Atomic Resolution Density Maps Reveal Secondary Structure Dependent Differences in Electronic Distribution

P.I. Lario, Alice Vrielink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The X-ray crystal structure of the flavoenzyme cholesterol oxidase, SCOA (Streptomyces sp.SA-COO) has been determined to 0.95 Å resolution. The large size (55kDa) and the high-resolution diffraction of this protein provides a unique opportunity to observe detailed electronic effects within a protein environment and to obtain a larger sampling for which to analyze these electronic and structural differences. It is well-known through spectroscopic methods that peptide carbonyl groups are polarized in α-helices. This electronic characteristic is evident in the sub-Ångstrom electron density of SCOA. Our analysis indicates an increased tendency for the electron density of the main chain carbonyl groups within α-helices to be polarized toward the oxygen atoms. In contrast, the carbonyl groups in β-sheet structures tend to exhibit a greater charge density between the carbon and oxygen atoms. Interestingly, the electronic differences observed at the carbonyl groups do not appear to be correlated to the bond distance of the peptide bond or the peptide planarity. This study gives important insight into the electronic effects of α-helix dipoles in enzymes and provides experimentally based observations that have not been previously characterized in protein structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12787-12794
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Atomic Resolution Density Maps Reveal Secondary Structure Dependent Differences in Electronic Distribution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this