Re: Science, Aug 2nd

Christoph Weber (
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 13:57:14 -0700

On Aug 19, 2:14pm, Simon Brocklehurst wrote:
> Subject: Re: Science, Aug 2nd
> "protein structures are selected because they are... stable
> against mutations"
> What kind of mutations are we talking about here?
> Surely, in _general_ proteins are actually NOT stable against
> mutations... and this would be _especially_ true of very
> small proteins e.g. a 27-mer, wouldn't it?
> Proteins are really only stable against _conservative_
> mutations e.g. polar->polar, hydrophobic->hydrophobic.
> Any comments anyone? What are the authors getting at?

This reminds me of the old question:
"Why are proteins so large?"

My long-time suspicion was to "provide a buffer" against the cumulative effect
of mutations and to "suppress unwanted side-reactions" (or whatever 'reaction'
may mean in the context of non-enzymes).
The question has never been adequately answered, as far as I know.

I'll have to read the paper in it's entirety myself, before I comment on it
Keep the discussion going...


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