A remaining challenge in protein modeling is to predict structures for sequences with no sequence similarity to any experimentally solved structure. Based on earlier observations, the library of protein backbone supersecondary structure motifs (Smotifs) saturated about a decade ago. Therefore, it should be possible to build any structure from a combination of existing Smotifs with the help of limited experimental data that are sufficient to relate the backbone conformations of Smotifs between target proteins and known structures. Here, we present a hybrid modeling algorithm that relies on an exhaustive Smotif library and on nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift patterns without any input of primary sequence information. In a test of 102 proteins, the algorithm delivered 90 homology-model-quality models, among them 24 high-quality ones, and a topologically correct solution for almost all cases. The current approach opens a venue to address the modeling of larger protein structures for which chemical shifts are available.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.