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The crystal structure of baboon alpha-lactalbumin has been determined at 6 A and at 4.5 A (0.6 nm and 0.45 nm) resolution by the method of isomorphous replacement. The principal derivative was prepared by reducing a disulphide bridge in the crystals and inserting a mercury atom. Detailed comparison of the electron-density maps with corresponding maps of hen egg-white lysozyme shows that they are closely similar, with correlation coefficients of 0.57 and 0.44 at 6 A and 4.5 A resolution respectively. This result, in accordance with earlier predictions based upon comparisons of amino-acid sequences, provides further evidence that class C lysozymes and alpha-lactalbumins are homologous proteins and it is in keeping with the hypothesis that the alpha-lactalbumins evolved from a lysozyme precursor.


Journal article


Biochem J

Publication Date





353 - 360


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Lactalbumin, Models, Molecular, Muramidase, Papio, Protein Conformation, X-Ray Diffraction