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Protein Sci. 1997 Jun;6(6):1210-9.

Identification of compact, hydrophobically stabilized domains and modules containing multiple peptide chains.

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Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Compactness has been used to locate discontinuous structural units containing one or more polypeptide chains in proteins of known structure. Rather than exhaustively calculating the compactness of all possible units, our procedure uses a screening algorithm to find discontinuous regions that are potentially compact. Precise calculations of compactness are restricted only to units in these regions. With our procedure, compactness can be used to discover discontinuous domains with virtually any number of disjoint peptides. Small, single-domain proteins may contain several compact regions: thus, compact regions do not always correspond to folding domains. Because a domain is an independent folding unit and should contain a hydrophobic core, compact units were further examined for the presence of hydrophobic clusters (Zehfus MH, 1995, Protein Sci 4:1188-1202). This added constraint limits the number of acceptable units and helps greatly in the location of the true structural domains. The larger hydrophobically stabilized compact units correspond to domains, while the smaller units may correspond to folding intermediates.

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