sequences of keratin family

Greg Brown auntie_codon at
Wed Oct 31 18:05:20 EST 2001


     I have been searching, without success, for a database or other
resource containing the clearly identified sequences of the various members
of the keratin family (I have not found any biochemistry texts to be helpful).
I would like to be able to compare the primary structure of alpha-keratin
with other keratins, in order to discover the bonding configuration.
    In particular, I am interested in a comparison of alpha- with so-called
'phi-keratin' (contained in avian feathers).   My understanding is that both
share the triple-helical quaternary structure, but I do not understand how
the relatively minor differences between them could amount to such a vast
difference in the end product- one constituting epidermal folds, such as
reptile scales, and the other constituting follicular structures such as
feathers.  Obviously, this may be accounted for by gene regulation (say, due
to repression or induction of genes, etc.) rather than merely by differences
in primary and secondary sequences, but I have not been able to gain any
insight into this question.

If anyone has access to this data, I would greatly appreciate your sharing
it with me.

Thank you!


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