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Structural and functional restraints in the evolution of protein families and superfamilies

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Item Type:Article
Title:Structural and functional restraints in the evolution of protein families and superfamilies
Creators Name:Gong, S. and Worth, C.L. and Bickerton, G.R.J. and Lee, S. and Tanramluk, D. and Blundell, T.L.
Abstract:Divergent evolution of proteins reflects both selectively advantageous and neutral amino acid substitutions. In the present article, we examine restraints on sequence, which arise from selectively advantageous roles for structure and function and which lead to the conservation of local sequences and structures in families and superfamilies. We analyse structurally aligned members of protein families and superfamilies in order to investigate the importance of the local structural environment of amino acid residues in the acceptance of amino acid substitutions during protein evolution. We show that solvent accessibility is the most important determinant, followed by the existence of hydrogen bonds from the side-chain to main-chain functions and the nature of the element of secondary structure to which the amino acid contributes. Polar side chains whose hydrogen-bonding potential is satisfied tend to be more conserved than their unsatisfied or non-hydrogen-bonded counterparts, and buried and satisfied polar residues tend to be significantly more conserved than buried hydrophobic residues. Finally, we discuss the importance of functional restraints in the form of interactions of proteins with other macromolecules in assemblies or with substrates, ligands or allosteric regulators. We show that residues involved in such functional interactions are significantly more conserved and have differing amino acid substitution patterns.
Keywords:Buried Residue, Hydrogen Bond, Local Structural Environment, Protein Evolution, Protein Structure
Source:Biochemical Society Transactions
Publisher:Portland Press
Page Range:727-733
Date:1 August 2009
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1042/BST0370727
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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