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Identification of Ligand-Binding Pockets in Proteins Using Residue Preference Methods

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Identification of ligand-binding pockets in proteins is pivotal to protein function definition and drug discovery. In this study, we focus on determining the binding pockets in proteins for potential ligands without any a priori knowledge. Three methods based upon residue preference concept are proposed to predict ligand-binding pockets, where we deal with three types of residue preference (residue based, atom based and atom-contact-pair based preference), respectively. Two test sets were chosen to examine the proposed methods. Two different identification rules (named Top1 and Top2) are used to detect ligand-binding pockets. The results show that the atom-contact-pair method has good accuracy and high efficiency, better than the other two methods. By means of preference analysis for amino acids and atom-contactpairs, we find that Gly and atom-contact-pairs on aromatic residues appear at ligand-binding pockets more frequently. The former favors pocket flexibility, and the latter shows that aggregate hydrophobic surface may play an important role in complex formation.

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Keywords: Residue preference; atom-contact-pair; ligand-binding pocket identification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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