Nomenclature of numbering of amino acids

Athel Cornish-Bowden athel at IR2CBM.CNRS-MRS.FR
Wed Jul 15 10:05:03 EST 1998


Are Kristiansen wrote:
>
> Hallo,
>
> I have received the proof of an article to be published in BBA. As I do
> not have immediate access to recent editions of the journal and I am
> already late in returning the proof, I direct the question to this
> newsgroup:
>
> The journal has superscripted all numbers of amino acids. Instead of for
> example Trp28, it reads Trp<superscript:28>, i.e. the amino acid (Trp)
> is normal font, but the number (28) is superscript.
>
> I suppose this is a misunderstanding in the typesetting, or is it common
> to "superscript" numbers of amino acids?
>

IUBMB have a web site devoted to amino acid recommendations. As the
original document is quite long it is broken into numerous pages, the bit
most relevant to your query starting at
http://www.chem.qmw.ac.uk/iupac/AminoAcid/AA22.html#AA22.

It doesn't seem to contain a direct unambiguous answer to your query, but
if you examine what it does itself you'll see that it uses Trp-29 (with a
hyphen and no superscript) to refer to the 29th residue of a protein if
this is a Trp, whereas [Trp<superscript:29>]albumin (for example) would be
a modified albumin in which the 29th residue was replaced with Trp.

If I understand your example correctly the superscripts used by BBA would
appear to be a mistake.

Athel Cornish-Bowden

Email: athel at ibsm.cnrs-mrs.fr
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