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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1998 Dec;8(6):738-48.

The stability of proteins in extreme environments.

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Institute of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry University of Regensburg D-93040 Regensburg Germany. rainer.jaenicke@biologie.


Three complete genome sequences of thermophilic bacteria provide a wealth of information challenging current ideas concerning phylogeny and evolution, as well as the determinants of protein stability. Considering known protein structures from extremophiles, it becomes clear that no general conclusions can be drawn regarding adaptive mechanisms to extremes of physical conditions. Proteins are individuals that accumulate increments of stabilization; in thermophiles these come from charge clusters, networks of hydrogen bonds, optimization of packing and hydrophobic interactions, each in its own way. Recent examples indicate ways for the rational design of ultrastable proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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