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1.  NPDock: a web server for protein–nucleic acid docking 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;43(Web Server issue):W425-W430.
Protein–RNA and protein–DNA interactions play fundamental roles in many biological processes. A detailed understanding of these interactions requires knowledge about protein–nucleic acid complex structures. Because the experimental determination of these complexes is time-consuming and perhaps futile in some instances, we have focused on computational docking methods starting from the separate structures. Docking methods are widely employed to study protein–protein interactions; however, only a few methods have been made available to model protein–nucleic acid complexes. Here, we describe NPDock (Nucleic acid–Protein Docking); a novel web server for predicting complexes of protein–nucleic acid structures which implements a computational workflow that includes docking, scoring of poses, clustering of the best-scored models and refinement of the most promising solutions. The NPDock server provides a user-friendly interface and 3D visualization of the results. The smallest set of input data consists of a protein structure and a DNA or RNA structure in PDB format. Advanced options are available to control specific details of the docking process and obtain intermediate results. The web server is available at
PMCID: PMC4489298  PMID: 25977296
2.  Computational modeling of RNA 3D structures, with the aid of experimental restraints 
RNA Biology  2014;11(5):522-536.
In addition to mRNAs whose primary function is transmission of genetic information from DNA to proteins, numerous other classes of RNA molecules exist, which are involved in a variety of functions, such as catalyzing biochemical reactions or performing regulatory roles. In analogy to proteins, the function of RNAs depends on their structure and dynamics, which are largely determined by the ribonucleotide sequence. Experimental determination of high-resolution RNA structures is both laborious and difficult, and therefore, the majority of known RNAs remain structurally uncharacterized. To address this problem, computational structure prediction methods were developed that simulate either the physical process of RNA structure formation (“Greek science” approach) or utilize information derived from known structures of other RNA molecules (“Babylonian science” approach). All computational methods suffer from various limitations that make them generally unreliable for structure prediction of long RNA sequences. However, in many cases, the limitations of computational and experimental methods can be overcome by combining these two complementary approaches with each other. In this work, we review computational approaches for RNA structure prediction, with emphasis on implementations (particular programs) that can utilize restraints derived from experimental analyses. We also list experimental approaches, whose results can be relatively easily used by computational methods. Finally, we describe case studies where computational and experimental analyses were successfully combined to determine RNA structures that would remain out of reach for each of these approaches applied separately.
PMCID: PMC4152360  PMID: 24785264
RNA structure; RNA structure prediction; macromolecular modeling; bioinformatics; chemical probing
3.  Structural bioinformatics of the human spliceosomal proteome 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(15):7046-7065.
In this work, we describe the results of a comprehensive structural bioinformatics analysis of the spliceosomal proteome. We used fold recognition analysis to complement prior data on the ordered domains of 252 human splicing proteins. Examples of newly identified domains include a PWI domain in the U5 snRNP protein 200K (hBrr2, residues 258–338), while examples of previously known domains with a newly determined fold include the DUF1115 domain of the U4/U6 di-snRNP protein 90K (hPrp3, residues 540–683). We also established a non-redundant set of experimental models of spliceosomal proteins, as well as constructed in silico models for regions without an experimental structure. The combined set of structural models is available for download. Altogether, over 90% of the ordered regions of the spliceosomal proteome can be represented structurally with a high degree of confidence. We analyzed the reduced spliceosomal proteome of the intron-poor organism Giardia lamblia, and as a result, we proposed a candidate set of ordered structural regions necessary for a functional spliceosome. The results of this work will aid experimental and structural analyses of the spliceosomal proteins and complexes, and can serve as a starting point for multiscale modeling of the structure of the entire spliceosome.
PMCID: PMC3424538  PMID: 22573172

Results 1-3 (3)