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PLoS One. 2011 Mar 10;6(3):e17568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017568.

HMMerThread: detecting remote, functional conserved domains in entire genomes by combining relaxed sequence-database searches with fold recognition.

Author information

1
Bioinformatics Laboratory, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Saxony, Germany.

Abstract

Conserved domains in proteins are one of the major sources of functional information for experimental design and genome-level annotation. Though search tools for conserved domain databases such as Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) are sensitive in detecting conserved domains in proteins when they share sufficient sequence similarity, they tend to miss more divergent family members, as they lack a reliable statistical framework for the detection of low sequence similarity. We have developed a greatly improved HMMerThread algorithm that can detect remotely conserved domains in highly divergent sequences. HMMerThread combines relaxed conserved domain searches with fold recognition to eliminate false positive, sequence-based identifications. With an accuracy of 90%, our software is able to automatically predict highly divergent members of conserved domain families with an associated 3-dimensional structure. We give additional confidence to our predictions by validation across species. We have run HMMerThread searches on eight proteomes including human and present a rich resource of remotely conserved domains, which adds significantly to the functional annotation of entire proteomes. We find ∼4500 cross-species validated, remotely conserved domain predictions in the human proteome alone. As an example, we find a DNA-binding domain in the C-terminal part of the A-kinase anchor protein 10 (AKAP10), a PKA adaptor that has been implicated in cardiac arrhythmias and premature cardiac death, which upon stress likely translocates from mitochondria to the nucleus/nucleolus. Based on our prediction, we propose that with this HLH-domain, AKAP10 is involved in the transcriptional control of stress response. Further remotely conserved domains we discuss are examples from areas such as sporulation, chromosome segregation and signalling during immune response. The HMMerThread algorithm is able to automatically detect the presence of remotely conserved domains in proteins based on weak sequence similarity. Our predictions open up new avenues for biological and medical studies. Genome-wide HMMerThread domains are available at http://vm1-hmmerthread.age.mpg.de.

PMID:
21423752
PMCID:
PMC3053371
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0017568
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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