ScanMoment is a webserver designed to identify the presence of the basic faced α‐helix (BFAH) motif in the nucleic acid binding sites of proteins. The program calculates the ’Basic Moment‘, a parameter that quantitizes the distribution of basic residues on the surface of an α‐helix. A sliding window is used to generate a plot displaying regions of the protein sequence that possesses a high Basic Moment and hus likely to possess a BFAH motif. The user may vary the periodicity from that of an alpha‐helix (100°), to those of other secondary structures such as beta sheets and 310 helices. The program can also plot the periodicity of basic residues in a protein sequence using a Fourier transformation. The procedure has been used to characterize the presence of BFAHs in the N‐terminal extensions of the eukaryotic aminoacyl‐tRNA synthetases and to indicate the presence of a BFAH in the tRNA binding site of alanyl‐tRNA synthetase.
Keywords: basic moment, Fourier transformation, periodicity, alpha helix, Aspartyl‐tRNA synthetase