Classification of protein folds

Mol Biotechnol. 2002 Jan;20(1):17-28. doi: 10.1385/MB:20:1:017.


Classification is central to many studies of protein structure, function, and evolution. This article presents a strategy for classifying protein three-dimensional structures. Methods for and issues related to secondary structure, domain, and class assignment are discussed, in addition to methods for the comparison of protein three-dimensional structures. Strategies for assigning protein domains to particular folds and homologous superfamilies are then described in the context of the currently available classification schemes. Two examples (adenylate cyclase/DNA polymerase and glycogen phosphorylase/beta-glucosyltransferase) are presented to illustrate problems associated with protein classification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Animals
  • Classification / methods*
  • Glucosyltransferases / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Protein Folding*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Glucosyltransferases
  • Adenylyl Cyclases