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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Roy J. Carver Department of, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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Protein sequence matching does not properly account for some well-known features of protein structures: surface residues being more variable than core residues, the high packing densities in globular proteins, and does not yield good matches of sequences of many proteins known to be close structural relatives. There are now abundant protein sequences and structures to enable major improvements to sequence matching. Here, we utilize structural frameworks to mount the observed correlated sequences to identify the most important correlated parts. The rationale is that protein structures provide the important physical framework for improving sequence matching. Combining the sequence and structure data in this way leads to a simple amino acid substitution matrix that can be readily incorporated into any sequence matching. This enables the incorporation of allosteric information into sequence matching and transforms it effectively from a 1-D to a 3-D procedure. The results from testing in over 3,000 sequence matches demonstrate a 37% gain in sequence similarity and a loss of 26% of the gaps when compared with the use of BLOSUM62. And, importantly there are major gains in the specificity of sequence matching across diverse proteins. Specifically, all known cases where protein structures match but sequences do not match well are resolved.


This is a preprint made available through bioRxiv: doi: 10.1101/268904.

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