Which Came First, Protein Sequence or Structure?

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Science  02 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5275, pp. 610
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5275.610


The sequence of amino acids in a protein determines how it will eventually fold into its three-dimensional structure. One way to understand how this works is by considering the protein's “foldability”—that is, the likelihood of folding into a useful structure. Another approach, however, is that taken in the report by Li et al. (p. 666) and discussed in the Perspective by Kardar. Here, the authors consider the “designability” of proteins—the number of sequences that uniquely fold into a particular structure.