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Science. 1990 Mar 16;247(4948):1306-10.

Deciphering the message in protein sequences: tolerance to amino acid substitutions.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


An amino acid sequence encodes a message that determines the shape and function of a protein. This message is highly degenerate in that many different sequences can code for proteins with essentially the same structure and activity. Comparison of different sequences with similar messages can reveal key features of the code and improve understanding of how a protein folds and how it performs its function.

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