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  1. Abstract

    There are continuous efforts to elucidate the structure and biological functions of short hydrogen bonds (SHBs), whose donor and acceptor heteroatoms reside more than 0.3 Å closer than the sum of their van der Waals radii. In this work, we evaluate 1070 atomic-resolution protein structures and characterize the common chemical features of SHBs formed between the side chains of amino acids and small molecule ligands. We then develop a machine learning assisted prediction of protein-ligand SHBs (MAPSHB-Ligand) model and reveal that the types of amino acids and ligand functional groups as well as the sequence of neighboring residues are essential factors that determine the class of protein-ligand hydrogen bonds. The MAPSHB-Ligand model and its implementation on our web server enable the effective identification of protein-ligand SHBs in proteins, which will facilitate the design of biomolecules and ligands that exploit these close contacts for enhanced functions.

  2. Abstract

    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 »which is freely available on our web server, allows one to accurately and efficiently predict the presence of SHBs given a protein structure with moderate or low resolution and will facilitate the experimental and computational refinement of protein structures.

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