Low complexity

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Low complexity regions (LCRs) in a protein sequence are subsequences of biased composition. There are three main sources of LCRs are cryptic, tandem and interspersed repeats [1].

Regions with a low complexity sequence are characterised as having an unusual composition and can be recognised by simple visual inspection. This unusual composition can create problems when you are searching for sequence similarity in BLAST. BLAST provides the option to add a filter to remove low complexity sequences. This filter is important as it will prevent the occurrence of artificial hits.


  1. Alb M.,et al.Detecting cryptically simple protein sequences using the SIMPLE algorithm. Bioinformatics 2002;18:672-678.
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