ID #1835

What do the positive and negative signs on His/Arg vs His/Asp exactly mean?

the signs were indicating the charge on those particular amino acids. If you look up Histidine (His) in the table of amino acid side chains (which you will have in your exam packet), you'll see that it's positively charged. If you change His to Arginine (Arg), you're just replacing one basic amino acid for another. If, on the other hand, you change that His to Aspartic Acid (Asp), you're replacing a basic amino acid with an acidic amino acid, and are MUCH less likely to wind up with a functional protein. It's all about whether or not you compensate for what you've lost.

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