I was reading the following paper
When the possible implications of figure 2 captured my attention:
Indeed, it suggests that looking for stability can reveal much about function. The blue bars in panel A indicate positions that can easily be stabilised by mutation (when virtual, full randomisation is conducted on the whole sequence). However, panel B shows that very few of these positions are ever mutated in members of the protein family.
I thus suspect that these positions ‘constrained’ in a sub-optimal residue are essential for function. And that comparing stability values for ‘theoretical’ and ‘natural occurring’ variants might provide an easy detection method.
What do the authors and others think? Worth trying out on more systems?
BTW, the paper is very much worth reading even beyond Figure 2!