Predicting structural properties of proteins plays a key role in predicting the 3D structure of proteins. In this study, new structural profile matrices (SPM) are developed for protein secondary structure, solvent accessibility and torsion angle class predictions, which could be used as input to 3D prediction algorithms. The structural templates employed in computing SPMs are detected by eight alignment methods in LOMETS server, gap affine alignment method, ScanProsite, PfamScan, and HHblits. The contribution of each template is weighted by its similarity to target, which is assessed by several sequence alignment scores. For comparison, the SPMs are also computed using Homolpro, which uses BLAST for target template alignments and does not assign weights to templates. Incorporating the SPMs into DSPRED classifier, the prediction accuracy improves significantly as demonstrated by cross-validation experiments on two difficult benchmarks. The most accurate predictions are obtained using the SPMs derived by threading methods in LOMETS server. On the other hand, the computational cost of computing these SPMs was the highest.
Keywords: Protein structure prediction; secondary structure; solvent accessibility; structural profile matrix; torsion angle.