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J Chem Inf Model. 2013 Mar 25;53(3):717-25. doi: 10.1021/ci300579r. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Mapping monomeric threading to protein-protein structure prediction.

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Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109, United States.


The key step of template-based protein-protein structure prediction is the recognition of complexes from experimental structure libraries that have similar quaternary fold. Maintaining two monomer and dimer structure libraries is however laborious, and inappropriate library construction can degrade template recognition coverage. We propose a novel strategy SPRING to identify complexes by mapping monomeric threading alignments to protein-protein interactions based on the original oligomer entries in the PDB, which does not rely on library construction and increases the efficiency and quality of complex template recognitions. SPRING is tested on 1838 nonhomologous protein complexes which can recognize correct quaternary template structures with a TM score >0.5 in 1115 cases after excluding homologous proteins. The average TM score of the first model is 60% and 17% higher than that by HHsearch and COTH, respectively, while the number of targets with an interface RMSD <2.5 Å by SPRING is 134% and 167% higher than these competing methods. SPRING is controlled with ZDOCK on 77 docking benchmark proteins. Although the relative performance of SPRING and ZDOCK depends on the level of homology filters, a combination of the two methods can result in a significantly higher model quality than ZDOCK at all homology thresholds. These data demonstrate a new efficient approach to quaternary structure recognition that is ready to use for genome-scale modeling of protein-protein interactions due to the high speed and accuracy.

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