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Proteins. 2010 Apr;78(5):1137-52. doi: 10.1002/prot.22634.

MUFOLD: A new solution for protein 3D structure prediction.

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Department of Computer Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


There have been steady improvements in protein structure prediction during the past 2 decades. However, current methods are still far from consistently predicting structural models accurately with computing power accessible to common users. Toward achieving more accurate and efficient structure prediction, we developed a number of novel methods and integrated them into a software package, MUFOLD. First, a systematic protocol was developed to identify useful templates and fragments from Protein Data Bank for a given target protein. Then, an efficient process was applied for iterative coarse-grain model generation and evaluation at the Calpha or backbone level. In this process, we construct models using interresidue spatial restraints derived from alignments by multidimensional scaling, evaluate and select models through clustering and static scoring functions, and iteratively improve the selected models by integrating spatial restraints and previous models. Finally, the full-atom models were evaluated using molecular dynamics simulations based on structural changes under simulated heating. We have continuously improved the performance of MUFOLD by using a benchmark of 200 proteins from the Astral database, where no template with >25% sequence identity to any target protein is included. The average root-mean-square deviation of the best models from the native structures is 4.28 A, which shows significant and systematic improvement over our previous methods. The computing time of MUFOLD is much shorter than many other tools, such as Rosetta. MUFOLD demonstrated some success in the 2008 community-wide experiment for protein structure prediction CASP8.

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