Customised fragment libraries for ab initio protein structure prediction using a structural alphabet
Motivation: Computational protein structure prediction has taken over the structural community in past few decades, mostly focusing on the development of Template-Free modelling (TFM) or ab initio modelling protocols. Fragment-based assembly (FBA), falls under this category and is by far the most popular approach to solve the spatial arrangements of proteins. FBA approaches usually rely on sequence based profile comparison to generate fragments from a representative structural database. Here we report the use of Protein Blocks (PBs), a structural alphabet (SA) to perform such sequence comparison and to build customised fragment libraries for TFM. Results: We demonstrate that predicted PB sequences for a query protein can be used to search for high quality fragments that overall cover above 90% of the query. The fragments generated are of minimum length of 11 residues, and fragments that cover more than 30% of the query length were often obtained. Our work shows that PBs can serve as a good way to extract structurally similar fragments from a database of representatives of non-homologous structures and of the proteins that contain less ordered regions.