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Protein Sci. 2001 Sep;10(9):1881-6.

Circularly permuted proteins in the protein structure database.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4255, USA.


Some proteins are homologous to others after their sequence is circularly permuted. A few such proteins have been recognized, mainly by sequence comparison, but also by comparing their three-dimensional structures. Here we report the result of a systematic search for all protein pairs in the SCOP 90% id domain database that become structurally superimposable when the sequence of one of the pairs is circularly permuted. Using a reasonable set of criteria, we find that 47% of all protein domains are superimposable to at least one other protein domain in the database after their sequence is circularly permuted. Many of these are symmetric proteins, which superimpose to another protein both with and without a circular permutation of the sequence. However, 412 of the total 3035 domains are nonsymmetric, and these become structurally superimposable to another protein only after a circular permutation of the sequence. These include most known and many previously undetected circularly permuted proteins with remote homology.

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