Substantial progresses in protein structure prediction have been made by utilizing deep‐learning and residue‐residue distance prediction since CASP13. Inspired by the advances, we improve our CASP14 MULTICOM protein structure prediction system by incorporating three new components: (a) a new deep learning‐based protein inter‐residue distance predictor to improve template‐free (ab initio) tertiary structure prediction, (b) an enhanced template‐based tertiary structure prediction method, and (c) distance‐based model quality assessment methods empowered by deep learning. In the 2020 CASP14 experiment, MULTICOM predictor was ranked seventh out of 146 predictors in tertiary structure prediction and ranked third out of 136 predictors in inter‐domain structure prediction. The results demonstrate that the template‐free modeling based on deep learning and residue‐residue distance prediction can predict the correct topology for almost all template‐based modeling targets and a majority of hard targets (template‐free targets or targets whose templates cannot be recognized), which is a significant improvement over the CASP13 MULTICOM predictor. Moreover, the template‐free modeling performs better than the template‐based modeling on not only hard targets but also the targets that have homologous templates. The performance of the template‐free modeling largely depends on the accuracy of distance prediction closely related to the quality of multiple sequence alignments. Themore »
Threading a query protein sequence onto a library of weakly homologous structural templates remains challenging, even when sequence‐based predicted contact or distance information is used. Contact‐assisted or distance‐assisted threading methods utilize only the spatial proximity of the interacting residue pairs for template selection and alignment, ignoring their orientation. Moreover, existing threading methods fail to consider the neighborhood effect induced by the query–template alignment. We present a new distance‐ and orientation‐based covariational threading method called DisCovER by effectively integrating information from inter‐residue distance and orientation along with the topological network neighborhood of a query–template alignment. Our method first selects a subset of templates using standard profile‐based threading coupled with topological network similarity terms to account for the neighborhood effect and subsequently performs distance‐ and orientation‐based query–template alignment using an iterative double dynamic programming framework. Multiple large‐scale benchmarking results on query proteins classified as weakly homologous from the continuous automated model evaluation experiment and from the current literature show that our method outperforms several existing state‐of‐the‐art threading approaches, and that the integration of the neighborhood effect with the inter‐residue distance and orientation information synergistically contributes to the improved performance of DisCovER. DisCovER is freely available at
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- p. 579-588
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Template-based modeling, including homology modeling and protein threading, is a popular method for protein 3D structure prediction. However, alignment generation and template selection for protein sequences without close templates remain very challenging.
We present a new method called DeepThreader to improve protein threading, including both alignment generation and template selection, by making use of deep learning (DL) and residue co-variation information. Our method first employs DL to predict inter-residue distance distribution from residue co-variation and sequential information (e.g. sequence profile and predicted secondary structure), and then builds sequence-template alignment by integrating predicted distance information and sequential features through an ADMM algorithm. Experimental results suggest that predicted inter-residue distance is helpful to both protein alignment and template selection especially for protein sequences without very close templates, and that our method outperforms currently popular homology modeling method HHpred and threading method CNFpred by a large margin and greatly outperforms the latest contact-assisted protein threading method EigenTHREADER.
Availability and implementation
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
null (Ed.)Sequence-based protein homology detection has emerged as one of the most sensitive and accurate approaches to protein structure prediction. Despite the success, homology detection remains very challenging for weakly homologous proteins with divergent evolutionary profile. Very recently, deep neural network architectures have shown promising progress in mining the coevolutionary signal encoded in multiple sequence alignments, leading to reasonably accurate estimation of inter-residue interaction maps, which serve as a rich source of additional information for improved homology detection. Here, we summarize the latest developments in protein homology detection driven by inter-residue interaction map threading. We highlight the emerging trends in distant-homology protein threading through the alignment of predicted interaction maps at various granularities ranging from binary contact maps to finer-grained distance and orientation maps as well as their combination. We also discuss some of the current limitations and possible future avenues to further enhance the sensitivity of protein homology detection.
MULTICOM2 open-source protein structure prediction system powered by deep learning and distance prediction
Protein structure prediction is an important problem in bioinformatics and has been studied for decades. However, there are still few open-source comprehensive protein structure prediction packages publicly available in the field. In this paper, we present our latest open-source protein tertiary structure prediction system—MULTICOM2, an integration of template-based modeling (TBM) and template-free modeling (FM) methods. The template-based modeling uses sequence alignment tools with deep multiple sequence alignments to search for structural templates, which are much faster and more accurate than MULTICOM1. The template-free (ab initio or de novo) modeling uses the inter-residue distances predicted by DeepDist to reconstruct tertiary structure models without using any known structure as template. In the blind CASP14 experiment, the average TM-score of the models predicted by our server predictor based on the MULTICOM2 system is 0.720 for 58 TBM (regular) domains and 0.514 for 38 FM and FM/TBM (hard) domains, indicating that MULTICOM2 is capable of predicting good tertiary structures across the board. It can predict the correct fold for 76 CASP14 domains (95% regular domains and 55% hard domains) if only one prediction is made for a domain. The success rate is increased to 3% for both regular and hard domains if fivemore »
DeepMSA: constructing deep multiple sequence alignment to improve contact prediction and fold-recognition for distant-homology proteinsAbstract Motivation The success of genome sequencing techniques has resulted in rapid explosion of protein sequences. Collections of multiple homologous sequences can provide critical information to the modeling of structure and function of unknown proteins. There are however no standard and efficient pipeline available for sensitive multiple sequence alignment (MSA) collection. This is particularly challenging when large whole-genome and metagenome databases are involved. Results We developed DeepMSA, a new open-source method for sensitive MSA construction, which has homologous sequences and alignments created from multi-sources of whole-genome and metagenome databases through complementary hidden Markov model algorithms. The practical usefulness of the pipeline was examined in three large-scale benchmark experiments based on 614 non-redundant proteins. First, DeepMSA was utilized to generate MSAs for residue-level contact prediction by six coevolution and deep learning-based programs, which resulted in an accuracy increase in long-range contacts by up to 24.4% compared to the default programs. Next, multiple threading programs are performed for homologous structure identification, where the average TM-score of the template alignments has over 7.5% increases with the use of the new DeepMSA profiles. Finally, DeepMSA was used for secondary structure prediction and resulted in statistically significant improvements in the Q3 accuracy. It is notedmore »