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PLoS One. 2014 Nov 24;9(11):e113811. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113811. eCollection 2014.

Protein loop modeling using a new hybrid energy function and its application to modeling in inaccurate structural environments.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Protein loop modeling is a tool for predicting protein local structures of particular interest, providing opportunities for applications involving protein structure prediction and de novo protein design. Until recently, the majority of loop modeling methods have been developed and tested by reconstructing loops in frameworks of experimentally resolved structures. In many practical applications, however, the protein loops to be modeled are located in inaccurate structural environments. These include loops in model structures, low-resolution experimental structures, or experimental structures of different functional forms. Accordingly, discrepancies in the accuracy of the structural environment assumed in development of the method and that in practical applications present additional challenges to modern loop modeling methods. This study demonstrates a new strategy for employing a hybrid energy function combining physics-based and knowledge-based components to help tackle this challenge. The hybrid energy function is designed to combine the strengths of each energy component, simultaneously maintaining accurate loop structure prediction in a high-resolution framework structure and tolerating minor environmental errors in low-resolution structures. A loop modeling method based on global optimization of this new energy function is tested on loop targets situated in different levels of environmental errors, ranging from experimental structures to structures perturbed in backbone as well as side chains and template-based model structures. The new method performs comparably to force field-based approaches in loop reconstruction in crystal structures and better in loop prediction in inaccurate framework structures. This result suggests that higher-accuracy predictions would be possible for a broader range of applications. The web server for this method is available at http://galaxy.seoklab.org/loop with the PS2 option for the scoring function.

PMID:
25419655
PMCID:
PMC4242723
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0113811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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