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Biophys Chem. 1999 Dec 13;82(2-3):165-71.

Proportion of membrane proteins in proteomes of 15 single-cell organisms analyzed by the SOSUI prediction system.

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Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Japan.


A software system, SOSUI, was previously developed for discriminating between soluble and membrane proteins and predicting transmembrane regions (Hirokawa et al., Bioinformatics, 14 (1998) 378-379). The performance of the system was 99% for the discrimination between two types of proteins and 96% for the prediction of transmembrane helices. When all of the amino acid sequences from 15 single-cell organisms were analyzed by SOSUI, the proportion of predicted polytopic membrane proteins showed an almost constant value of 15-20%, irrespective of the total genome size. However, single-cell organisms appeared to be categorized in terms of the preference of the number of transmembrane segments: species with small genomes were characterized by a significant peak at a helix number of approximately six or seven; species with large genomes showed a peak at 10 or 11 helices; and species with intermediate genome sizes showed a monotonous decrease of the population of membrane proteins against the number of transmembrane helices.

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