Analysis of protein conformational characteristics related to thermostability

Enrique Querol, Josep A. Perez-Pons, Angel Mozo-Villarias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

225 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal stability of proteins was studied, 195 single amino acid residue replacements reported elsewhere being analysed for several protein conformational characteristics: type of residue replacement; conservative versus non-conservative substitution; replacement being in a homologous stretch of amino acid residues; change in hydrogen bond, van der Waals and secondary structure propensities; solvent-accessible versus inaccessible replacement; type of secondary structure involved in the substitution; the physico-chemical characteristics to which the thermostability enhancement can be attributed; and the relationship of the replacement site to the folding intermediates of the protein, when known. From the above analyses, some general rules arise which suggest where amino acid substitutions can be made to enhance protein thermostability: substitutions are conservative according to the Dayhoff matrix; mainly occur on conserved stretches of residues; preferentially occur on solvent-accessible residues; maintain or enhance the secondary structure propensity upon substitution; contribute to neutralize the dipole moment of the caps of helices and strands; and tend to increase the number of potential hydrogen bonding or van der Waals contacts or improve hydrophobic packing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
JournalProtein Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1996


  • Biotechnology
  • Protein
  • Protein engineering
  • Protein structure
  • Protein thermostability


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