Remediation of the protein data bank archive.
ABSTRACT The Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB; wwpdb.org) is the international collaboration that manages the deposition, processing and distribution of the PDB archive. The online PDB archive at ftp://ftp.wwpdb.org is the repository for the coordinates and related information for more than 47 000 structures, including proteins, nucleic acids and large macromolecular complexes that have been determined using X-ray crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy techniques. The members of the wwPDB-RCSB PDB (USA), MSD-EBI (Europe), PDBj (Japan) and BMRB (USA)-have remediated this archive to address inconsistencies that have been introduced over the years. The scope and methods used in this project are presented.
- SourceAvailable from: Lukas Pravda[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Structure validation has become a major issue in the structural biology community, and an essential step is checking the ligand structure. This paper introduces MotiveValidator, a web-based application for the validation of ligands and residues in PDB or PDBx/mmCIF format files provided by the user. Specifically, MotiveValidator is able to evaluate in a straightforward manner whether the ligand or residue being studied has a correct annotation (3-letter code), i.e. if it has the same topology and stereochemistry as the model ligand or residue with this annotation. If not, MotiveValidator explicitly describes the differences. MotiveValidator offers a user-friendly, interactive and platform-independent environment for validating structures obtained by any type of experiment. The results of the validation are presented in both tabular and graphical form, facilitating their interpretation. MotiveValidator can process thousands of ligands or residues in a single validation run that takes no more than a few minutes. MotiveValidator can be used for testing single structures, or the analysis of large sets of ligands or fragments prepared for binding site analysis, docking or virtual screening. MotiveValidator is freely available via the Internet at http://ncbr.muni.cz/MotiveValidator.Nucleic Acids Research 05/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when it was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be made generally available, along with the precursor entries, with various views of the structures being made available depending on the types of questions that users are interested in answering.Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 10/2014; 70(10). · 7.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: NMR spectroscopy is a key technique for understanding the behaviour of proteins, especially highly dynamic proteins that adopt multiple conformations in solution. Overall, protein structures determined from NMR spectroscopy data constitute just over 10% of the Protein Data Bank archive. This review covers the validation of these NMR protein structures, but rather than describing currently available methodology, it focuses on concepts that are important for understanding where and how validation is most relevant. First, the inherent characteristics of the protein under study have an influence on quality and quantity of the distinct types of data that can be acquired from NMR experiments. Second, these NMR data are necessarily transformed into a model for use in a structure calculation protocol, and the protein structures that result from this reflect the types of NMR data used as well as the protein characteristics. The validation of NMR protein structures should therefore take account, wherever possible, of the inherent behavioural characteristics of the protein, the types of available NMR data, and the calculation protocol. These concepts are discussed in the context of ‘knowledge based’ and ‘model versus data’ validation, with suggestions for questions to ask and different validation categories to consider. The principal aim of this review is to stimulate discussion and to help the reader understand the relationships between the above elements in order to make informed decisions on which validation approaches are the most relevant in particular cases.Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy 09/2014; 82:27. · 8.71 Impact Factor
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008, Vol. 36, Database issuePublished online 11 December 2007
Remediation of the protein data bank archive
Kim Henrick1, Zukang Feng2, Wolfgang F. Bluhm3, Dimitris Dimitropoulos1,
Jurgen F. Doreleijers4, Shuchismita Dutta2, Judith L. Flippen-Anderson2,
John Ionides1, Chisa Kamada5, Eugene Krissinel1, Catherine L. Lawson2,
John L. Markley4, Haruki Nakamura5, Richard Newman1, Yukiko Shimizu5,
Jawahar Swaminathan1, Sameer Velankar1, Jeramia Ory2, Eldon L. Ulrich4,
Wim Vranken1, John Westbrook2, Reiko Yamashita5, Huanwang Yang2,
Jasmine Young2, Muhammed Yousufuddin2and Helen M. Berman2,*
1MSD-EBI, EMBL Outstation-Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK,2RCSB Protein Data Bank, Department of
Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway,
NJ 08854-8087, USA,3RCSB Protein Data Bank, San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Skaggs School of
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive,
Mailcode 0743, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA,4BioMagResBank, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of
Biochemistry, 433 Babcock Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA and5PDBj, Institute for Protein Research,
Osaka University, 3-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
Received September 13, 2007; Revised October 8, 2007; Accepted October 11, 2007
The Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB; wwpdb.
org) is the international collaboration that manages
the deposition, processing
the PDB archive. The online PDB archive at ftp://
ftp.wwpdb.org is the repository for the coordinates
and related information for more than 47000 struc-
tures, including proteins, nucleic acids and large
macromolecular complexes that have been deter-
electron microscopy techniques. The members of
the wwPDB–RCSB PDB (USA), MSD-EBI (Europe),
PDBj (Japan) and BMRB (USA)–have remediated this
archive to address inconsistencies that have been
introduced over the years. The scope and methods
used in this project are presented.
and distribution of
The Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB) consists
of organizations that act as deposition, data processing
and distribution centers for PDB data. The members are
the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics
(RCSB PDB), Macromolecular Structure Data Bank
at the European Bioinformatics Institute (MSD-EBI),
Protein Data Bank Japan (PDBj) and the BioMag-
ResBank (BMRB) (1). Since 1971, the PDB has been
responsible for the collection, processing, archiving and
distribution of biological macromolecular structural data
(2). Over the last 36 years, the archive has grown from
seven structures to now more than 47000. During this
same period, the methods used to determine structures,
the size of individual structures and the rate at which they
are being solved have all changed, as have the ways in
which the archive is used.
The methods used to collect, curate and process the
data also have evolved over time. Different tools have
been used to collect the data including the earliest version
of AutoDep developed at Brookhaven (3), a reengineered
version developed at MSD-EBI (4) and ADIT used by
RCSB PDB and PDBj (5,6). Over the years, data curation
has become more and more automated, although expert
curators still review the structures to ensure they are
represented correctly. Finally, there have been subtle but
definite changes in the PDB file format (7) and the
definitions for the various records have been subject
to different interpretations both by depositors and by
curators. The result of all of these factors has been
inconsistencies and outright errors in the data.
The wwPDB therefore undertook a project to remediate
the entire archive. The scope of this remediation project
has been to address problems that limit the utility of
the archive as a whole. Thus, we have focused on the
following areas: (i) improving the detailed chemical
description and nomenclature of the monomer units
of the biological polymers and small molecule ligands;
(ii) resolving any remaining differences between the chem-
ical and the macromolecular sequences, and updating
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +1 732 445 4667; Fax: +1 732 445 4320; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
? 2007 The Author(s)
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
by-nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
(iv) verifying primary citation assignments. We also
addressed miscellaneous errors, some REMARKS, and
structure factor and NMR restraint data. Coordinates
have not been changed.
The impact of this work on the data files and
dictionaries produced by the wwPDB are described in
the following sections.
CHEMICAL DESCRIPTIONS: THE CHEMICAL
A major portion of the wwPDB remediation project has
been devoted to improving the chemical description and
nomenclature used in the annotation of macromolecular
structure data. This work has been incorporated into
Component Dictionary. Key features include:
? Model and idealized coordinates
? Chemical descriptors (e.g. SMILES (8) and InChI (9))
and systematic names
? IUPAC nomenclature for standard amino acids and
nucleotides (10) with the exception of the well-
established convention for C-terminal atoms OXT
? More conventional atom labeling
? Removal of redundant ligands
? Additional description of protonation states
The remediated dictionary of chemical components
provides a richer and more accurate description of each
molecule. The more detailed chemical definitions have
been used to recheck the assignments of the monomer
(13M+) and non-polymer (170K+) molecules in the PDB
archive. While this chemical reference dictionary has been
used in the remediation of each PDB entry, much of the
information in this dictionary is not directly incorporated
within individual remediated entries. In particular, the
expressivity of the chemical description within PDB
format CONECT records is very limited. PDB users are
encouraged to take direct advantage of the content of
the new chemical dictionary.
Additional chemical definitions have been created for
amino acids in different states of protonation. These
definitions document the nomenclature for the additional
protons not specified in the standard definitions. The
additional definitions are maintained in a Companion
Amino Acids Variants Dictionary that provides complete
molecular definitions of the protonated amino acids
The Chemical Component Dictionary provided the
basis for the remediation of all monomer units and small
molecule ligands in the PDB files. The impact of the new
chemical definitions is seen in the atoms names, atom
types, residue names and residue assignments.
The dictionaries and detailed descriptions of the
improved description of chemical components are avail-
able for download from http://www.wwpdb.org.
CHANGES TO THE PDB COORDINATE ENTRIES
Atom names in the polymer chains (ATOM records in the
PDB file format) in the remediated data files directly
reflect the nomenclature changes in the chemical dic-
tionary. These names uniformly begin with their atom
type symbol, including hydrogen atoms. Names beginning
with numbers and unusual atom names have been
changed accordingly. Atom types are provided for every
Table 1. Histidine Variants in the Companion Amino Acids Variants Dictionary
L-HISTIDINE C-TERMINAL DEPROTONATED FRAGMENT
L-HISTIDINE C-TERMINAL PROTONATED FRAGMENT
L-HISTIDINE-C-TERMINAL PROTONATED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED ND1
L-HISTIDINE-C-TERMINAL PROTONATED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED NE2
L-HISTIDINE-C-TERMINAL DEPROTONATED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED ND1
L-HISTIDINE-C-TERMINAL DEPROTONATED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED NE2
L-HISTIDINE FREE NEUTRAL
L-HISTIDINE-FREE NEUTRAL/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED ND1
L-HISTIDINE-FREE NEUTRAL/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED NE2
L-HISTIDINE FREE ZWITTERION
L-HISTIDINE-FREE ZWITTERION/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED ND1
L-HISTIDINE-FREE ZWITTERION/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED NE2
L-HISTIDINE - LINKING EMBEDDED FRAGMENT
L-HISTIDINE-LINKING EMBEDDED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED ND1
L-HISTIDINE-LINKING EMBEDDED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED NE2
L-HISTIDINE N-TERMINAL PROTONATED FRAGMENT
L-HISTIDINE-N-TERMINAL PROTONATED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED ND1
L-HISTIDINE-N-TERMINAL PROTONATED FRAGMENT/WITH SIDE CHAIN DEPROTONATED NE2
Note: The Chemical Component Dictionary is accompanied by a companion dictionary of amino acid variants that provides additional nomenclature
information for the protonation states of standard amino acids in N-terminal, C-terminal and free forms. This dictionary also includes common side
chain protonation states. It is similar to residue variants used in modeling software such as Charmm (42) and Amber (43).
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008,Vol. 36,Database issueD427
atom (i.e. ATOM record columns 77–78), so prior atom
name justification conventions should no longer be
assumed in reading atom names. As with the Chemical
Component Dictionary, names for standard amino acids
and nucleotides follow IUPAC recommendations (10)
with the exception of the well-established convention for
C-terminal atoms OXT and HXT. These nomenclature
changes have been applied to standard polymeric chemi-
cal components only.
In the remediated entries, the atom names in the
Companion Amino Acids Variants Dictionary have been
used to describe protonated molecules; however, the
extended residue names are not used. The proton names
are assigned to the standard residue (i.e. HIS).
Residue assignments have all been rechecked against the
new and more detailed chemical reference dictionary. A
residue assignment was changed in the remediated entry if
it was inconsistent with chemical connectivity and/or
stereochemistry of its prior assignment, or the prior
assignment was obsoleted.
DNA and RNA nucleotides now have separate
chemical definitions. The DNA and RNA nucleotides
are distinguished with the DNA forms relabeled as DA,
DC, DG and DT. The nucleotide atom nomenclature has
been standardized, and the format of the ATOM record
provides explicit atom type information. Modified nucleo-
tides formerly identified as using the ‘plus-nucleotide’
syntax have been relabeled with the particular 3-letter
code corresponding to the full-modified nucleotide defini-
tion (Table 2).
The impact of the changes in the Chemical Component
Dictionary on ligands (HET groups) in PDB entries
consisted of removing redundant definitions, absorbing
small modifying functional groups into complete compo-
nents, and removing definitions with ambiguous chemical
descriptions. More than 170000 ligands in the data files
were checked against the dictionary, and as a result 7700
names changed and 330 component definitions were
obsoleted. The obsolete chemical components remain in
the dictionary with an identifying status of ‘OBS’. Beyond
ensuring that atom names begin with their type symbol,
no attempt was made to extend systematic nomenclature
to non-polymer chemical components.
Examplesof obsolete heterogroup names
The various hydrated magnesium ions (MO1, MO2, MO3,
MO4, MO5 and MO6) have been split into an MG
(magnesium ion) and the appropriate number of water
molecules. In a similar manner, other examples are now
obsolete het-groups. KO4 has been split into a potassium
ion (K) and four water molecules (HOH), while het-group
543 has been split into a CA (calcium ion), an EOH
(ethanol molecule) and six water molecules. Some 64
such groups were made obsolete. Other groups have been
superceded to give a single unique het-group name
in the PDB collection, including: LTR, now TRP
(L-Tryptophan); FCY, now CYS (cysteine); NEV and
NIV, replaced by NVP (Nevirapine); and GS4, replaced
180 such groups were made obsolete. Where possible,
single atom or small groups have been replaced by
complex single compound entries. These include making
the ethyl group (ETH) obsolete and creating new
hetgroups where previous PDB entries contained an
ETH linked to another het-group.
Some inconsistencies between the chemical and the
resolved in data files deposited before 1998 when the
first set of mmCIF data files were released in 2000 (11).
Remaining differences between the chemical and the
macromolecular sequence have been resolved through
the remediation project. All of these changes have been
applied to the remediated files in PDB format. The
remediated data files deposited pre-1998 reflect many
changes in SEQRES and ATOM records that were
required to resolve inconsistencies. Typical changes
included: assignment of poly-ALA sequences to the
Table 2. RNA and DNA atom names in the remediated and
Remediated UnremediatedRemediated Unremediated
The remediated and unremediated residue name and atom name are
given for the linked adenosine residue in RNA and DNA.
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008, Vol. 36, Databaseissue
corresponding amino acids in the chemical sequence,
reassignment of chain identifiers to correspond to
complete chemical sequences, correcting terminal atom
nomenclature at internal gaps and providing non-blank
labels for all polymer chains.
difference records have been checked and/or updated
along with associated taxonomy information for ?61K
sequences. UniProt (12) references have been used where
possible. Sequence database correspondences were verified
in December 2006. To maintain these correspondences
in the future, the PDB will use the mapping data from
the Structure Integration with Function, Taxonomy and
Sequence (SIFTS) initiative (13).
and all associated
The representation of viruses and large assemblies has
been extended to better describe existing and anticipated
entries of this type. The description of the deposited and
experimental coordinate frames, symmetry and frame
transformations has been generalized to better represent
experiments that do not exclusively use crystallographic
symmetry. This description has been properly decoupled
from the description of non-crystallographic symmetry
(NCS) exploited within a crystallographic structure
determination. A simplified notation has been adopted
to express the symmetry generation of assemblies from
deposited coordinates and a standard set of matrix opera-
tions describing either point, helical or crystallographic
Errors in archived transformation matrices required to
build full assemblies from the deposited coordinates
for the existing 280+ virus structures were identified by
inspection of images generated with the multiscale model
module of UCSF Chimera (14). Corrected matrices
were obtained from the Virus Particle Explorer database
(VIPERdb, http://viperdb.scripps.edu) (15) or the Protein
Quaternary Structure server (PQS, http://pqs.ebi.ac.uk)
(16). The corrected transformation matrices are included
in remediated PDB format files.
In addition, transformations to crystal frame were
collected from author text remarks or primary citations,
or they were extracted from SCALE records for ?210
icosahedral virus crystal structures. NCS operations
defining crystal asymmetric units were determined and
crystal packing was inspected using the crystal contacts
module of UCSF Chimera. Entries with structure factors
were validated with SFCHECK (17). For structures
deposited in the crystal frame, NCS operations are
provided in the MTRIX records; for structures deposited
in other frames, a text description of how to build the
crystal asymmetric unit is provided in REMARK 285.
All primary citations have been rechecked. Citations
formerly marked as To Be Published have been researched
and either the citation has been identified or marked as
Not Published. PubMed identifiers have been provided
where available. The PubMed identifiers only appear
in the remediated mmCIF and PDBML files.
Miscellaneous improvements in consistency
To improve the overall consistency and accuracy of the
archive, a variety of individual corrections have been
applied. These include beamline names, synchrotron
facility names, source organism, method names, elimina-
tion of singleton alternate atom location labels, diffraction
wavelength, computing methods and the correction of
miscellaneous typographical errors. The latter includes
correcting misspellings and nonstandard usage, resolving
of duplicated identifiers (e.g. author residue numbers,
entity and citation identifiers) and properly distinguishing
null values from zero.
Free text PDB REMARKS have generally not been
remediated and have not been incorporated in the
remediated PDB entries. These remarks remain in a
legacy remark category data_PDB_remark in the mmCIF
and PDBML remediated files. These remarks can also be
viewed in the original entries that will always be preserved.
The following PDB remarks are constructed from text
templates using data items in the mmCIF/PDBML entry
file: 2, 3, 4, 100, 200, 210, 215, 220, 225, 230, 240, 245, 247,
250, 265, 280, 290, 300, 350, 375, 465, 470, 500, 525, 900.
These PDB remarks are reports constructed from the
individual data items in the more structured mmCIF/
PDBML data files. While the information presented in the
PDB remarks directly corresponds to the content of
the mmCIF/PDBML data files, the content of the PDB
remark may not be comprehensive. The mmCIF/PDBML
files should be used to obtain the most complete view of
a data entry. For instance, X-ray data collection details
in REMARK 200 may be found in the mmCIF/PDBML
data categories in refln_group category group, and X-ray
refinement details in REMARK 3 may be found in the
data categories in the refine_group category group.
STRUCTURE FACTOR AND NMR RESTRAINT DATA
Many issues with structure factor data files have been
addressed through a collaboration with the developers of
the Uppsala Electron Density Server (EDS) (18).
Nomenclature standardization for NMR restraint files
in the current PDB archive has been done as part of the
NMR Restraints Grid Project, a collaboration with the
Collaborative Computing Project for NMR and Bijvoet
Center for Biomolecular Research. NMR restraint data
files with atom nomenclature corresponding to remediated
PDB data files will be available by the end of 2007.
The focus of the remediation project has been to address
certain data consistency issues within entries and to bring
all of the files in the archive to the current level of each
of the PDB data formats (PDB, mmCIF/PDBx and
PDBML). While the content of certain records may reflect
changes from remediation, the syntax and organization
of this information is largely the same as for new entries
processed by PDB. Some changes in content may affect
the way in which existing records are used; these issues
for particular formats are discussed below.
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008,Vol. 36,Database issue D429
The record structure of the PDB format is essentially
unchanged by the remediation project. The format prior
to the remediation project was documented in the PDB
V2.3 contents guide (19). The small number of format
differences for the remediated entries are documented in
the PDB V3.0.1 contents guide (http://www.wwpdb.org/
docs.html). There are a few issues related to the use of the
remediated files that may require attention of software
developers. These include:
? Standardization of hydrogen atom nomenclature has
required clarifying historical conventions in the justi-
fication of atom names in PDB ATOM records.
These conventions were used to convey atom type
information in early PDB format entries in which the
element symbol was not included. The remediated
entries uniformly include atom type information in
columns 77–78. Using the justification of the atom
name to derive atom type information is now strongly
? DNA nucleotide residues are differentiated from RNA
nucleotides in the remediated data files. DNA residues
are now preceded by the letter ‘D’ (e.g. DA, DC and
DG). Nucleotide modifications in the remediated files
are now fully described as complete chemical compo-
nents. The prior practice of identifying a nucleotide
modification of with a preceding ‘plus’ character is
? To distinguish PDB files containing the remediated
nomenclature from previous files, REMARK 4 has
been updated to reflect the format version 3.0 and
a notation that the file has been remediated.
The remediated data files introduce no change in the
syntax of mmCIF format data files (20). The following
issues may require the attention of software developers:
? The maximum line length used in writing the remedi-
ated data files has been extended such that each atom
record in the atom_site category is written in a single
? Additional auditing information is included in each
remediated file. The underlying dictionary name,
audit_conform. Version information for each mmCIF
data file is included in category pdbx_version.
The definitions of the data items included in the
remediated mmCIF files is described in the PDB exchange
dictionary version 1.045 (PDBx) (21) (http://mmcif.pdb.
org/dictionaries/ascii/mmcif_pdbx.dic) This version of
the dictionary incorporates some improvements in the
consistency of data typing, corrections to category key
structure, and miscellaneous corrections in definitions,
examples and enumerations. The details of the changes are
described in the dictionary history.
The remediated PDBML-XML (22) files are translated
from mmCIF remediated data files and reflect the content
changes described in the previous section. The revised
PDBML XSD schema also includes all the changes in
the PDBx version 1.045. The changes in category key
structure (e.g. citation_author, refine_ls_restr_ncs) and
some data type changes may require attention in parsing
The approach to improving the chemical description in
the PDB relied heavily on improving and verifying the
Chemical Component Dictionary. A chemical component
description consists of a representative 3-dimensional
model taken from the archive along its associated atom
nomenclature, covalent bonding and stereochemistry.
This work involved extracting all instances of each
chemical component from the archive and verifying the
chemical assignments. Since prior chemical definitions
did not include detailed stereochemical assignments, these
were first verified relative to the molecular name.
New stereochemically specific chemical definitions where
created in cases where multiple enantomeric forms
had previously been assigned to the same component
The preliminary screening of chemical component
definitions took advantage of the stereochemical assign-
ments used by MSDCHEM (23) obtained using the
CACTVS (24) chemical informatics toolset. The stereo-
chemical and aromatic bond assignments for the complete
chemical dictionary were later rechecked using CACTVS
tools and the OpenEye OEChem tools (25). Software
assisted assignments of stereochemistry and aromaticity
are limited to the chemical systems for which these
tools were developed (e.g. primarily tetravalent organic
systems). Saccharide components were also checked using
the GlycoSciences PDB-care software tool (26). Improved
description of chemical components involving metal
coordination or dative bonding is ongoing.
A set of computationally modeled coordinates was
provided in each component definition if a satisfactory set
of coordinates could be obtained using either CORINA
(27) or OpenEye Omega (28) packages. Systematic chem-
ical names and chemical descriptors were also included
in each component definition. Systematic names were
computed using ACDLabs ACD/Name batch naming
software (29) and OpenEye Lexichem (25). Stereo
CACTVS and OpenEye tools, and InChI descriptors
were computed using software distributed by this IUPAC
The improved chemical component definitions were
then used to recheck the assignments of each non-
polymer, modified amino acid or modified nucleotide
component instance in the PDB archive. This work
involved extracting the coordinates of each component,
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008, Vol. 36, Databaseissue
deriving the chemical connectivity of the component,
and comparing this to the chemical dictionary. This
process was driven by the DOHLC data processing
program that uses BALI (30) and OpenBabel (31,32)
for bond assignment and subgraph matching software
from the CCP4 Coordinate Library (23).
Integration ofremediated data
To manage and track data files during the remediation
project a CVS archive was created for released PDB
entries as of March 2006. The CVS repository was built
from the mmCIF versions of these released entries.
Because the changes in sequence and taxonomy
manifest the greatest change in the organization of an
entry, these remediation corrections were integrated first.
Thiswork andother integration
performed using tools adapted from the RCSB PDB’s
data processing and annotation software suite (5,6,33).
These tools perform edits in the macromolecular sequence
and propagate these changes consistently throughout the
entry. Sequence database correspondences and updated
taxonomy information were also updated at this point.
After revisions in macromolecular sequence were
applied, changes in component-level (modified residue
and ligand) nomenclature were reintegrated into the
remediated entries. Primary citation data, revised virus
representations, corrections to experimental and other
data items were then integrated.
Atom-level nomenclature changes were performed in
the final software translation step prior to creating
remediated files in PDB and PDBML formats. This was
done in order to allow atom nomenclature to be refined
during the course of the project. Beginning in December
2006, remediated data files in PDB, mmCIF/PDBx and
PDBML formats along with supporting dictionaries were
provided for public review.
Testing and validation
After all of the content and corrections were integrated
into the remediated data files, these files were rechecked
for consistency. Each of the wwPDB partners has contri-
buted to this final validation of the remediated data files
by applying their respective data processing and database
tools to this task.
Using PDBx as a reference, each of the remediated
mmCIF files was rechecked. This dictionary-level testing
boundary conditions and relationships between common
identifiers. Similar checks of this type were performed on
the PDBML data files using the XML schema translated
from the PDBx. Checks for atom and residue nomencla-
ture consistency were also performed against the Chemical
Data files were loaded into several relational database
systems with different table schema. These loading
operations provided further tests of data type, controlled
vocabulary, boundary value and referential integrity.
Loading data within a native XML database system
provided additional complementary diagnostics.
During the public review of the remediated data,
we benefited greatly from diagnostics contributed from
PDB users who exercised the remediated data files in the
application area of visualization, crystallographic phasing
Questions and comments about the remediated data
should be sent to email@example.com.
In producing the remediated PDB data files, every effort
was made to minimize the impact of the remediation
on existing software applications. However, in order to
support community standard nomenclature, Version 3.0
of the PDB Format was introduced. While adopting more
standard nomenclature greatly simplifies the use and
comparison of PDB data in most respects, many existing
software applications have been developed to cope with
the eccentric historical nomenclature.
As described in the previous section on ‘Testing and
Validation’, the remediation project has included active
participation from PDB users and software developers.
The wwPDB maintained an informational website and
mail server during the last year of the project to provide
project information to earlier adopters and testers. The
wwPDB also hosted a workshop for software developers
at the 2007 American Crystallographic Association’s
annual meeting to address data representation issues
that became highlighted during the remediation project.
By the time the remediated data files replaced the
existing entries in August 2007, many widely-used
visualization programs such as OpenRasMol, Chimera,
PyMol, JMol, WebMol, KiNG, the Molecular Biology
Toolkit, jV (formerly known as PDBjViewer) and
Discovery Studio Visualizer were already compatible
with the remediated PDB data format (34–41). wwPDB
and user-contributed tools are also available to translate
between the nomenclatures used in old and remediated
data formats. A current list of applications reported
as compatible with the remediated data files and
related conversion software tools is available at http://
remediation.wwpdb.org/software.html. All of the wwPDB
deposition sites continue to accept depositions with either
The remediated data and data annotated and released
by members of the wwPDB are available for download
from ftp://ftp.wwpdb.org. This site is updated on a weekly
A snapshot of the unremediated PDB archive (as of
July 31, 2007) is available at ftp://ftp.rcsb.org. This site
has been frozen, and will not be updated.
The contributions of all of the wwPDB staff members
are gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks goes to
themany PDBusers who
data and provided comments, especially Dan Bolser,
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008,Vol. 36,Database issue D431
Alexandre M.J.J. Bonvin, Tommy Carstensen, Roland
Dunbrack, Howard Feldman, Dave Howorth, Miron
Livny, Eric Pettersen, the Richardson Lab at Duke
University and Clemens Vonrhein. The RCSB PDB
is operated by Rutgers, The State University of New
Jersey and the University of California, San Diego.
It is supported by funds from the National Science
Foundation, the National Institute of General Medical
Sciences, the Office of Science, Department of Energy, the
National Library of Medicine, the National Cancer
Institute, the National Center for Research Resources,
the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and
Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The
EMBL-EBI MSD group gratefully acknowledges the
support of the Wellcome Trust, the EU (FELICS,
BBSRC, the MRC and EMBL. PDBj is supported by
grant-in-aidfrom the Institute
Technology Agency (BIRD-JST), and the Ministry
of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
(MEXT). The BMRB is supported by NIH grant
LM05799 from the National Library of Medicine.
Funding to pay the Open Access publication charge was
provided by NSF DBI 03-12718.
Conflict of interest statement. None declared.
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