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Protein Sci. 1992 Dec;1(12):1677-90.

Comprehensive sequence analysis of the 182 predicted open reading frames of yeast chromosome III.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


With the completion of the first phase of the European yeast genome sequencing project, the complete DNA sequence of chromosome III of Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become available (Oliver, S. G., et al., 1992, Nature 357, 38-46). We have tested the predictive power of computer sequence analysis of the 176 probable protein products of this chromosome, after exclusion of six problem cases. When the results of database similarity searches are pooled with prior knowledge, a likely function can be assigned to 42% of the proteins, and a predicted three-dimensional structure to a third of these (14% of the total). The function of the remaining 58% remains to be determined. Of these, about one-third have one or more probable transmembrane segments. Among the most interesting proteins with predicted functions are a new member of the type X polymerase family, a transcription factor with an N-terminal DNA-binding domain related to GAL4, a "fork head" DNA-binding domain previously known only in Drosophila and in mammals, and a putative methyltransferase. Our analysis increased the number of known significant sequence similarities on chromosome III by 13, to now 67. Although the near 40% success rate of identifying unknown protein function by sequence analysis is surprisingly high, the information gap between known protein sequences and unknown function is expected to widen and become a major bottleneck of genome projects in the near future. Based on the experience gained in this test study, we suggest that the development of an automated computer workbench for protein sequence analysis must be an important item in genome projects.

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