The Determinants of Carboxyl pKa Values in Turkey Ovomucoid Third Domain

Hui Li, Andrew D. Robertson, Jan H. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


A computational methodology for protein pKa predictions, based on ab initio quantum mechanical treatment of part of the protein and linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation treatment of the bulk solvent, is presented. The method is used to predict and interpret the pKa values of the five carboxyl residues (Asp7, Glu10, Glu19, Asp27, and Glu43) in the serine protease inhibitor turkey ovomucoid third domain. All the predicted pKa values are within 0.5 pH units of experiment, with a root-mean-square deviation of 0.31 pH units. We show that the decreased pKa values observed for some of the residues are primarily due to hydrogen bonds to the carboxyl oxygens. Hydrogen bonds involving amide protons are shown to be particularly important, and the effect of hydrogen bonding is shown to be nonadditive. Hydrophobic effects are also shown to be important in raising the pK a. Interactions with charged residues are shown to have relatively little effect on the carboxyl pKa values in this protein, in general agreement with experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-704
Number of pages16
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Determinants of Carboxyl pKa Values in Turkey Ovomucoid Third Domain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this