The effect of neighboring charges on the helix forming ability of charged amino acids in proteins
It has been found that the fraction of glutamic acid residues which are helical in proteins is larger than might be expected from the experimentally determined value of the helical stability constants of glutamic acid. In order to understand this difference, the effect of neighboring charged side chains on the glutamic acid residues in proteins of known structure is examined. It is found that a positively charged side chain four residues away from a glutamic acid greatly enhances its probability to be helical. Similar results are obtained for aspartic acid, lysine, arginine, and histidine.