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1.  Producing High-Accuracy Lattice Models from Protein Atomic Coordinates Including Side Chains 
Advances in Bioinformatics  2012;2012:148045.
Lattice models are a common abstraction used in the study of protein structure, folding, and refinement. They are advantageous because the discretisation of space can make extensive protein evaluations computationally feasible. Various approaches to the protein chain lattice fitting problem have been suggested but only a single backbone-only tool is available currently. We introduce LatFit, a new tool to produce high-accuracy lattice protein models. It generates both backbone-only and backbone-side-chain models in any user defined lattice. LatFit implements a new distance RMSD-optimisation fitting procedure in addition to the known coordinate RMSD method. We tested LatFit's accuracy and speed using a large nonredundant set of high resolution proteins (SCOP database) on three commonly used lattices: 3D cubic, face-centred cubic, and knight's walk. Fitting speed compared favourably to other methods and both backbone-only and backbone-side-chain models show low deviation from the original data (~1.5 Å RMSD in the FCC lattice). To our knowledge this represents the first comprehensive study of lattice quality for on-lattice protein models including side chains while LatFit is the only available tool for such models.
doi:10.1155/2012/148045
PMCID: PMC3426164  PMID: 22934109
2.  Synonymous codon usage influences the local protein structure observed 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(19):6719-6728.
Translation of mRNA into protein is a unidirectional information flow process. Analysing the input (mRNA) and output (protein) of translation, we find that local protein structure information is encoded in the mRNA nucleotide sequence. The Coding Sequence and Structure (CSandS) database developed in this work provides a detailed mapping between over 4000 solved protein structures and their mRNA. CSandS facilitates a comprehensive analysis of codon usage over many organisms. In assigning translation speed, we find that relative codon usage is less informative than tRNA concentration. For all speed measures, no evidence was found that domain boundaries are enriched with slow codons. In fact, genes seemingly avoid slow codons around structurally defined domain boundaries. Translation speed, however, does decrease at the transition into secondary structure. Codons are identified that have structural preferences significantly different from the amino acid they encode. However, each organism has its own set of ‘significant codons’. Our results support the premise that codons encode more information than merely amino acids and give insight into the role of translation in protein folding.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq495
PMCID: PMC2965230  PMID: 20530529
3.  Classifying proteinlike sequences in arbitrary lattice protein models using LatPack 
HFSP Journal  2008;2(6):396-404.
Knowledge of a protein’s three-dimensional native structure is vital in determining its chemical properties and functionality. However, experimental methods to determine structure are very costly and time-consuming. Computational approaches such as folding simulations and structure prediction algorithms are quicker and cheaper but lack consistent accuracy. This currently restricts extensive computational studies to abstract protein models. It is thus essential that simplifications induced by the models do not negate scientific value. Key to this is the use of thoroughly defined proteinlike sequences. In such cases abstract models can allow for the investigation of important biological questions. Here, we present a procedure to generate and classify proteinlike sequence data sets. Our LatPack tools and the approach in general are applicable to arbitrary lattice protein models. Identification is based on thermodynamic kinetic features and incorporates the sequential assembly of proteins by addressing cotranslational folding. We demonstrate the approach in the widely used unrestricted 3D-cubic HP-model. The resulting sequence set is the first large data set for this model exhibiting the proteinlike properties required. Our data tools are freely available and can be used to investigate protein-related problems.
doi:10.2976/1.3027681
PMCID: PMC2645588  PMID: 19436498
4.  Computational analyses of the surface properties of protein–protein interfaces 
This paper presents a survey of techniques that explore the surface properties of protein:protein interfaces so as to inform the prediction of probable sites of protein:protein interaction on newly determined protein structures.
Several potential applications of structural biology depend on discovering how one macromolecule might recognize a partner. Experiment remains the best way to answer this question, but computational tools can contribute where this fails. In such cases, structures may be studied to identify patches of exposed residues that have properties common to interaction surfaces and the locations of these patches can serve as the basis for further modelling or for further experimentation. To date, interaction surfaces have been proposed on the basis of unusual physical properties, unusual propensities for particular amino-acid types or an unusually high level of sequence conservation. Using the CXXSurface toolkit, developed as a part of the CCP4MG program, a suite of tools to analyse the properties of surfaces and their interfaces in complexes has been prepared and applied. These tools have enabled the rapid analysis of known complexes to evaluate the distribution of (i) hydrophobicity, (ii) electrostatic complementarity and (iii) sequence conservation in authentic complexes, so as to assess the extent to which these properties may be useful indicators of probable biological function.
doi:10.1107/S0907444906046762
PMCID: PMC2483497  PMID: 17164526
surfaces; electrostatics; hydrophobicity; conservation

Results 1-4 (4)