WeFold: a coopetition for protein structure prediction

Proteins. 2014 Sep;82(9):1850-68. doi: 10.1002/prot.24538. Epub 2014 Jul 8.


The protein structure prediction problem continues to elude scientists. Despite the introduction of many methods, only modest gains were made over the last decade for certain classes of prediction targets. To address this challenge, a social-media based worldwide collaborative effort, named WeFold, was undertaken by 13 labs. During the collaboration, the laboratories were simultaneously competing with each other. Here, we present the first attempt at "coopetition" in scientific research applied to the protein structure prediction and refinement problems. The coopetition was possible by allowing the participating labs to contribute different components of their protein structure prediction pipelines and create new hybrid pipelines that they tested during CASP10. This manuscript describes both successes and areas needing improvement as identified throughout the first WeFold experiment and discusses the efforts that are underway to advance this initiative. A footprint of all contributions and structures are publicly accessible at http://www.wefold.org.

Keywords: CASP; Foldit; coopetition; protein structure prediction; structure refinement.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary*
  • Proteins / ultrastructure*
  • Research Design
  • Video Games


  • Proteins