Computational tools can bridge the gap between sequence and protein 3D structure based on the notion that information is to be retrieved from the databases and that knowledge-based methods can help in approaching a solution of the protein-folding problem. To this aim our group has implemented neural network-based predictors capable of performing with some success in different tasks, including predictions of the secondary structure of globular and membrane proteins, the topology of membrane proteins and porins and stable alpha-helical segments suited for protein design. Moreover we have developed methods for predicting contact maps in proteins and the probability of finding a cysteine in a disulfide bridge, tools which can contribute to the goal of predicting the 3D structure starting from the sequence (the so called ab initio prediction). All our predictors take advantage of evolution information derived from the structural alignments of homologous (evolutionary related) proteins and taken from the sequence and structure databases. When it is necessary to build models for proteins of unknown spatial structure, which have very little homology with other proteins of known structure, non-standard techniques need to be developed and the tools for protein structure predictions may help in protein modeling. The results of a recent simulation performed in our lab highlights the role of high performing computing technology and of tools of computational biology in protein modeling and peptidomimetic design.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|