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Journal Article

Protein differentiation: emergence of novel proteins during evolution


Schulz,  Georg E.
Emeritus Group Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Schulz, G. E. (1981). Protein differentiation: emergence of novel proteins during evolution. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition in English, 20(2), 143-151. doi:10.1002/anie.198101431.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-EF35-4
The almost limitless number of proteins can be reduced to approximately 200 basic structures, i.e. geometries of polypeptide chains; these form, the set from which the tracable protein differentiation started. Protein differentiation begins with a gene duplication. One of the gene products is conserved since it must continue to fulfill the original function. The other gene product is conserved as soon as it has taken over a new function. Comparing amino acid sequences of equivalent proteins in two species yields the evolutionary distance between these species, which allows dating of their common ancestor (“molecular palaeontology”). These comparisons are now applied to the geometries of nonequivalent proteins, elucidating the pathways of protein differentiation.