Amino acid runs in eukaryotic proteomes and disease associations

Samuel Karlin, Luciano Brocchieri, Aviv Bergman, Jan Mrázek, Andrew J. Gentles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


We present a comparative proteome analysis of the five complete eukaryoticgenomes(human, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana), focusing on individual and multiple amino acid runs, charge and hydrophobic runs. We found that human proteins with multiple long runs are often associated with diseases; these include long glutamine runs that induce neurological disorders, various cancers, categories of leukemias (mostly involving chromosomal translocations), and an abundance of Ca2+ and K+ channel proteins. Many human proteins with multiple runs function in development and/or transcription regulation and are Drosophila homeotic homologs. A large number of these proteins are expressed in the nervous system. More than 80% of Drosophila proteins with multiple runs seem to function in transcription regulation. The most frequent amino acid runs in Drosophila sequences occur for glutamine, alanine, and serine, whereas human sequences highlight glutamate, proline, and leucine. The most frequent runs in yeast are of serine, glutamine, and acidic residues. Compared with the other eukaryotic proteomes, amino acid runs are significantly more abundant in the fly. This finding might be interpreted in terms of innate differences in DNA-replication processes, repair mechanisms, DNA-modification systems, and mutational biases. There are striking differences in amino acid runs for glutamine, asparagine, and leucine among the five proteomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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