Statistical Evidence for a Helical Nascent Chain

Leonor Cruzeiro, Andrew C. Gill, Chris Eilbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the hypothesis that protein folding is a kinetic, non-equilibrium process, in which the structure of the nascent chain is crucial. We compare actual amino acid frequencies in loops, α-helices and β-sheets with the frequencies that would arise in the absence of any amino acid bias for those secondary structures. The novel analysis suggests that while specific amino acids exist to drive the formation of loops and sheets, none stand out as drivers for α-helices. This favours the idea that the α-helix is the initial structure of most proteins before the folding process begins.
Original languageEnglish
Article number357
Issue number3
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Folding pathway
  • Protein folding
  • Secondary structure prediction
  • Single amino acid distributions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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