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J Mol Biol. 1992 Nov 5;228(1):170-87.

Evaluation of the sequence template method for protein structure prediction. Discrimination of the (beta/alpha)8-barrel fold.

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  • 1Biomolecular Modelling Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, U.K.


A multiple alignment of five (beta/alpha)8-barrel enzymes has been derived from their structure. The eight beta-strands and eight alpha-helices of the (beta/alpha)8-barrel are correctly aligned and the equivalenced residues in these regions fulfil similar structural roles. Each beta-strand has a central core of usually four residues, two residues contribute side-chains to the barrel core and the other two residues are involved in beta-strand/alpha-helix contacts. However, the fold imposes no constraints on the volumes of the residues at either a local or global level: the volume of the beta-barrel core varies between 1088 A3 in glycolate oxidase and 1571 A3 in taka-amylase. Sequence motifs derived from the multiple alignment were scanned against a database of 124 protein sequences, including 17 (beta/alpha)8-barrel enzymes. The results were evaluated in terms of the discrimination of (beta/alpha)8-barrel sequences and the quality of the alignments obtained. One motif was able to identify the top 12% of high scoring sequences as forming (beta/alpha)8-barrels with 50% accuracy and the bottom 50% of sequences as not being (beta/alpha)8-barrel proteins with 100% accuracy. However, in most instances the alignments were poor. The reasons for this are discussed with reference to the (beta/alpha)8-barrel proteins and the sequence motif method in general.

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