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Timothy McDougald

Posts: 1030
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 12 2009,21:30   

From PLoS One:

Identification of Coevolving Residues and Coevolution Potentials Emphasizing Structure, Bond Formation and Catalytic Coordination in Protein Evolution

The abstract:

The structure and function of a protein is dependent on coordinated interactions between its residues. The selective pressures associated with a mutation at one site should therefore depend on the amino acid identity of interacting sites. Mutual information has previously been applied to multiple sequence alignments as a means of detecting coevolutionary interactions. Here, we introduce a refinement of the mutual information method that: 1) removes a significant, non-coevolutionary bias and 2) accounts for heteroscedasticity. Using a large, non-overlapping database of protein alignments, we demonstrate that predicted coevolving residue-pairs tend to lie in close physical proximity. We introduce coevolution potentials as a novel measure of the propensity for the 20 amino acids to pair amongst predicted coevolutionary interactions. Ionic, hydrogen, and disulfide bond-forming pairs exhibited the highest potentials. Finally, we demonstrate that pairs of catalytic residues have a significantly increased likelihood to be identified as coevolving. These correlations to distinct protein features verify the accuracy of our algorithm and are consistent with a model of coevolution in which selective pressures towards preserving residue interactions act to shape the mutational landscape of a protein by restricting the set of admissible neutral mutations.

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