what makes a NEW protein??

Hiranya Roychowdhury hroychow at NMSU.EDU
Tue Jul 22 10:46:07 EST 1997

At 08:24 AM 7/22/97 +0200, Carsten Hohoff wrote:
>My question is not that philosophical:
>if you have a protein of 130 aa ('x')and you find another one with just
>one aa exchange (2 bp exchanged, y) - do you really have a NEW protein 
>wich you can publish elsewhere (stating at least: x 99% identical to y...)?
>I have observed this twice with the same protein and wondered because I
>thought that a minimum of 5% will create a 'new' protein. Are there any
>(nomenclature) rules for the scientific community?
>Best regards, Carsten Hohoff
>Dept. of Biochem, Muenster

In order for protein Y to be called 'distinct' from protein X, the two
should have distinctly different functions. It is unlikely that the single
a.a. change would result in Y being a 'different' protein. Single a.a.
change may cause X to lose/enhance/depress its function, but that hardly
puts Y in a category of its own. 

Dr. Hiranya Sankar Roychowdhury
Plant Genetic Engineering Lab.
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Ph. (505) 646-5785
hroychow at nmsu.edu

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