A physical basis for protein secondary structure

Rajgopal Srinivasan, George D. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


A physical theory of protein secondary structure is proposed and tested by performing exceedingly simple Monte Carlo simulations. In essence, secondary structure propensities are predominantly a consequence of two competing local effects, one favoring hydrogen bond formation in helices and turns; the other opposing the attendant reduction in sidechain conformational entropy on helix and turn formation. These sequence specific biases are densely dispersed throughout the unfolded polypeptide chain, where they serve to preorganize the folding process and largely, but imperfectly, anticipate the native secondary structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14258-14263
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 7 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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