P. Arrigo, P. Fariselli, and R. Casadio
Mapping of the coding sequences of the best characterized subfamilies of G-protein- coupled receptors is performed with unsupervised neural networks based on a winner-take-all strategy. High order features therefrom extracted originate signals along the aligned protein sequences of the different subfamilies. These plots reveal characteristic domains common and/or characteristic of the receptor subfamily. By comparison with the existing experimental results, it is obtained that most of the regions signalled by clustering overlap with possible functional regions in the folded proteins. This is particularly noticeable for the third cytoplasmic loop, which is likely to be involved in the molecular coupling with the G-proteins. The results suggest that functional regions in proteins may be characterized by intrinsic representative features in the coding sequences which can be enlighted by high order mapping.