Common precursor of lysozymes of hen egg-white and bacteriophage T4

B. W. Matthews*, M. G. Grütter, W. F. Anderson, S. J. Remington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

The lysozymes of hen egg-white and bacteriophage T4 have similar catalytic properties but their amino acid sequences are not homologous. The question therefore arises whether they are derived from a common ancestral protein or have arisen independently. On the basis of the data we have gathered, it is shown here that the two enzymes are similar in the conformation of their backbones, in their modes of binding substrates, in specific protein-substrate interactions and in their presumed modes of action. We conclude that the two enzymes have diverged from a common precursor. This seems to be the most convincing example to date of the divergence of proteins with nonhomologous amino acid sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-335
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume290
Issue number5804
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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