Cradle-loop barrels and the concept of metafolds in protein classification by natural descent.
ABSTRACT Current classification systems for protein structure show many inconsistencies both within and between systems. The metafold concept was introduced to identify fold similarities by consensus and thus provide a more unified view of fold space. Using cradle-loop barrels as an example, we propose to use the metafold as the next hierarchical level above the fold, encompassing a group of topologically related folds for which a homologous relationship has been substantiated. We see this as an important step on the way to a classification of proteins by natural descent.
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ABSTRACT: Proteins of the β-propeller fold are ubiquitous in nature and widely used as structural scaffolds for ligand binding and enzymatic activity. This fold comprises between four and twelve four-stranded β-meanders, the so called blades that are arranged circularly around a central funnel-shaped pore. Despite the large size range of β-propellers, their blades frequently show sequence similarity indicative of a common ancestry and it has been proposed that the majority of β-propellers arose divergently by amplification and diversification of an ancestral blade. Given the structural versatility of β-propellers and the hypothesis that the first folded proteins evolved from a simpler set of peptides, we investigated whether this blade may have given rise to other folds as well. Using sequence comparisons, we identified proteins of four other folds as potential homologs of β-propellers: the luminal domain of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1-LD), type II β-prisms, β-pinwheels, and WW domains. Because, with increasing evolutionary distance and decreasing sequence length, the statistical significance of sequence comparisons becomes progressively harder to distinguish from the background of convergent similarities, we complemented our analyses with a new method that evaluates possible homology based on the correlation between sequence and structure similarity. Our results indicate a homologous relationship of IRE1-LD and type II β-prisms with β-propellers, and an analogous one for β-pinwheels and WW domains. Whereas IRE1-LD most likely originated by fold-changing mutations from a fully formed PQQ motif β-propeller, type II β-prisms originated by amplification and differentiation of a single blade, possibly also of the PQQ type. We conclude that both β-propellers and type II β-prisms arose by independent amplification of a blade-sized fragment, which represents a remnant of an ancient peptide world.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77074. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We outline a set of strategies to infer protein function from structure. The overall approach depends on extensive use of homology modeling, the exploitation of a wide range of global and local geometric relationships between protein structures and the use of machine learning techniques. The combination of modeling with broad searches of protein structure space defines a "structural BLAST" approach to infer function with high genomic coverage. Applications are described to the prediction of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. In the context of protein-protein interactions, our structure-based prediction algorithm, PrePPI, has comparable accuracy to high-throughput experiments. An essential feature of PrePPI involves the use of Bayesian methods to combine structure-derived information with non-structural evidence (e.g., co-expression) to assign a likelihoodfor each predicted interaction. This, combined with a structural BLAST approach significantly expands the range of applications of protein structure in the annotation of protein function,including systems level biological applications where it has previously played little role.Protein Science 01/2013; · 2.74 Impact Factor
Article: On the Universe of Protein Folds.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the fifty years since the first atomic structure of a protein was revealed, tens of thousands of additional structures have been solved. Like all objects in biology, proteins structures show common patterns that seem to define family relationships. Classification of proteins structures, which started in the 1970s with about a dozen structures, has continued with increasing enthusiasm, leading to two main fold classifications, SCOP and CATH, as well as many additional databases. Classification is complicated by deciding what constitutes a domain, the fundamental unit of structure. Also difficult is deciding when two given structures are similar. Like all of biology, fold classification is beset by exceptions to all rules. Thus, the perspectives of protein fold space that the fold classifications offer differ from each other. In spite of these ambiguities, fold classifications are useful for prediction of structure and function. Studying the characteristics of fold space can shed light on protein evolution and the physical laws that govern protein behavior. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biophysics Volume 42 is May 06, 2013. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual Review of Biophysics 03/2013; · 12.63 Impact Factor