Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011 Sep 18;18(10):1175-7. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2119.


Following the failure of a wide range of attempts to solve the crystal structure of M-PMV retroviral protease by molecular replacement, we challenged players of the protein folding game Foldit to produce accurate models of the protein. Remarkably, Foldit players were able to generate models of sufficient quality for successful molecular replacement and subsequent structure determination. The refined structure provides new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptide Hydrolases / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Folding*
  • Retroviridae / enzymology*
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry*


  • Viral Proteins
  • Peptide Hydrolases

Associated data

  • PDB/3SQF