Examples of symmetric proteins
(clockwise from left) Symmetry in 1HIV, d2j5aa1, SCOP: d1u6dx_, 4DOU, and d1vyma1.

My latest paper with Douglas, Peter, Zaid, Andreas, Philippe, and Phil is out!

Douglas Myers-Turnbull, Spencer E. Bliven, Peter W. Rose, Zaid K. Aziz, Philippe Youkharibache, Philip E. Bourne, Andreas Prlić, Systematic Detection of Internal Symmetry in Proteins Using CE-Symm, Journal of Molecular Biology, Available online 26 March 2014, ISSN 0022-2836, doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2014.03.010.

In it we analyze symmetry within structural domains in proteins, which often comes about from ancient gene duplications. Symmetry is quite common–at least 18% of all types of domains, including some very common structures like barrels, propellers, and trefoils (I love the names structural biologists come up with).

CE-Symm is open-source, open-access, etc, so try it out on your own protein structure.

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