differences between keratins

Greg Brown cytospy at hotmail.com
Wed May 2 12:21:25 EST 2001

Can anyone direct me to a resource containing comparisons of
alpha-keratin and (so-called) phi-keratin?
In researching the reptilian origin of birds, and the concomitant
development of feathers from scales, I have been trying (without
success) to ascertain the primary structures of alpha keratin.  I am
interested in comparing the keratin of avian feathers (which are
follicular structures) with the keratin of reptilian scales (which are
epidermal folded structures).  Allan Brush has done some work in this
area, as have a few others, but no mention of the actual sequences is
made in the papers I have seen.
I suspect that the 'phi'-keratin (feathers) probably contain more
cysteine residues, but I would like to know for sure.



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