Neurological Proteins Are Not Enriched For Repetitive Sequences
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Proteins associated with disease and development of the nervous system are thought to contain repetitive, simple sequences. However, genome-wide surveys for simple sequences within proteins have revealed that repetitive peptide sequences are the most frequent shared peptide segments among eukaryotic proteins, including those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which has few to no specialized developmental and neurological proteins. It is therefore of interest to determine if these specialized proteins have an excess of simple sequences when compared to other sets of compositionally similar proteins. We have determined the relative abundance of simple sequences within neurological proteins and find no excess of repetitive simple sequence within this class. In fact, polyglutamine repeats that are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases are no more abundant within neurological specialized proteins than within nonneurological collections of proteins. We also examined the codon composition of serine homopolymers to determine what forces may play a role in the evolution of extended homopolymers. Codon type homogeneity tends to be favored, suggesting replicative slippage instead of selection as the main force responsible for producing these homopolymers.
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