skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Friday, September 29 until 11:59 PM ET on Saturday, September 30 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1763246

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Background Estimation of the accuracy (quality) of protein structural models is important for both prediction and use of protein structural models. Deep learning methods have been used to integrate protein structure features to predict the quality of protein models. Inter-residue distances are key information for predicting protein’s tertiary structures and therefore have good potentials to predict the quality of protein structural models. However, few methods have been developed to fully take advantage of predicted inter-residue distance maps to estimate the accuracy of a single protein structural model. Result We developed an attentive 2D convolutional neural network (CNN) with channel-wise attention to take only a raw difference map between the inter-residue distance map calculated from a single protein model and the distance map predicted from the protein sequence as input to predict the quality of the model. The network comprises multiple convolutional layers, batch normalization layers, dense layers, and Squeeze-and-Excitation blocks with attention to automatically extract features relevant to protein model quality from the raw input without using any expert-curated features. We evaluated DISTEMA’s capability of selecting the best models for CASP13 targets in terms of ranking loss of GDT-TS score. The ranking loss of DISTEMA is 0.079, lower than several state-of-the-art single-model quality assessment methods. Conclusion This work demonstrates that using raw inter-residue distance information with deep learning can predict the quality of protein structural models reasonably well. DISTEMA is freely at 
    more » « less
  2. Martelli, Pier Luigi (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation Accurate prediction of residue-residue distances is important for protein structure prediction. We developed several protein distance predictors based on a deep learning distance prediction method and blindly tested them in the 14th Critical Assessment of Protein Structure Prediction (CASP14). The prediction method uses deep residual neural networks with the channel-wise attention mechanism to classify the distance between every two residues into multiple distance intervals. The input features for the deep learning method include co-evolutionary features as well as other sequence-based features derived from multiple sequence alignments (MSAs). Three alignment methods are used with multiple protein sequence/profile databases to generate MSAs for input feature generation. Based on different configurations and training strategies of the deep learning method, five MULTICOM distance predictors were created to participate in the CASP14 experiment. Results Benchmarked on 37 hard CASP14 domains, the best performing MULTICOM predictor is ranked 5th out of 30 automated CASP14 distance prediction servers in terms of precision of top L/5 long-range contact predictions (i.e. classifying distances between two residues into two categories: in contact (< 8 Angstrom) and not in contact otherwise) and performs better than the best CASP13 distance prediction method. The best performing MULTICOM predictor is also ranked 6th among automated server predictors in classifying inter-residue distances into 10 distance intervals defined by CASP14 according to the precision of distance classification. The results show that the quality and depth of MSAs depend on alignment methods and sequence databases and have a significant impact on the accuracy of distance prediction. Using larger training datasets and multiple complementary features improves prediction accuracy. However, the number of effective sequences in MSAs is only a weak indicator of the quality of MSAs and the accuracy of predicted distance maps. In contrast, there is a strong correlation between the accuracy of contact/distance predictions and the average probability of the predicted contacts, which can therefore be more effectively used to estimate the confidence of distance predictions and select predicted distance maps. Availability The software package, source code, and data of DeepDist2 are freely available at and 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Intrinsically disordered proteins, defying the traditional protein structure–function paradigm, are a challenge to study experimentally. Because a large part of our knowledge rests on computational predictions, it is crucial that their accuracy is high. The Critical Assessment of protein Intrinsic Disorder prediction (CAID) experiment was established as a community-based blind test to determine the state of the art in prediction of intrinsically disordered regions and the subset of residues involved in binding. A total of 43 methods were evaluated on a dataset of 646 proteins from DisProt. The best methods use deep learning techniques and notably outperform physicochemical methods. The top disorder predictor has F max  = 0.483 on the full dataset and F max  = 0.792 following filtering out of bona fide structured regions. Disordered binding regions remain hard to predict, with F max  = 0.231. Interestingly, computing times among methods can vary by up to four orders of magnitude. 
    more » « less