Performance and enhancement of the LZerD protein assembly pipeline in CAPRI 38-46

Proteins. 2020 Aug;88(8):948-961. doi: 10.1002/prot.25850. Epub 2019 Nov 25.


We report the performance of the protein docking prediction pipeline of our group and the results for Critical Assessment of Prediction of Interactions (CAPRI) rounds 38-46. The pipeline integrates programs developed in our group as well as other existing scoring functions. The core of the pipeline is the LZerD protein-protein docking algorithm. If templates of the target complex are not found in PDB, the first step of our docking prediction pipeline is to run LZerD for a query protein pair. Meanwhile, in the case of human group prediction, we survey the literature to find information that can guide the modeling, such as protein-protein interface information. In addition to any literature information and binding residue prediction, generated docking decoys were selected by a rank aggregation of statistical scoring functions. The top 10 decoys were relaxed by a short molecular dynamics simulation before submission to remove atom clashes and improve side-chain conformations. In these CAPRI rounds, our group, particularly the LZerD server, showed robust performance. On the other hand, there are failed cases where some other groups were successful. To understand weaknesses of our pipeline, we analyzed sources of errors for failed targets. Since we noted that structure refinement is a step that needs improvement, we newly performed a comparative study of several refinement approaches. Finally, we show several examples that illustrate successful and unsuccessful cases by our group.

Keywords: CAPRI; LZerD; protein assembly; protein complex modeling; protein docking; protein structure prediction; protein-protein interaction.

Publication types

  • 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

  • Algorithms
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Docking Simulation*
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical
  • Protein Conformation, beta-Strand
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Research Design
  • Software*
  • Structural Homology, Protein


  • Ligands
  • Peptides
  • Proteins