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Nature of the Protein Universe

Michael Levitt
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 106, No. 27 (Jul. 7, 2009), pp. 11079-11084
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40483751
Page Count: 6
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Nature of the Protein Universe
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Abstract

The protein universe is the set of all proteins of all organisms. Here, all currently known sequences are analyzed in terms of families that have single-domain or multidomain architectures and whether they have a known three-dimensional structure. Growth of new single-domain families is very slow: Almost all growth comes from new multidomain architectures that are combinations of domains characterized by ≈ 15,000 sequence profiles. Singledomain families are mostly shared by the major groups of organisms, whereas multidomain architectures are specific and account for species diversity. There are known structures for a quarter of the single-domain families, and > 70% of all sequences can be partially modeled thanks to their membership in these families.

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