How much of protein sequence space has been explored by life on Earth?

Dryden, D. T.F., Thomson, A. R. and White, J. H. (2008) How much of protein sequence space has been explored by life on Earth? Journal of the Royal Society: Interface, 5(25), pp. 953-956. (doi:10.1098/rsif.2008.0085) (PMID:18426772) (PMCID:PMC2459213)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

We suggest that the vastness of protein sequence space is actually completely explorable during the populating of the Earth by life by considering upper and lower limits for the number of organisms, genome size, mutation rate and the number of functionally distinct classes of amino acids. We conclude that rather than life having explored only an infinitesimally small part of sequence space in the last 4 Gyr, it is instead quite plausible for all of functional protein sequence space to have been explored and that furthermore, at the molecular level, there is no role for contingency.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thomson, Dr Drew
Authors: Dryden, D. T.F., Thomson, A. R., and White, J. H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Journal of the Royal Society: Interface
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:1742-5689
ISSN (Online):1742-5662

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record