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Evolutionary Conservation of Protein Amino Acids

Evolutionary Conservation of Protein Amino Acids

Rett syndrome is used as an example where new mutations in certain positions never enter the human gene pool, because the affected females do not reproduce. Consequently, those sequence positions are highly conserved. Interactive 3D illustrations (in JSmol) show the conserved residues involved in recognizing DNA sequence in the major groove, while variable residues are remote from the DNA-binding site. Conservation information is derived from multiple protein sequence alignments (example provided). The glycolytic enzyme enolase is another example, colored by conservation in interactive 3D. Its catalytic site is highly conserved. Conservation of certain isolated amino acids is expected because of their functions. For example, gly or pro in a turn is conserved to enable protein domain... Show More
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