Homology modeling is a powerful tool for predicting protein structures, whose success depends on obtaining a reasonable alignment between a given structural template and the protein sequence being analyzed. In order to leverage greater predictive power for proteins with few structural templates, we have developed a method to rank homology models based upon their compliance to secondary structure derived from experimental solid-state NMR (SSNMR) data. Such data is obtainable in a rapid manner by simple SSNMR experiments (e.g., (13)C-(13)C 2D correlation spectra). To test our homology model scoring procedure for various amino acid labeling schemes, we generated a library of 7,474 homology models for 22 protein targets culled from the TALOS+/SPARTA+ training set of protein structures. Using subsets of amino acids that are plausibly assigned by SSNMR, we discovered that pairs of the residues Val, Ile, Thr, Ala and Leu (VITAL) emulate an ideal dataset where all residues are site specifically assigned. Scoring the models with a predicted VITAL site-specific dataset and calculating secondary structure with the Chemical Shift Index resulted in a Pearson correlation coefficient (-0.75) commensurate to the control (-0.77), where secondary structure was scored site specifically for all amino acids (ALL 20) using STRIDE. This method promises to accelerate structure procurement by SSNMR for proteins with unknown folds through guiding the selection of remotely homologous protein templates and assessing model quality.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a computational environment for Fast Analysis of multidimensional NMR DAta Sets (FANDAS) that allows assembling multidimensional data sets from a variety of input parameters and facilitates comparing and modifying such "in silico" data sets during the various stages of the NMR data analysis. The input parameters can vary from (partial) NMR assignments directly obtained from experiments to values retrieved from in silico prediction programs. The resulting predicted data sets enable a rapid evaluation of sample labeling in light of spectral resolution and structural content, using standard NMR software such as Sparky. In addition, direct comparison to experimental data sets can be used to validate NMR assignments, distinguish different molecular components, refine structural models or other parameters derived from NMR data. The method is demonstrated in the context of solid-state NMR data obtained for the cyclic nucleotide binding domain of a bacterial cyclic nucleotide-gated channel and on membrane-embedded sensory rhodopsin II. FANDAS is freely available as web portal under WeNMR ( http://www.wenmr.eu/services/FANDAS ).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, protein side chain (1)H chemical shifts are used as probes to detect and correct side-chain packing errors in protein's NMR structures through structural refinement. By applying the automated fragmentation quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (AF-QM/MM) method for ab initio calculation of chemical shifts, incorrect side chain packing was detected in the NMR structures of the Pin1 WW domain. The NMR structure is then refined by using molecular dynamics simulation and the polarized protein-specific charge (PPC) model. The computationally refined structure of the Pin1 WW domain is in excellent agreement with the corresponding X-ray structure. In particular, the use of the PPC model yields a more accurate structure than that using the standard (nonpolarizable) force field. For comparison, some of the widely used empirical models for chemical shift calculations are unable to correctly describe the relationship between the particular proton chemical shift and protein structures. The AF-QM/MM method can be used as a powerful tool for protein NMR structure validation and structural flaw detection.
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