Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 27 Issue 2 March 2002 pp 85-91 Commentary
Volume 32 Issue 1 January 2007 pp 1-2
Volume 32 Issue 1 January 2007 pp 83-96 Articles
Several studies based on the known three-dimensional (3-D) structures of proteins show that two homologous proteins with insignificant sequence similarity could adopt a common fold and may perform same or similar biochemical functions. Hence, it is appropriate to use similarities in 3-D structure of proteins rather than the amino acid sequence similarities in modelling evolution of distantly related proteins. Here we present an assessment of using 3-D structures in modelling evolution of homologous proteins. Using a dataset of 108 protein domain families of known structures with at least 10 members per family we present a comparison of extent of structural and sequence dissimilarities among pairs of proteins which are inputs into the construction of phylogenetic trees. We find that correlation between the structure-based dissimilarity measures and the sequence-based dissimilarity measures is usually good if the sequence similarity among the homologues is about 30% or more. For protein families with low sequence similarity among the members, the correlation coefficient between the sequence-based and the structure-based dissimilarities are poor. In these cases the structure-based dendrogram clusters proteins with most similar biochemical functional properties better than the sequence-similarity based dendrogram. In multi-domain protein families and disulphide-rich protein families the correlation coefficient for the match of sequence-based and structure-based dissimilarity (SDM) measures can be poor though the sequence identity could be higher than 30%. Hence it is suggested that protein evolution is best modelled using 3-D structures if the sequence similarities (SSM) of the homologues are very low.
Volume 32 Issue 5 August 2007 pp 921-928 Articles
Protein structural alignments are generally considered as ‘golden standard’ for the alignment at the level of amino acid residues. In this study we have compared the quality of pairwise and multiple structural alignments of about 5900 homologous proteins from 718 families of known 3-D structures. We observe shifts in the alignment of regular secondary structural elements (helices and strands) between pairwise and multiple structural alignments. The differences between pairwise and multiple structural alignments within helical and 𝛽-strand regions often correspond to 4 and 2 residue positions respectively. Such shifts correspond approximately to “one turn” of these regular secondary structures. We have performed manual analysis explicitly on the family of protein kinases. We note shifts of one or two turns in helix-helix alignments obtained using pairwise and multiple structural alignments. Investigations on the quality of the equivalent helix-helix, strand-strand pairs in terms of their residue side-chain accessibilities have been made. Our results indicate that the quality of the pairwise alignments is comparable to that of the multiple structural alignments and, in fact, is often better. We propose that pairwise alignment of protein structures should also be used in formulation of methods for structure prediction and evolutionary analysis.