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Protein Sci. 1998 Apr;7(4):1029-38.

Genome-wide analysis of integral membrane proteins from eubacterial, archaean, and eukaryotic organisms.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Stockholm University, Sweden.


We have carried out detailed statistical analyses of integral membrane proteins of the helix-bundle class from eubacterial, archaean, and eukaryotic organisms for which genome-wide sequence data are available. Twenty to 30% of all ORFs are predicted to encode membrane proteins, with the larger genomes containing a higher fraction than the smaller ones. Although there is a general tendency that proteins with a smaller number of transmembrane segments are more prevalent than those with many, uni-cellular organisms appear to prefer proteins with 6 and 12 transmembrane segments, whereas Caenorhabditis elegans and Homo sapiens have a slight preference for proteins with seven transmembrane segments. In all organisms, there is a tendency that membrane proteins either have many transmembrane segments with short connecting loops or few transmembrane segments with large extra-membraneous domains. Membrane proteins from all organisms studied, except possibly the archaeon Methanococcus jannaschii, follow the so-called "positive-inside" rule; i.e., they tend to have a higher frequency of positively charged residues in cytoplasmic than in extra-cytoplasmic segments.

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