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Protein Structure Classification

  1. Frances MG Pearl1,
  2. Christine A Orengo1,
  3. Janet M Thornton2

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003033.pub2



How to Cite

Pearl, F. M., Orengo, C. A. and Thornton, J. M. 2007. Protein Structure Classification. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University College London, London, UK

  2. 2

    European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 OCT 2015)


To understand and map the universe of protein structures, it is necessary to collate, annotate and classify these structures in a rational scheme. The different approaches that have been taken to tackle this problem include the identification of protein domains, phylogenetic and phenetic classification and hierarchical and nearest-neighbour clustering. Powerful new sequence searching methods enable structural assignments to be allocated to genomic data.


  • protein structure classification;
  • common folds;
  • protein architecture;
  • structural comparison;
  • genomes