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FEBS Lett. 2008 Apr 9;582(8):1225-30. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2008.02.017. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Co-evolution and co-adaptation in protein networks.

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Structural Bioinformatics Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), C/Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain.


Interacting or functionally related proteins have been repeatedly shown to have similar phylogenetic trees. Two main hypotheses have been proposed to explain this fact. One involves compensatory changes between the two protein families (co-adaptation). The other states that the tree similarity may be an indirect consequence of the involvement of the two proteins in similar cellular process, which in turn would be reflected by similar evolutionary pressure on the corresponding sequences. There are published data supporting both propositions, and currently the available information is compatible with both hypotheses being true, in an scenario in which both sets of forces are shaping the tree similarity at different levels.

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