A distance-dependent atomic knowledge-based potential for improved protein structure selection
Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics
A heavy atom distance-dependent knowledge-based pairwise potential has been developed. This statistical potential is first evaluated and optimized with the native structure z-scores from gapless threading. The potential is then used to recognize the native and near-native structures from both published decoy test sets, as well as decoys obtained from our group's protein structure prediction program. In the gapless threading test, there is an average z-score improvement of 4 units in the
... d atomic potential over the residuebased quasichemical potential. Examination of the z-scores for individual pairwise distance shells indicates that the specificity for the native protein structure is greatest at pairwise distances of 3.5-6.5 Å, i.e., in the first solvation shell. On applying the current atomic potential to test sets obtained from the web, composed of native protein and decoy structures, the current generation of the potential performs better than residue-based potentials as well as the other published atomic potentials in the task of selecting native and near-native structures. This newly developed potential is also applied to structures of varying quality generated by our group's protein structure prediction program. The current atomic potential tends to pick lower RMSD structures than do residue-based contact potentials. In particular, this atomic pairwise interaction potential has better selectivity especially for near-native structures. As such, it can be used to select nearnative folds generated by structure prediction algorithms as well as for protein structure refinement. Proteins 2001;44:223-232.