Suppose that I have two proteins, protein A and protein B, and suppose that the sequence of amino acids of protein B is exactly the reverse of the sequence of protein A.

For example (these are made-up proteins):

protein A = [G,A,L,G,M,F,R]
protein B = [R,F,M,G,L,A,G]

Will the 3D structure of protein B be somehow identical, or perhaps the mirror image, of the 3D structure of protein A?

  • $\begingroup$ Think about where the N and C terminals are with respect to "R" for example. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2018 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ @AdamRadekMartinez — Correct usage is terminus (end) and termini (ends). Terminal is an adjective in this respect (even though in English it may be used as a noun in specific contexts e.g. Railway Terminal. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest that you are in a little less hurry to accept answers that cite references to something other than the situation in your question. The wa SE works is that when people answer others can vote and comment on that answer to help you decide what is correct. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @David Thanks for the advice. If you happen to have more info regarding my question, or an alternative answer, I'm still interested and listening. $\endgroup$
    – Lior
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ related: www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/34npph/if_you_reversed_a_proteins_primary_sequence_would/ $\endgroup$
    – Lior
    Commented May 11, 2018 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


No! Although there is a relationship, the protein would not fold properly since the C and N terminals are reversed consider the following:


as appose to :


These are completely different molecules!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1604320 http://www.pnas.org/content/95/13/7287.long http://www.pnas.org/content/111/32/11679

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Although the two are different molecules, and you may well be correct, the two references you quote are not for reverse sequence proteins but for proteins of the same sequence built with D-, rather than L-amino acids. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 10:12

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