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Open Access Open Badges Review

Conservation of the three-dimensional structure in non-homologous or unrelated proteins

Konstantinos Sousounis1, Carl E Haney1, Jin Cao2, Bharath Sunchu3 and Panagiotis A Tsonis1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 45469-2320, USA

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 45469-2320, USA

3 Department of Chemistry, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 45469-2320, USA

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Human Genomics 2012, 6:10  doi:10.1186/1479-7364-6-10

Published: 2 August 2012


In this review, we examine examples of conservation of protein structural motifs in unrelated or non-homologous proteins. For this, we have selected three DNA-binding motifs: the histone fold, the helix-turn-helix motif, and the zinc finger, as well as the globin-like fold. We show that indeed similar structures exist in unrelated proteins, strengthening the concept that three-dimensional conservation might be more important than the primary amino acid sequence.

3D protein structure; Conserved motifs; Unrelated proteins