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Protein Homology Modelling

  1. Manuel C Peitsch,
  2. Torsten Schwede

Published Online: 15 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005273.pub2

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Peitsch, M. C. and Schwede, T. 2011. Protein Homology Modelling. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Basel, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics & Biozentrum, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2011

Abstract

Protein structure prediction aims to model the three-dimensional (3D) structure of so far structurally uncharacterised proteins from their amino acid sequence. Motivated by the observation that homologous proteins with related amino acid sequences have similar 3D structures, protein homology modelling uses comparative methods to generate models for a target protein based on one or more related proteins with known 3D structure. The coordinates of the model are generated based on alignments between the target's and template's amino acid sequences, which define the correspondence between residues in both proteins. Ultimately, the quality of a computational model determines its usefulness for specific biomedical applications. Therefore, model quality estimation methods are used to identify unreliable or erroneous regions in the resulting models, and to estimate the overall accuracy of a model. Homology modelling (or comparative modelling) is currently the most accurate computational method available to routinely generate models of sufficient quality for various applications in life science research. Comparative protein modelling methods have been completely automated in recent years, and several Internet servers offer protein modelling services which are reliable and easy to use – also for the nonexpert in computational biology.

Key Concepts:

  • Protein structure prediction aims to model the three-dimensional structure of so far structurally uncharacterised proteins (‘target’) based on their amino acid sequence.

  • Homologous proteins with related amino acid sequences have similar three-dimensional structures.

  • Protein homology modelling uses information from one or more related proteins with known three-dimensional structure (‘template’) to generate models for the target protein.

  • Sensitive sequence searching methods are applied to identify template proteins with known structures in large databases.

  • An alignment between the target's and template's amino acid sequences describes the correspondence between residues in both proteins.

  • The coordinates of the model are constructed by extracting positional information from the corresponding structural template.

  • Segments of the target protein not covered by template information (e.g. insertions/deletion in the alignment) have to be constructed using de novo modelling methods.

  • Model quality estimation methods are used to identify unreliable or erroneous regions in the resulting models.

  • Ultimately, the quality of a structural model determines its usefulness for specific biomedical applications.

Keywords:

  • protein structure prediction;
  • protein structure modelling;
  • bioinformatics;
  • computational structural biology;
  • structural genomics;
  • homology modelling;
  • functional genomics