nonpolar group


nonpolar group
(= hydrophobic group)
Group in which the electronic charge density is essentially uniform, and that cannot therefore interact with other groups by forming hydrogen bonds, or by strong dipole-dipole interactions. In an aqueous environment, nonpolar groups tend to cluster together, providing a major force for the folding of macromolecules and formation of membranes. Clusters are formed chiefly because they cause a smaller increase in water structure (decrease in entropy) than dispersed groups. (Nonpolar groups interact with each other only by the relatively weak London-van der Waals forces).

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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