post translational modification: DOPA?

Paul S. Winalski winalski at
Thu May 2 13:15:51 EST 1991

In article <eesnyder.673196910 at beagle>,
eesnyder at boulder.Colorado.EDU (Eric E. Snyder) writes:
|>I heard an interesting talk last night... just in passing,
|>the speaker mentioned an invertebrate protein containing
|>17% dihydroxyphenylalanine (aka DOPA)!  I couldn't believe
|>Have I been living under a rock for the last 25 yrs?
I guess so.  My early-1970s edition of Lehninger's Biochemistry text discusses
this sort of thing.

|>How common is this protein modification?
Exotic amino acids seem to be quite common in structural proteins, such as
chitin in arthropods and collagen and elastin in vertebrates.

|>Is it post-translational?
Yes.  The amino acid residues are normal phenylalanine after translation.
The modification to DOPA occurs by enzymatic modification of the residues
after the protein is transcribed.

|>Does it occur in vertebrates?
I don't know about this particular case, but the general process
(enzymatic formation of exotic amino acids from normal amino acids after
translation) does occur in vertebrates.


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