Using an approach for protein comparison by computer analysis based on signal treatment methods without previous alignment of the sequence, we have analysed the structure/function relationship of related proteins. The aim was to demonstrate that from a few members of related proteins, specific parameters can be obtained and used for the characterisation of newly sequenced proteins obtained by molecular biology techniques. The analysis was performed on protein kinases, which comprise the largest known family of proteins, and therefore allows valid estimations to be made. We show that using only a dozen defined proteins, the specific parameters extracted from their sequences classified the protein kinase family into two sub-groups: the protein serine/threonine kinases (PSKs) and the protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs). The analysis, largely involving computation, appears applicable to large scale data-bank analysis and prediction of protein functions.

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