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J Mol Biol. 1994 Mar 11;236(5):1277-82.

Drosophila kelch motif is derived from a common enzyme fold.

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  • 1European Molecular Biological Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


A systematic screening of sequence databases with a motif hitherto found only in animal and poxvirus proteins has revealed a trail leading back to prokaryotes. Fortuitously, an X-ray structure is available for one of the identified sequences and shows the fundamental fold to be a set of circularly arranged beta sheets. This structure may be very widely distributed throughout the biological world in sialidases and some other enzymes. In bacteria, a mobile noncatalytic domain is often associated with these same enzymes.

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