Population statistics of protein structures: lessons from structural classifications

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1997 Jun;7(3):369-76. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(97)80054-1.


Structural classifications aid the interpretation of proteins by describing degrees of structural and evolutionary relatedness. They have also recently revealed strikingly skewed distributions at all levels; for example, a small number of folds are far more common than others, and just a few superfamilies are known to have diverged widely. The classifications also provide an indication of the total number of superfamilies in nature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Folding
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / classification*
  • Proteins / metabolism


  • Proteins