The ST Pinch is a 12-membered hydrogen-bonded motif (Ser/Thr-Xaa-Ser/Thr) involving the side chain oxygen atoms of two Ser/Thr residues. We identified the ST Pinch in 104 proteins in a database containing high-resolution crystal structures. Conformational analysis of the ST Pinch in these proteins points to specific preferences for the Xaa residue and a high propensity of this residue to adopt positive φ angles. Our results suggest that this motif serves as a linker of secondary structural elements within proteins and is a new addition to the existing list of short hydrogen bond-stabilized motifs in proteins.
Proteins 2012;. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.