Practical aspects of protein co-evolution

Front Cell Dev Biol. 2014 Apr 22;2:14. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2014.00014. eCollection 2014.


Co-evolution is a fundamental aspect of Evolutionary Theory. At the molecular level, co-evolutionary linkages between protein families have been used as indicators of protein interactions and functional relationships from long ago. Due to the complexity of the problem and the amount of genomic data required for these approaches to achieve good performances, it took a relatively long time from the appearance of the first ideas and concepts to the quotidian application of these approaches and their incorporation to the standard toolboxes of bioinformaticians and molecular biologists. Today, these methodologies are mature (both in terms of performance and usability/implementation), and the genomic information that feeds them large enough to allow their general application. This review tries to summarize the current landscape of co-evolution-based methodologies, with a strong emphasis on describing interesting cases where their application to important biological systems, alone or in combination with other computational and experimental approaches, allowed getting new insight into these.

Keywords: biological networks; co-evolution; interactome; mirrortree; protein interactions.

Publication types

  • Review