Amino-acid sequence of feather keratin from fowl.

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The amino acid sequence of a single polypeptide chain, B-4, from fowl feather barbs has been determined. The B-4 chain was found to consist of 96 amino acid residues and to have a molecular weight of 10206 in the S-carboxymethylated form. The N terminus of this protein was an N-acetylserine residue. The B-4 protein contained seven S-carboxymethylcysteine residues, six of which are located in the N-terminal region (residues 1-26), and other one in C terminus. The central region of the peptide chain was rich in hydrophobic residues. There were homologous amino acids at 66 positions in the sequences of the feather keratins of fowl, emu and silver gull. The variation (substitution, deletion and insertion) in sequence was found to be localized in both terminal sections of the polypeptide chain. The B-4 protein structure was predicted to contain beta-sheet (about 30%), turn and random-coil-like structure, and no alpha-helix. beta-Sheet structure is mostly located in the central region (residues 22-70). On the other hand, both terminal regions are almost devoid of secondary structure.


Eur J Biochem. 1983 May 16;132(3):501-7.