Selective and Structural Constraints

Abstract

The neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the rate of evolution will be low in portions of genes and of proteins that are functionally important. This insight is the basis for bioinformatics strategies that use sequence information to make functional predictions.

Keywords: amino acid sequence evolution; neutral theory; purifying selection; protein function; synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution

Figure 1.

Alignment (Thompson et al., ) of the mature polypeptide sequences of four vertebrate aspartic proteinases. The conserved active site residues are boxed.

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References

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Hughes AL (1999) Adaptive Evolution of Genes and Genomes. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Hughes AL, Friedman R and Murray M (2002) Genome‐wide pattern of synonymous nucleotide substitution in two complete genomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Emerging Infectious Diseases 8: 1342–1346.

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Li W‐H, Wu C‐I and Luo C‐C (1985) A new method for estimating synonymous and nonsynonymous rates of nucleotide substitution considering the relative likelihood of nucleotide and codon changes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 2: 150–174.

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Thompson JD, Higgins DG and Gibson TJ (1994) CLUSTALW: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, position‐specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice. Nucleic Acids Research 22: 4673–4680.

Further Reading

Kimura M (1986) DNA and the neutral theory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B312: 343–354.

Li W‐H (1997) Molecular Evolution. Sunderland MA: Sinauer.

Mount DW (2001) Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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How to Cite close
Hughes, Austin L(Jul 2006) Selective and Structural Constraints. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005124]