Density discriminates between thermophilic and mesophilic proteins
Despite an intense interest and a remarkable number of studies on the subject, the relationships between thermostability and (primary, secondary and tertiary) structure of proteins are still not fully understood. Here, comparing the protein density – defined by the ratio between the residue number and protein excluded volume – for a set of thermophilic/mesophilic pairs, we provide evidence that this property is connected to the optimal growth temperature. In particular, our results indicate that thermophilic proteins have – in general – a lower density with respect to the mesophilic counterparts, being such a correlation more pronounced for optimal growth temperature differences greater than 40°C. The effect of the protein thermostability changes on the molecular shape is also presented.
Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07391102.2017.1385537
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