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  1. Abstract Motivation As the cost of sequencing decreases, the amount of data being deposited into public repositories is increasing rapidly. Public databases rely on the user to provide metadata for each submission that is prone to user error. Unfortunately, most public databases, such as non-redundant (NR), rely on user input and do not have methods for identifying errors in the provided metadata, leading to the potential for error propagation. Previous research on a small subset of the non-redundant (NR) database analyzed misclassification based on sequence similarity. To the best of our knowledge, the amount of misclassification in the entire database has not been quantified. We propose a heuristic method to detect potentially misclassified taxonomic assignments in the NR database. We applied a curation technique and quality control to find the most probable taxonomic assignment. Our method incorporates provenance and frequency of each annotation from manually and computationally created databases and clustering information at 95% similarity. Results We found more than 2 million potentially taxonomically misclassified proteins in the NR database. Using simulated data, we show a high precision of 97% and a recall of 87% for detecting taxonomically misclassified proteins. The proposed approach and findings could also be applied tomore »other databases. Availability Source code, dataset, documentation, Jupyter notebooks, and Docker container are available at Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.« less
  2. Abstract Motivation Protein structure and function are essentially determined by how the side-chain atoms interact with each other. Thus, accurate protein side-chain packing (PSCP) is a critical step toward protein structure prediction and protein design. Despite the importance of the problem, however, the accuracy and speed of current PSCP programs are still not satisfactory. Results We present FASPR for fast and accurate PSCP by using an optimized scoring function in combination with a deterministic searching algorithm. The performance of FASPR was compared with four state-of-the-art PSCP methods (CISRR, RASP, SCATD and SCWRL4) on both native and non-native protein backbones. For the assessment on native backbones, FASPR achieved a good performance by correctly predicting 69.1% of all the side-chain dihedral angles using a stringent tolerance criterion of 20°, compared favorably with SCWRL4, CISRR, RASP and SCATD which successfully predicted 68.8%, 68.6%, 67.8% and 61.7%, respectively. Additionally, FASPR achieved the highest speed for packing the 379 test protein structures in only 34.3 s, which was significantly faster than the control methods. For the assessment on non-native backbones, FASPR showed an equivalent or better performance on I-TASSER predicted backbones and the backbones perturbed from experimental structures. Detailed analyses showed that the major advantage ofmore »FASPR lies in the optimal combination of the dead-end elimination and tree decomposition with a well optimized scoring function, which makes FASPR of practical use for both protein structure modeling and protein design studies. Availability and implementation The web server, source code and datasets are freely available at and Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.« less
  3. Abstract Motivation Protein domains are subunits that can fold and function independently. Correct domain boundary assignment is thus a critical step toward accurate protein structure and function analyses. There is, however, no efficient algorithm available for accurate domain prediction from sequence. The problem is particularly challenging for proteins with discontinuous domains, which consist of domain segments that are separated along the sequence. Results We developed a new algorithm, FUpred, which predicts protein domain boundaries utilizing contact maps created by deep residual neural networks coupled with coevolutionary precision matrices. The core idea of the algorithm is to retrieve domain boundary locations by maximizing the number of intra-domain contacts, while minimizing the number of inter-domain contacts from the contact maps. FUpred was tested on a large-scale dataset consisting of 2549 proteins and generated correct single- and multi-domain classifications with a Matthew’s correlation coefficient of 0.799, which was 19.1% (or 5.3%) higher than the best machine learning (or threading)-based method. For proteins with discontinuous domains, the domain boundary detection and normalized domain overlapping scores of FUpred were 0.788 and 0.521, respectively, which were 17.3% and 23.8% higher than the best control method. The results demonstrate a new avenue to accurately detect domain compositionmore »from sequence alone, especially for discontinuous, multi-domain proteins. Availability and implementation Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.« less
  4. Abstract Motivation Two-dimensional [15N-1H] separated local field solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments of membrane proteins aligned in lipid bilayers provide tilt and rotation angles for α-helical segments using Polar Index Slant Angle (PISA)-wheel models. No integrated software has been made available for data analysis and visualization. Results We have developed the PISA-SPARKY plugin to seamlessly integrate PISA-wheel modeling into the NMRFAM-SPARKY platform. The plugin performs basic simulations, exhaustive fitting against experimental spectra, error analysis and dipolar and chemical shift wave plotting. The plugin also supports PyMOL integration and handling of parameters that describe variable alignment and dynamic scaling encountered with magnetically aligned media, ensuring optimal fitting and generation of restraints for structure calculation. Availability and implementation PISA-SPARKY is freely available in the latest version of NMRFAM-SPARKY from the National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (, the NMRbox Project ( and to subscribers of the SBGrid ( The script is available and documented on GitHub ( along with a tutorial video and sample data. Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
  5. Abstract Motivation Deep learning has become the dominant technology for protein contact prediction. However, the factors that affect the performance of deep learning in contact prediction have not been systematically investigated. Results We analyzed the results of our three deep learning-based contact prediction methods (MULTICOM-CLUSTER, MULTICOM-CONSTRUCT and MULTICOM-NOVEL) in the CASP13 experiment and identified several key factors [i.e. deep learning technique, multiple sequence alignment (MSA), distance distribution prediction and domain-based contact integration] that influenced the contact prediction accuracy. We compared our convolutional neural network (CNN)-based contact prediction methods with three coevolution-based methods on 75 CASP13 targets consisting of 108 domains. We demonstrated that the CNN-based multi-distance approach was able to leverage global coevolutionary coupling patterns comprised of multiple correlated contacts for more accurate contact prediction than the local coevolution-based methods, leading to a substantial increase of precision by 19.2 percentage points. We also tested different alignment methods and domain-based contact prediction with the deep learning contact predictors. The comparison of the three methods showed deeper sequence alignments and the integration of domain-based contact prediction with the full-length contact prediction improved the performance of contact prediction. Moreover, we demonstrated that the domain-based contact prediction based on a novel ab initio approachmore »of parsing domains from MSAs alone without using known protein structures was a simple, fast approach to improve contact prediction. Finally, we showed that predicting the distribution of inter-residue distances in multiple distance intervals could capture more structural information and improve binary contact prediction. Availability and implementation Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.« less