Protein similarities beyond disulphide bridge topology

J. M. Mas, P. Aloy, M. A. Martí-Renom, B. Oliva, C. Blanco-Aparicio, M. A. Molina, R. De Llorens, E. Querol, F. X. Avilés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Structural superimposition is an important procedure to analyse the relationships between proteins. A new approach and program, KNOT-MATCH, has been developed for automated structural superimposition of proteins by means of their disulphide bridge topology. As a result of the superimposition, regular secondary structures, loops and clusters of residues become correctly aligned. This fact allows us to find out important structural overlaps of residues, sometimes with functional significance, not only among proteins belonging to the same family but also between apparently non-related proteins. Different disulphide-rich protein families, such as EGF-like, defensin-like and plant protease inhibitors, have been self or cross analysed with this approach. Some amino acids that have been experimentally determined to be structural and/or functional key residues for these proteins are conserved in the three-dimensional space after superimposition by KNOT-MATCH. The program can be very useful for finding relationships among proteins that would be hidden to the current alignment methods based on sequence and on main-chain topology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-548
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 1998


  • Disulphide bonds
  • Disulphide rich proteins
  • Protein structure
  • Protein superimposition
  • Protein topology


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