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J Mol Biol. 1993 Feb 5;229(3):602-8.

Non-random distribution of amino acids in the transmembrane segments of human type I single span membrane proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The distribution of amino acids in the transmembrane segments and flanking regions of 115 human type I single span (amino terminus extracellular and carboxyl terminus cytosolic) plasma membrane proteins was found to be non-random. In this sample, Ile was preferentially localized to the amino-terminal region of the hydrophobic transmembrane segments, followed by Val, while Leu predominated in the carboxyl-terminal half of the segment. Although Gly residues were preferentially located in the transmembrane segment, this residue was excluded from the carboxyl-terminal and adjacent boundary regions. Aromatic residues (Tyr, Trp and Phe) occurred preferentially at the cytoplasmic boundary, with Trp also favored at the extracellular boundary. The extracellular flanking sequence amino-terminal to the transmembrane segment was enriched in residues predicted to initiate helix formation (Pro, Asn and Ser), while Arg and Lys were enriched in the cytoplasmic flank where they may function as topological determinants. The positional preferences of these particular amino acids within the transmembrane segment and flanking regions suggests that, in addition to lipid-protein interactions, these residues may participate in specific protein-protein interactions. A consensus sequence motif for type I membrane proteins is proposed and its role in the biosynthesis, folding, assembly and function of these segments is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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