Raman spectroscopy and deuterium exchange of the filamentous phage fd

Robert W. Williams, A. Keith Dunker, Warner L. Peticolas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


The filamentous phage fd has been investigated using the techniques of Raman spectroscopy and deuterium exchange. Despite the rather uniform secondary structure of the fd phage coat protein, which is predominantly α-helix, the deuterium exchange is complex. A substantial fraction of the helical peptides exchange deuterium by 8 h at room temperature, yet another substantial fraction does not exchange following an additional 5 months at 4°C. Heating the phage to 70°C for several hours leads to additional deuterium exchange compared to samples soaked for 5 months in heavy water. We suggest that the wide variation in peptide exchange rates may be related to the phage protein quaternary structure, which has been shown to be a double layer of tightly packed helices. The accomplishment of enhanced exchange by reaction at high temperature combined with digital difference spectroscopic methods has enabled us to define the structure of the amide III and III' bands. The complexity of these bands is unexpected for a simple helical protein, but we suggest that the complexity arises at least in part from end-effects that become important in short α-helices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-144
Number of pages14
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Protein Structure and Molecular
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 7 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • Coat protein conformation
  • H-H exchange
  • Phage fd
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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