Characterization of the nonregular regions of proteins by a contortion index

Subhajyoti De, Kunal Sur, Swagata Dasgupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonstructured regions in proteins that provide the link between two regular structured regions play a significant role in maintaining the scaffold of the protein. Not only do they act as connectors between two regular secondary structural elements of proteins but they also provide the necessary turn or reversal in the polypeptide chain. This incorporates flexibility in the structure. Thus an understanding of the structural aspects of the nonregular regions is necessary to have a better insight into these features. We can assume the nonregular region to be a contorted polypeptide segment tethered by regular secondary structured regions at both ends. To describe the undulating nature of the nonregular regions, we introduce a parameter called the "contortion index." This index describes how tortuously the region is organized. Our analysis shows that the contortion index is related to other physicochemical parameters and can be used to characterize the nonregular regions of proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 5 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


  • Amino acid propensities
  • Contortion index
  • Nonregular regions
  • Worm-like chain model

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