Apr 14, 2020

FingerprintContacts: Predicting Alternative Conformations of Proteins from Coevolution

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. Feng, Diwakar Shukla


Proteins are dynamic molecules which perform diverse molecular functions by adopting different three-dimensional structures. Recent progress in residue-residue contacts prediction opens up new avenues for the de novo protein structure prediction from sequence information. However, it is still difficult to predict more than one conformation from residue-residue contacts alone. This is due to the inability to deconvolve the complex signals of residue-residue contacts, i.e. spatial contacts relevant for protein folding, conformational diversity, and ligand binding. Here, we introduce a machine learning based method, called FingerprintContacts, for extending the capabilities of residue-residue contacts. This algorithm leverages the features of residue-residue contacts, that is, (1) a single conformation outperforms the others in the structural prediction using all the top ranking residue-residue contacts as structural constraints, and (2) conformation specific contacts rank lower and constitute a small fraction of residue-residue contacts. We demonstrate the capabilities of FingerprintContacts on eight ligand binding proteins with varying conformational motions. Furthermore, FingerprintContacts identifies small clusters of residue-...Continue Reading

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