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Proteins. 2010 Mar;78(4):1026-39. doi: 10.1002/prot.22626.

Predicting protein complex geometries with a neural network.

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Department of Biology, University of Science, Unjong-District, Pyongyang, DPR Korea.


A major challenge of the protein docking problem is to define scoring functions that can distinguish near-native protein complex geometries from a large number of non-native geometries (decoys) generated with noncomplexed protein structures (unbound docking). In this study, we have constructed a neural network that employs the information from atom-pair distance distributions of a large number of decoys to predict protein complex geometries. We found that docking prediction can be significantly improved using two different types of polar hydrogen atoms. To train the neural network, 2000 near-native decoys of even distance distribution were used for each of the 185 considered protein complexes. The neural network normalizes the information from different protein complexes using an additional protein complex identity input neuron for each complex. The parameters of the neural network were determined such that they mimic a scoring funnel in the neighborhood of the native complex structure. The neural network approach avoids the reference state problem, which occurs in deriving knowledge-based energy functions for scoring. We show that a distance-dependent atom pair potential performs much better than a simple atom-pair contact potential. We have compared the performance of our scoring function with other empirical and knowledge-based scoring functions such as ZDOCK 3.0, ZRANK, ITScore-PP, EMPIRE, and RosettaDock. In spite of the simplicity of the method and its functional form, our neural network-based scoring function achieves a reasonable performance in rigid-body unbound docking of proteins. Proteins 2010.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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