Joined: Sep. 2006
Large-scale determination of previously unsolved protein structures using evolutionary information
The three-dimensional shape of a protein is determined by interactions between various amino acids. During evolution, the structure and activity of proteins often remain the same across species, even if the amino acid sequences have changed. This is because pairs of amino acids that interact with each other tend to ‘co-evolve’; that is, if one amino acid changes, then the second amino acid also changes in order to accommodate it. By identifying these pairs of co-evolving amino acids, it is possible to work out which amino acids are close to each other in the three-dimensional structure of the protein. This information can be used to generate a structural model of a protein using computational methods.
Now, Ovchinnikov et al. developed a new method to predict the structures of proteins that combines data on the co-evolution of amino acids, as identified by GREMLIN with the structural prediction software called Rosetta....
These predictions were found to be highly accurate....