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BLOSUM

In bioinformatics, the BLOSUM (BLOcks SUbstitution Matrix) matrix is a substitution matrix used for sequence alignment of proteins. BLOSUM matrices are used to score alignments between evolutionarily divergent protein sequences. They are based on local alignments. BLOSUM matrices were first introduced in a paper by Henikoff and Henikoff. They scanned the BLOCKS database for very conserved regions of protein families (that do not have gaps in the sequence alignment) and then counted the relative frequencies of amino acids and their substitution probabilities. Then, they calculated a log-odds score for each of the 210 possible substitution pairs of the 20 standard amino acids. All BLOSUM matrices are based on observed alignments; they are not extrapolated from comparisons of closely related proteins like the PAM Matrices.