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    The smallest protein
    By Yu Zhang | October 9th 2010 10:32 AM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Yu

    Bioinformatics; genomics; I do some work on comparative genomics of plants...

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    Ever wonder what the smallest protein is? Apparently it's TRP-Cage, a protein with only 20 amino acids derived from the saliva of Gila monsters.

    Trp-cage - smallest protein

    You can find the structure file and images in the PDB database (www.pdb.org) with PDB ID = 1L2Y. This highly stable mini-protein is important for studies of protein stability, protein folding, and 3D structure.

    Even with this small size, it displays secondary structural elements, such as an alpha helix, found in many proteins. So far there are no known proteins with less than 20 residues, but we'll see what happens in the future.