Issues in high-throughput comparative modelling: A case study using the ubiquitin E2 conjugating enzymes

Peter Winn, K Schleinkofer, A Banerjee, RC Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Sequences of the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UBC or E2) family were used as a test set to investigate issues associated with the high-throughput comparative modelling of protein structures. A semi-automatic method was initially developed with particular emphasis on producing models of a quality suitable for structural comparison. Structural and sequence features of the E2 family were used to improve the sequence alignment and the quality of the structural templates. Initially, failure to correct for subtle structural inconsistencies between templates lead to problems in the comparative analysis of the UBC electrostatic potentials. Modelling of known UBC structures using Modeller 4.0 showed that multiple templates produced, on average, no better models than the use of just one template, as judged by the root-mean-squared deviation between the comparative model and crystal structure backbones. Using four different quality-checking methods, for a given target sequence, it was not possible to distinguish the model most similar to the experimental structure. The UBC models were thus finally modelled using only the crystal structure template with the highest sequence identity to the target to be modelled, and producing only one model solution. Quality checking was used to reject models with obvious structural anomalies (e.g., bad side-chain packing). The resulting models have been used for a comparison of UBC structural features and of their electrostatic potentials. The work was extended through the development of a fully automated pipeline that identifies E2 sequences in the sequence databases, aligns and models them, and calculates the associated electrostatic potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-375
Number of pages9
JournalProteins: structure, function, and bioinformatics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005


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