MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: protein conformational change that exposes a hydrophobic surface considered

Date: Tue May 1 09:46:08 2007
Posted By: Karin Crowhurst, Post-doc/Fellow, Biochemistry
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 1177916228.Bc

Hi Jacob,

It is true, you should always consider the type of language people use in papers to see if they are overstating their observations or results! I have seen some pretty outrageous statements made (frequently in the title of the paper) that are not borne out by the results.

I cannot make a definitive statement without seeing the structural change they are referring to in the paper you are reviewing, but if it is a significant amount of hydrophobic surface that has been exposed or the conformational change is more than just a small shift in the backbone, then I would say that what you are describing is indeed a major structural perturbation. These terms are relative and not quantifiable, so statements in papers like this will always be up for interpretation, and it is fully your right to be skeptical if indeed the change does not seem to be significant. Of course, the proper figures in a paper can go a long way to convince people...


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