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Trends Genet. 2006 Aug;22(8):412-6. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

The quest for the universals of protein evolution.

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  • Unité Génomique des Génomes Bactériens, Institut Pasteur, 28 rue Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France. erocha@abi.snv.jussieu.fr


The sequences of proteins change at dramatically different rates. Unraveling the association between this variability and cellular and ecological processes will enable a better understanding of protein function and evolution. Although weak associations of protein evolutionary rates with a plethora of variables have been reported, none withstands comparison with the effect of expression levels. A recent report by Drummond et al. suggests that the dominant role of expression levels in slowing the rate of protein evolution stems from selection for translation robustness.

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