Functional significance of conserved amino acid residues

Authors

  • Dr. Anthony R. Poteete,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655
    • Dept. of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, 55 Lake Ave. N., Worcester, MA 01655
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  • Dale Rennell,

    1. Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655
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  • Suzanne E. Bouvier

    1. Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655
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Abstract

A systematic study of single amino acid substitutions in bacteriophage T4 lysozyme permitted a test of the concept that conserved amino acid residues are more functionally important than nonconserved residues. Substitutions of amino acid residues that are conserved among five bacteriophage-encoded lysozymes were found to lead more frequently to loss of function than substitutions of nonconserved residues. Of 163 residues tested, only 74 (45%) are sensitive to at least one substitution; however, all 14 residues that are fully conserved are sensitive to substitutions. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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