Comparison of the PAM and BLOSUM Amino Acid Substitution Matrices.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols (Impact Factor: 4.63). 01/2008; 2008:pdb.ip59. DOI: 10.1101/pdb.ip59
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTIONThe choice of a scoring system including scores for matches, mismatches, substitutions, insertions, and deletions influences the alignment of both DNA and protein sequences. To score matches and mismatches in alignments of proteins, it is necessary to know how often one amino acid is substituted for another in related proteins. Percent accepted mutation (PAM) matrices list the likelihood of change from one amino acid to another in homologous protein sequences during evolution and thus are focused on tracking the evolutionary origins of proteins. In contrast, the blocks amino acid substitution matrices (BLOSUM) are based on scoring substitutions found over a range of evolutionary periods. There are important differences in the ways that the PAM and BLOSUM scoring matrices were derived. These differences, which are discussed in this article, should be appreciated when interpreting the results of protein sequence alignments obtained with these matrices.

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