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Towards a Processual Approach in Protein Studies

  • Ľudmila LackováEmail author


The present paper attempts to demonstrate semiotic arguments against the sequence → structure → function paradigm in protein studies. The unidirectional deterministic thinking in biological processes has been challenged by several disciplines of life sciences (epigenetics, proteomics, etc.) and philosophy (process philosophy). Biosemiotics comprehends living organisms as actively participating in their present and somehow creating or shaping their future, having a plurality of options for acting. Determinism and unidirectionality are in contradiction with a biosemiotic approach towards life, mostly when considering Peirce’s triadic concept of semiosis. In this paper, a Peircean biosemiotic approach is applied to proteins and to the process of protein folding. Two main concepts are presented to support the arguments against the SSF paradigm in protein studies: the NonReduction Theorem and the notion of folded continuum. A processual approach is proposed as the most suitable for descriptions of proteins and their functions.


Folding of a continuum NonReduction theorem Peirce Protein folding Semiotic continuum 



This paper was supported by an internal research grant of Faculty of Arts, Palacký University in Olomouc (2019-2021), project number FPVC2019/03. I declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Palacký University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic

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