Finding sequence motifs in groups of functionally related proteins

Hamilton O. Smith, Thomas M. Annau, Srinivasan Chandrasegaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


We have developed a method for rapidly finding patterns of conserved amino acid residues (motifs) in groups of functionally related proteins. All 3-amino acid patterns in a group of proteins of the type aal d1 aa2 d2 aa3, where d1 and d2 are distances that can be varied in a range up to 24 residues, are accumulated into an array. Segments of the proteins containing those patterns that occur most frequently are aligned on each other by a scoring method that obtains an average relatedness value for all the amino acids in each column of the aligned sequence block based on the Dayhoff relatedness odds matrix. The automated method successfully finds and displays nearly all of the sequence motifs that have been previously reported to occur in 33 reverse transcriptases, 18 DNA integrases, and 30 DNA methyltransferases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-830
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


  • Amino acid seguence
  • MOTIF program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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