Predicting DNA-binding proteins and binding residues by complex structure prediction and application to human proteome
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As more and more protein sequences are uncovered from increasingly inexpensive sequencing techniques, an urgent task is to find their functions. This work presents a highly reliable computational technique for predicting DNA-binding function at the level of protein-DNA complex structures, rather than low-resolution two-state prediction of DNA-binding as most existing techniques do. The method first predicts protein-DNA complex structure by utilizing the template-based structure prediction technique HHblits, followed by binding affinity prediction based on a knowledge-based energy function (Distance-scaled finite ideal-gas reference state for protein-DNA interactions). A leave-one-out cross validation of the method based on 179 DNA-binding and 3797 non-binding protein domains achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) of 0.77 with high precision (94%) and high sensitivity (65%). We further found 51% sensitivity for 82 newly determined structures of DNA-binding proteins and 56% sensitivity for the human proteome. In addition, the method provides a reasonably accurate prediction of DNA-binding residues in proteins based on predicted DNA-binding complex structures. Its application to human proteome leads to more than 300 novel DNA-binding proteins; some of these predicted structures were validated by known structures of homologous proteins in APO forms. The method [SPOT-Seq (DNA)] is available as an on-line server at http://sparks-lab.org.
© 2014, Zhao et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CCAL. (http://www.plos.org/journals/license.html)
Structural Biology (incl. Macromolecular Modelling)