Conformational analysis of peptides corresponding to all the secondary structure elements of protein L B1 domain: Secondary structure propensities are not conserved in proteins with the same fold

Marina Ramírez-Alvarado, Luis Serrano, Francisco J. Blanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


The solution conformation of three peptides corresponding to the two β- hairpins and the α-helix of the protein L B1 domain have been analyzed by circular dichroism (CD) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). In aqueous solution, the three peptides show low populations of native and non native locally folded structures, but no well-defined hairpin or helix structures are formed. In 30% aqueous trifluoroethanol (TFE), the peptide corresponding to the α-helix adopts a high populated helical conformation three residues longer than in the protein. The hairpin peptides aggregate in TFE, and no significant conformational change occurs in the NMR observable fraction of molecules. These results indicate that the helical peptide has a significant intrinsic tendency to adopt its native structure and that the hairpin sequences seem to be selected as non helical. This suggests that these sequences favor the structure finally attained in the protein, but the contribution of the local interactions alone is not enough to drive the formation of a detectable population of native secondary structures. This pattern of secondary structure tendencies is different to those observed in two structurally related proteins: ubiquitin and the protein G B1 domain. The only common feature is a certain propensity of the helical segments to form the native structure. These results indicate that for a protein to fold, there is no need for large native like secondary structure propensities, although a minimum tendency to avoid non-native structures and to favor native ones could be required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-174
Number of pages13
JournalProtein Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997



  • peptide structure
  • protein G
  • protein L
  • protein folding
  • secondary structure
  • ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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