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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 March 15; 25(6): 1087–1093.
PMCID: PMC146560

Compilation and analysis of intein sequences.


We have compiled a list of all the inteins (protein splicing elements) whose sequences have been published or were available from on-line sequence databases as of September 18, 1996. Analysis of the 36 available intein sequences refines the previously described intein motifs and reveals the presence of another intein motif, Block H. Furthermore, analysis of the new inteins reshapes our view of the conserved splice junction residues, since three inteins lack the intein penultimate His seen in prior examples. Comparison of intein sequences suggests that, in general, (i) inteins present in the same location within extein homologs from different organisms are very closely related to each other in paired sequence comparison or phylogenetic analysis and we suggest that they should be considered intein alleles; (ii) multiple inteins present in the same gene are no more similar to each other than to inteins present in different genes; (iii) phylogenetic analysis indicates that inteins are so divergent that trees with statistically significant branches cannot be generated except for intein alleles.

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