This review focuses on the molecular signatures of protein structures in relation to evolution and survival in global warming. It is based on the premise that the power of evolutionary selection may lead to thermotolerant organisms that will repopulate the planet and continue life in general, but perhaps with different kinds of flora and fauna. Our focus is on molecular mechanisms, whereby known examples of thermoresistance and their physicochemical characteristics were noted. A comparison of interactions of diverse residues in proteins from thermophilic and mesophilic organisms, as well as reverse genetic studies, revealed a set of imprecise molecular signatures that pointed to major roles of hydrophobicity, solvent accessibility, disulfide bonds, hydrogen bonds, ionic and π-electron interactions, and an overall condensed packing of the higher-order structure, especially in the hydrophobic regions. Regardless of mutations, specialized protein chaperones may play a cardinal role. In evolutionary terms, thermoresistance to global warming will likely occur in stepwise mutational changes, conforming to the molecular signatures, such that each “intermediate” fits a temporary niche through punctuated equilibrium, while maintaining protein functionality. Finally, the population response of different species to global warming may vary substantially, and, as such, some may evolve while others will undergo catastrophic mass extinction.
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