Conservation (genetics)

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File:Conserved residues.svg
Residues conserved among various G protein coupled receptors are highlighted in green.

Conservation is a high degree of similarity in the primary or higher structure of homologous proteins amongst various phyla. A highly conserved protein is often related to an important cellular function. A mutation in a highly conserved region leads to a non-viable life form, or a form that is eliminated through natural selection. Highly conserved proteins are often required for basic cellular function, stability or reproduction.

See also Highly conserved sequence.