This article is in the area of protein sequence investigation. It studies protein sequence periodicity. The notion of latent periodicity is introduced. A mathematical method for searching for latent periodicity in protein sequences is developed. Implementation of the method developed for known cases of perfect and imperfect periodicity is demonstrated. Latent periodicity of many protein sequences from the SWISS-PROT data bank is revealed by the method and examples of latent periodicity of amino acid sequences are demonstrated for: the translation initiation factor EIF-2B (epsilon subunit) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae from the E2BE_YEAST sequence; the E.coli ferrienterochelin receptor from the FEPA_ECOLI sequence; the lysozyme of Bacteriophage SF6 from the LY_BPSF6 sequence; lipoamide dehydrogenase of Azotobacter vinelandii from the DLDH_AZOVI sequence. These protein sequences have latent periods equal to six, two, seven and 19 amino acids, respectively. We propose that a possible purpose of the amino acid sequence latent periodicity is to determine certain protein structures.
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