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The CATH Hierarchy Revisited—Structural Divergence in Domain Superfamilies and the Continuity of Fold Space

Authors
Journal
Structure
0969-2126
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
17
Issue
8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2009.06.015
Keywords
  • Article

Abstract

Summary This paper explores the structural continuum in CATH and the extent to which superfamilies adopt distinct folds. Although most superfamilies are structurally conserved, in some of the most highly populated superfamilies (4% of all superfamilies) there is considerable structural divergence. While relatives share a similar fold in the evolutionary conserved core, diverse elaborations to this core can result in significant differences in the global structures. Applying similar protocols to examine the extent to which structural overlaps occur between different fold groups, it appears this effect is confined to just a few architectures and is largely due to small, recurring super-secondary motifs (e.g., αβ-motifs, α-hairpins). Although 24% of superfamilies overlap with superfamilies having different folds, only 14% of nonredundant structures in CATH are involved in overlaps. Nevertheless, the existence of these overlaps suggests that, in some regions of structure space, the fold universe should be seen as more continuous.

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