Reader Comments

Modularity principle once again

by Jiří Vácha (2010-08-28)


I understand now that the chain of peptidic bonds as such in a polypeptide (as its backbone) is actually a trivial matter which says nothing specific about its function etc. Your experiment related to Fig. 9 demonstrates that the non-covalent components of the interface between two domains may be decisive for the function of the whole. Still, the structure and function of a polypeptide generally is a systemic effect of its primary structure (an „emergent“, „unpredictable“ phenomenon – see, e.g., just the cited work of Alexander et al.) and it seems to me to be quite possible that a combination of two originally independent (say) domains may show adaptively favorable features and be fixed during generations even when their non-covalent interface (determining the function) originated by chance. It may happen only rarely, but neo-Darwinism needs nothing more. Anyway, it is pertinently pointed out that the number of functioning proteins is much higher than the number of protein domains.



Re: Modularity principle once again

by Douglas Axe (2010-09-07)


Referring to adaptation by means of fortuitous association of previously unassociated protein domains, you say, "It may happen only rarely, but neo-Darwinism needs nothing more."

I certainly

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