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Protein Eng. 1998 Sep;11(9):753-60.

Helix stabilizing factors and stabilization of thermophilic proteins: an X-ray based study.

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CRISCEB, Research Center of Computational and Biotechnological Sciences, Naples, Italy.

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  • Protein Eng..


We have compared the X-ray structures of 13 thermophilic proteins with their mesophilic homologues, in order to bring out differences in the stability of helices. The energy terms of a helix-coil transition algorithm were used to evaluate helix stability. Helices of thermophilic proteins are more stable than the mesophilic homologues in 69% of cases. This is due mainly to intrinsic helical propensities of amino acids, whereas minor effects are linked to main chain H-bonds, side chain-side chain interactions, capping motifs and charge-dipole effects. Furthermore, the frequency of 10 helix stabilizing factors recognized by appropriate sequence patterns was evaluated. The only factor occurring significantly in the thermostable proteins was the lack of beta branched residues. Other factors do not show a definite trend, although their occurrence in proteins is believed to be important for stability. This is discussed in the light of protein engineering applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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