Short hydrogen bonds (SHBs), whose donor and acceptor heteroatoms lie within 2.7 Å, exhibit prominent quantum mechanical characters and are connected to a wide range of essential biomolecular processes. However, exact determination of the geometry and functional roles of SHBs requires a protein to be at atomic resolution. In this work, we analyze 1260 high-resolution peptide and protein structures from the Protein Data Bank and develop a boosting based machine learning model to predict the formation of SHBs between amino acids. This model, which we name as machine learning assisted prediction of short hydrogen bonds (MAPSHB), takes into account 21 structural, chemical and sequence features and their interaction effects and effectively categorizes each hydrogen bond in a protein to a short or normal hydrogen bond. The MAPSHB model reveals that the type of the donor amino acid plays a major role in determining the class of a hydrogen bond and that the side chain Tyr-Asp pair demonstrates a significant probability of forming a SHB. Combining electronic structure calculations and energy decomposition analysis, we elucidate how the interplay of competing intermolecular interactions stabilizes the Tyr-Asp SHBs more than other commonly observed combinations of amino acid side chains. The MAPSHB model, more »
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