TOUCHSTONE: a unified approach to protein structure prediction

Proteins. 2003:53 Suppl 6:469-79. doi: 10.1002/prot.10551.


We have applied the TOUCHSTONE structure prediction algorithm that spans the range from homology modeling to ab initio folding to all protein targets in CASP5. Using our threading algorithm PROSPECTOR that does not utilize input from metaservers, one threads against a representative set of PDB templates. If a template is significantly hit, Generalized Comparative Modeling designed to span the range from closely to distantly related proteins from the template is done. This involves freezing the aligned regions and relaxing the remaining structure to accommodate insertions or deletions with respect to the template. For all targets, consensus predicted side chain contacts from at least weakly threading templates are pooled and incorporated into ab initio folding. Often, TOUCHSTONE performs well in the CM to FR categories, with PROSPECTOR showing significant ability to identify analogous templates. When ab initio folding is done, frequently the best models are closer to the native state than the initial template. Among the particularly good predictions are T0130 in the CM/FR category, T0138 in the FR(H) category, T0135 in the FR(A) category, T0170 in the FR/NF category and T0181 in the NF category. Improvements in the approach are needed in the FR/NF and NF categories. Nevertheless, TOUCHSTONE was one of the best performing algorithms over all categories in CASP5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proteins / chemistry*


  • Proteins