Understanding conserved amino acids in proteins

Nikolay Dokholyan, Leonid A. Mirny, Eugene I. Shakhnovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


It has been conjectured that evolution exerted pressure to preserve amino acids bearing thermodynamic, kinetic, and functional roles. In this letter we show that the physical requirement to maintain protein stability gives rise to a sequence conservatism pattern that is in remarkable agreement with that found in natural proteins. Based on the physical properties of amino acids, we propose a model of evolution that explains conserved amino acids across protein families sharing the same fold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-606
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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