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What is low-complexity sequence?

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What is low-complexity sequence?

Regions with low-complexity sequence have an unusual composition andthis can create problems in sequence similarity searching (Wootton & Federhen, 1996). Low-complexity sequence can often be recognized by visual inspection. For example, the protein sequence PPCDPPPPPKDKKKKDDGPP has low complexity and so does the nucleotide sequence AAATAAAAAAAATAAAAAAT. Filters are used to remove low-complexity sequence because it can cause artifactual hits

In BLAST searches performed without a filter, often certain hits will be reported with high scores only because of the presence of a low-complexity region. Most often, this type of match cannot be thought of as the result of homology shared by the sequences. Rather, it is as if the low-complexity region is "sticky" and is pulling out many sequences that are not truly related.

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