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In silico characterization of antifreeze proteins using computational tools and servers

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In this paper, seventeen different fish Antifreeze Proteins (AFPs) retrieved from Swiss-Prot database are analysed and characterized using in silico tools. Primary structure analysis shows that most of the AFPs are hydrophobic in nature due to the high content of non-polar residues. The presence of 11 cysteines in the rainbow smelt fish and sea raven fish AFPs infer that these proteins may form disulphide (SS) bonds, which are regarded as a positive factor for stability. The aliphatic index computed by Ex-Pasy’s ProtParam infers that AFPs may be stable for a wide range of temperature. Secondary structure analysis shows that most of the fish AFPs have predominant α-helical structures and rest of the AFPs have mixed secondary structure. The very high coil structural content of rainbow smelt fish and sea raven fish AFPs are due to the rich content of more flexible glycine and hydrophobic proline amino acids. Proline has a special property of creating kinks in polypetide chains and disrupting ordered secondary structure. SOSUI server predicts one transmembrane region in winter flounder fish and atlantic cod and two transmembrane regions in yellowtail flounder fish AFP. The predicted transmembrane regions were visualized and analysed using helical wheel plots generated by EMBOSS pepwheel tool. The presence of disulphide (SS) bonds in the AFPs Q01758 and P05140 are predicted by CYS_REC tool and also identified from the three-dimensional structure using Rasmol tool. The disulphide bonds identified from the three-dimensional structure using the Rasmol tool might be correct as the evaluation parameters are within the acceptable limits for the modelled 3D structures.

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Sivakumar, K., Balaji, S. & Gangaradhakrishnan In silico characterization of antifreeze proteins using computational tools and servers. J Chem Sci 119, 571–579 (2007).

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