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Sumary - Identifying distantly related proteins


Protein sequence comparison is the most powerful tool available today for inferring structure and function from sequence because of the constraints of protein evolution---a protein fold into a functional structure. Protein sequence similarity can routinely be used to infer relationships between proteins that last shared a common ancestor 1--2.5 billion years ago. Our ability to identify distantly related proteins has improved over the past five years with the development of accurate statistical estimates, which have provided better normalization methods, and with the use of optimized scoring parameters. In using sequence similarity to infer homology, one should remember:

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