpha-helix to beta-strand under appropriate experimental conditions (Thomas, Prescott and Day, J. Mol. Biol. 165, 321-356, 1983). Even when the algorithm is biased to favor helix, the Class II virion subunits are predicted to contain considerably more strand than helix. Qualitatively similar results are obtained using the algorithm of Chou and Fasman (Adv. Enzym. 47, 45-148, 45-148). Therefore, both predictive and experimental methods indicate a distinction between Class I and II subunits, which is reflected in a greater tendency of the latter to adopt other than uniform alpha-helical conformation. The results suggest a possible model for the disassembly of filamentous viruses which may involve the unraveling of coat protein helices at the N terminus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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