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Nat Protoc. 2017 Feb;12(2):255-278. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.169. Epub 2017 Jan 12.

The ClusPro web server for protein-protein docking.

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Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, Stony Brook University, New York, USA.
Acpharis Inc., Holliston, Massachusetts, USA.


The ClusPro server ( is a widely used tool for protein-protein docking. The server provides a simple home page for basic use, requiring only two files in Protein Data Bank (PDB) format. However, ClusPro also offers a number of advanced options to modify the search; these include the removal of unstructured protein regions, application of attraction or repulsion, accounting for pairwise distance restraints, construction of homo-multimers, consideration of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data, and location of heparin-binding sites. Six different energy functions can be used, depending on the type of protein. Docking with each energy parameter set results in ten models defined by centers of highly populated clusters of low-energy docked structures. This protocol describes the use of the various options, the construction of auxiliary restraints files, the selection of the energy parameters, and the analysis of the results. Although the server is heavily used, runs are generally completed in <4 h.

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