Author(s): Camproux AC, Tuffery P, Chevrolat JP, Boisvieux JF, Hazout S
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Abstract The hidden Markov model (HMM) was used to identify recurrent short 3D structural building blocks (SBBs) describing protein backbones, independently of any a priori knowledge. Polypeptide chains are decomposed into a series of short segments defined by their inter-alpha-carbon distances. Basically, the model takes into account the sequentiality of the observed segments and assumes that each one corresponds to one of several possible SBBs. Fitting the model to a database of non-redundant proteins allowed us to decode proteins in terms of 12 distinct SBBs with different roles in protein structure. Some SBBs correspond to classical regular secondary structures. Others correspond to a significant subdivision of their bounding regions previously considered to be a single pattern. The major contribution of the HMM is that this model implicitly takes into account the sequential connections between SBBs and thus describes the most probable pathways by which the blocks are connected to form the framework of the protein structures. Validation of the SBBs code was performed by extracting SBB series repeated in recoding proteins and examining their structural similarities. Preliminary results on the sequence specificity of SBBs suggest promising perspectives for the prediction of SBBs or series of SBBs from the protein sequences.
This article was published in Protein Eng
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability