Amino Acid Difference Formula to Help Explain Protein Evolution

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Science  06 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4154, pp. 862-864
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4154.862


A formula for diference between amino acids combines properties that correlate best with protein residue substitution frequencies: composition, polarity, and molecular volume. Substitution frequencies agree much better with overall chemical difference between exchanging residues than with minimum base changes between their codons. Correlation coefficients show that fixation of mutations between dissimilar amino acids is generally rare.

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