Holistic Approach to Partial Covalent Interactions in Protein Structure Prediction and Design with Rosetta.

Combs SA, Mueller BK, Meiler J
J Chem Inf Model. 2018 58 (5): 1021-1036

PMID: 29641200 · PMCID: PMC6755676 · DOI:10.1021/acs.jcim.7b00398

Partial covalent interactions (PCIs) in proteins, which include hydrogen bonds, salt bridges, cation-π, and π-π interactions, contribute to thermodynamic stability and facilitate interactions with other biomolecules. Several score functions have been developed within the Rosetta protein modeling framework that identify and evaluate these PCIs through analyzing the geometry between participating atoms. However, we hypothesize that PCIs can be unified through a simplified electron orbital representation. To test this hypothesis, we have introduced orbital based chemical descriptors for PCIs into Rosetta, called the PCI score function. Optimal geometries for the PCIs are derived from a statistical analysis of high-quality protein structures obtained from the Protein Data Bank (PDB), and the relative orientation of electron deficient hydrogen atoms and electron-rich lone pair or π orbitals are evaluated. We demonstrate that nativelike geometries of hydrogen bonds, salt bridges, cation-π, and π-π interactions are recapitulated during minimization of protein conformation. The packing density of tested protein structures increased from the standard score function from 0.62 to 0.64, closer to the native value of 0.70. Overall, rotamer recovery improved when using the PCI score function (75%) as compared to the standard Rosetta score function (74%). The PCI score function represents an improvement over the standard Rosetta score function for protein model scoring; in addition, it provides a platform for future directions in the analysis of small molecule to protein interactions, which depend on partial covalent interactions.

MeSH Terms (8)

Crystallography, X-Ray Databases, Protein Electrons Hydrogen Bonding Models, Molecular Protein Conformation Proteins Rotation

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