Exploiting heterogeneous sequence properties improves prediction of protein disorder

Zoran ObradovicA Keith Dunker


During the past few years we have investigated methods to improve predictors of intrinsically disordered regions longer than 30 consecutive residues. Experimental evidence, however, showed that these predictors were less successful on short disordered regions, as observed two years ago during the fifth Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP5). To address this shortcoming, we developed a two-level model called VSL1 (CASP6 id: 193-1). At the first level, VSL1 consists of two specialized predictors, one of which was optimized for long disordered regions (>30 residues) and the other for short disordered regions (< or =30 residues). At the second level, a meta-predictor was built to assign weights for combining the two first-level predictors. As the results of the CASP6 experiment showed, this new predictor has achieved the highest accuracy yet and significantly improved performance on short disordered regions, while maintaining high performance on long disordered regions.


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