The study of protein stability is currently undergoing a dramatic change. Early work, especially after Kauzmann (1959), centered on the analysis of simple chemical model systems to determine the contributions of different types of interactions to stability. Amino acids that are sequestered from solvent in the folded protein were emphasized, since these groups presumably undergo the largest changes in environment during folding (Tanford, 1968, 1970; Pace, 1975; Privalov, 1979). From an inventory of interactions derived from the x-ray crystal structure of a protein, the stabilizing contribution of each amino acid be calculated using the free energies determined from thermodynamic studies of model systems. Implicit in this approach is the assumption that each interaction of specific type—each hydrogen bond, for example, or each square angstrom of buried hydrophobic surface area—contributes equally to stability regardless of its unique structural context.


Amino Acid Substitution Cross Link Protein Stability Stabilization Energy Protein Conformation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Alber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA

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