ribosomal proteins, ribosome, molecular mass, biological conservation, ribosomal protein mass fingerprint, mass spectrometry, natural selection, structure/function, mass spectra, microbial identification
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Ribosomes are highly conserved macromolecular machines whose critical function is protein synthesis. However, existence of unique molecular mass of the same type of ribosomal protein for individual species in the same domain of life raises the interesting question concerning the interaction between natural selection forces and the conservation of structure and function of ribosomal proteins. Thus, given differentiated molecular mass and sequence of ribosomal proteins across species, the structures of ribosomes are correspondingly differentiated even though the general structure and function of the macromolecular machine is conserved across species in the same domain of life. The collection of molecular mass of all ribosomal proteins in the large and small ribosome subunits can be understood as the ribosomal protein mass fingerprint of the species useful for gaining fundamental knowledge of ribosomal proteins, as well as serving as tools for species identification through comparison of ribosomal protein mass spectra. This preprint introduces the Theoretical Ribosomal Protein Mass Fingerprint database that comprises the theoretical molecular mass of all ribosomal proteins of a species calculated based on available amino acid sequence information of the ribosomal proteins. Using amino acid sequence information from the Ribosomal Protein Gene Database, the Theoretical Ribosomal Protein Mass Fingerprint database ( https://ngwenfa.wordpress.com/database/ ) spans species from cyanobacteria, fungus, bacteria, archaea, nematodes, diatoms, micro-algae, and various model organisms. The database should be useful as a resource for gaining fundamental understanding of the mass distribution of ribosomal proteins of a species, or serving as a limited reference database for identifying species based on comparing experimental ribosomal protein mass fingerprint of unknown species against theoretically calculated ones of known species. Future expansion of the database will aim to catalogue the theoretical ribosomal protein mass fingerprint of more microbial species using amino acid sequence information from UniProt.