QUESTIONS: alpha-helix "signals" in proteins

Simon Brocklehurst Bioc smb18 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Thu Jul 7 16:07:43 EST 1994

(Mark J. Dresser) writes:

>Yesterday Simon Brocklehurst wrote that "the distinction [between sec. and
>tert. interactions] is trivial".  I disagree.  If tert. interactions do 
>indeed play a strong role in the stablization of helix structures, for
>example, this should not be ignored, and in my opinion, at least in the papers
>that i originaly mentioned, it has been.

   Sorry, all I meant was that if you look at a structure of a native
state, it is trivial to identify "interactions" and to decide if
they're secondary or tertiary.  Both are important in stabilizing the
native state. You can tell this from inspection of protein structures.

   If you believe that folding pathways are important (as I do!) then
you will be interested in events that happen early on the folding pathway.
It seems that many secondary interactions are formed early.  I would say
that nothing anyone has published so far is really conclusive about the
role of tertiary interactions.

 -- Simon

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