proteins with 30% homology should have the same general fold: reference for this ?

Thu Jul 16 14:52:37 EST 1998

My failing memory indicates this observation was first made by Cyrus Chothia in the
1970s or so after a lot of empirical comparison along the lines that Ram suggests.
appears to be one of the rules of thumb that falls out of the process of protein
rather than some sort of natural law as the aforementioned Paracelsus challenge
illustrated in short order.  Of course, the Paracelsus challenge begs the question
of just how close naturally evolved proteins out there can get and possess truly

Scott Le Grand
VM Labs

Dr. Ram Samudrala wrote:

> Eric Campeau <ecampe at> wrote:
> > every teacher in protein structure classes say that if a protein has a 30%
> >homology to a related protein, it should have the same general fold.  However,
> >they do do not cite the reference to this .... is there anybody that could give
> >me the reference for this "fact" ?
> Well, you can just do a few sequence comparisons for proteins with
> known structure and see if the folds are the same.  So it's completely
> testable. Though I'd add that this "rule" applies only to proteins in
> nature and not to designed proteins (cf. the Parcelus challenge).
> --Ram
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