Improving protein-protein interaction prediction using evolutionary information from low-quality MSAs

Csilla Varnai, Nikolas S Burkoff, David L Wild

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Evolutionary information stored in multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) has been used to identify the interaction interface of protein complexes, by measuring either co-conservation or co-mutation of amino acid residues across the interface. Recently, maximum entropy related correlated mutation measures (CMMs) such as direct information, decoupling direct from indirect interactions, have been developed to identify residue pairs interacting across the protein complex interface. These studies have focussed on carefully selected protein complexes with large, good-quality MSAs. In this work, we study protein complexes with a more typical MSA consisting of fewer than 400 sequences, using a set of 79 intramolecular protein complexes. Using a maximum entropy based CMM at the residue level, we develop an interface level CMM score to be used in re-ranking docking decoys. We demonstrate that our interface level CMM score compares favourably to the complementarity trace score, an evolutionary information-based score measuring co-conservation, when combined with the number of interface residues, a knowledge-based potential and the variability score of individual amino acid sites. We also demonstrate, that, since co-mutation and co-complementarity in the MSA contain orthogonal information, the best prediction performance using evolutionary information can be achieved by combining the co-mutation information of the CMM with co-conservation information of a complementarity trace score, predicting a near-native structure as the top prediction for 41% of the dataset. The method presented is not restricted to small MSAs, and will likely improve interface prediction also for complexes with large and good-quality MSAs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169356
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017


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