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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter June 2, 2014

Lower Limit to the Size of the Primeval Amino Acid Alphabet

  • Ariel Fernández EMAIL logo

Here I systematically examine the information complexity of all primary sequences of natural proteins deposited in the Swiss-Prot database. The sequence complexity is assessed by determining the frequency of occurrence of each amino acid type on sequence windows of fixed length, calculating the Shannon entropy of the window and then averaging over all windows covering the sequence. The minimum value in information content obtained from the present-day record imposes a lower limit in the number of letters that a primeval amino acid alphabet must have had.

Received: 2003-6-16
Revised: 2003-7-17
Published Online: 2014-6-2
Published in Print: 2004-2-1

© 1946 – 2014: Verlag der Zeitschrift für Naturforschung

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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