Role of aromatic residues in stabilizing the secondary and tertiary structure of avian pancreatic polypeptide

Nicholas Y. Palermo, József Csontos, Richard F. Murphy, Sándor Lovas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Avian pancreatic polypeptide (aPP) is a 36 residue protein that exhibits a tertiary fold. Results of previous experimental and computational studies indicate that the structure of aPP is stabilized more by nonbonded interactions than by the hydrophobic effect. Aromatic residues are known to participate in a variety of long-range nonbonded interactions, with both backbone atoms and the atoms of other side-chains, which could be responsible, in part, for the stability of both the local secondary structure and the tertiary fold. The effect of these aromatic interactions on the stability of aPP was calculated using BHandHLYP/cc-pVTZ. Aromatic residues were shown to participate in multiple hydrogen bonded and weakly polar interactions in the secondary structure. The energies of the weakly polar interactions are comparable with those of hydrogen bonds. Aromatic residues were also shown to participate in multiple weakly polar interactions across the tertiary fold, again with energies similar to those of hydrogen bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-819
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Quantum Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aromatic residues
  • Avian pancreatic polypeptide
  • Density functional theory
  • Tertiary fold
  • Weakly polar interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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