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Structure. 2011 Apr 13;19(4):461-70. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2011.02.007.

Remote thioredoxin recognition using evolutionary conservation and structural dynamics.

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Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The thioredoxin family of oxidoreductases plays an important role in redox signaling and control of protein function. Not only are thioredoxins linked to a variety of disorders, but their stable structure has also seen application in protein engineering. Both sequence-based and structure-based tools exist for thioredoxin identification, but remote homolog detection remains a challenge. We developed a thioredoxin predictor using the approach of integrating sequence with structural information. We combined a sequence-based Hidden Markov Model (HMM) with a molecular dynamics enhanced structure-based recognition method (dynamic FEATURE, DF). This hybrid method (HMMDF) has high precision and recall (0.90 and 0.95, respectively) compared with HMM (0.92 and 0.87, respectively) and DF (0.82 and 0.97, respectively). Dynamic FEATURE is sensitive but struggles to resolve closely related protein families, while HMM identifies these evolutionary differences by compromising sensitivity. Our method applied to structural genomics targets makes a strong prediction of a novel thioredoxin.

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