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The hypervariable D3 domain of Salmonella flagellin, composed of the 190-285 segment, is the major determinant of flagellar antigenicity. D3 was cloned and overexpressed in E. coli. Although previous studies concluded that D3 is stabilized by interactions with the D2 domain, our calorimetric experiments have revealed that isolated D3 has a stable tertiary structure which is highly resistant against proteolytic digestion. Repeated heating experiments demonstrated that unfolding of D3 is reversible. Its small size and stable structure makes D3 a promising protein scaffold for the development of artificial binding proteins by directed evolution.
Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.