This article is part of the supplement: 22nd International Conference on Genome Informatics: Bioinformatics
A protein-dependent side-chain rotamer library
Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, 23955, KSA
BMC Bioinformatics 2011, 12(Suppl 14):S10 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-S14-S10Published: 14 December 2011
Protein side-chain packing problem has remained one of the key open problems in bioinformatics. The three main components of protein side-chain prediction methods are a rotamer library, an energy function and a search algorithm. Rotamer libraries summarize the existing knowledge of the experimentally determined structures quantitatively. Depending on how much contextual information is encoded, there are backbone-independent rotamer libraries and backbone-dependent rotamer libraries. Backbone-independent libraries only encode sequential information, whereas backbone-dependent libraries encode both sequential and locally structural information. However, side-chain conformations are determined by spatially local information, rather than sequentially local information. Since in the side-chain prediction problem, the backbone structure is given, spatially local information should ideally be encoded into the rotamer libraries.
In this paper, we propose a new type of backbone-dependent rotamer library, which encodes structural information of all the spatially neighboring residues. We call it protein-dependent rotamer libraries. Given any rotamer library and a protein backbone structure, we first model the protein structure as a Markov random field. Then the marginal distributions are estimated by the inference algorithms, without doing global optimization or search. The rotamers from the given library are then re-ranked and associated with the updated probabilities.
Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed protein-dependent libraries significantly outperform the widely used backbone-dependent libraries in terms of the side-chain prediction accuracy and the rotamer ranking ability. Furthermore, without global optimization/search, the side-chain prediction power of the protein-dependent library is still comparable to the global-search-based side-chain prediction methods.