Biochem student question.

D.K. dk at
Fri Oct 11 09:01:04 EST 2002

"Alex Becket" <abecket at> wrote:
>I am a biochemistry student at the University of Cincinnati. I am doing a
>study of the relative hydrophobicities of amino acid side chains. My
>question is:  does a larger surface area available to water increase or
>decrease an amino acid's hydrophobicity? For example, tryptophan has a
>larger surface area available to water than phenylalanine, yet phenylalanine
>is more hydrophobic (unless using long chain alcohols as the nonpolar

Fort such comparisons, think of "normalized" (per surface area) 
hydrophobicity. It's not just area, it's also nature of atoms occupying 

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