Proteins combine a capacity to perform exquisite tasks such as specific binding and catalysis with a capacity to adapt, both on physiological time scales through interactions with other molecules (allostery) and on evolutionary time scales through mutations. What principles underly this duality? How does it originate in the course of Darwinian evolution? After reviewing the available data, I’ll present a theoretical model that provides a possible and experimentally testable answer to these questions.
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