Rita Casadio, Mario Compiani, Piero Fariselli, and Pier Luigi Martelli
A data base of minimally frustrated alpha helical segments is defined by filtering a set comprising 822 non redundant proteins, which contain 4783 alpha helical structures. The data base definition is performed using a neural network-based alpha helix predictor, whose outputs are rated according to an entropy criterion. A comparison with the presently available experimental results indicates that a subset of the data base contains the initiation sites of protein folding experimentally detected and also protein fragments which fold into stable isolated alpha helices. This suggests the usage of the data base (and/or of the predictor) to highlight patterns which govern the stability of alpha helices in proteins and the helical behavior of isolated protein fragments.