Assessment of blind predictions of protein–protein interactions: Current status of docking methods

Authors

  • Raúl Méndez,

    1. Service de Conformation de Macromolecules Biologiques, et Bioinformatique, Centre de Biologie Structurale et Bioinformatique, CP 263, BC6, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
    2. Grup de Modelització Estructural i Funcional de Sistemes Biològics, Institut de Neurociències, Unitat de Bioestadística, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona Bellaterra, Spain
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  • Raphaël Leplae,

    1. Service de Conformation de Macromolecules Biologiques, et Bioinformatique, Centre de Biologie Structurale et Bioinformatique, CP 263, BC6, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
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  • Leonardo De Maria,

    1. Service de Conformation de Macromolecules Biologiques, et Bioinformatique, Centre de Biologie Structurale et Bioinformatique, CP 263, BC6, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
    2. Centro Internacional de Fisica, A.A. 4948, Bogota DC, Colombia
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  • Shoshana J. Wodak

    Corresponding author
    1. Service de Conformation de Macromolecules Biologiques, et Bioinformatique, Centre de Biologie Structurale et Bioinformatique, CP 263, BC6, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
    • Service de Conformation de Macromolecules Biologiques, et Bioinformatique, Centre de Biologie Structurale et Bioinformatique, CP 263, BC6, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Blvd. du Triomphe, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
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Abstract

The current status of docking procedures for predicting protein–protein interactions starting from their three-dimensional structure is assessed from a first major evaluation of blind predictions. This evaluation was performed as part of a communitywide experiment on Critical Assessment of PRedicted Interactions (CAPRI). Seven newly determined structures of protein–protein complexes were available as targets for this experiment. These were the complexes between a kinase and its protein substrate, between a T-cell receptor β-chain and a superantigen, and five antigen-antibody complexes. For each target, the predictors were given the experimental structures of the free components, or of one free and one bound component in a random orientation. The structure of the complex was revealed only at the time of the evaluation. A total of 465 predictions submitted by 19 groups were evaluated. These groups used a wide range of algorithms and scoring functions, some of which were completely novel. The quality of the predicted interactions was evaluated by comparing residue–residue contacts and interface residues to those in the X-ray structures and by analyzing the fit of the ligand molecules (the smaller of the two proteins in the complex) or of interface residues only, in the predicted versus target complexes. A total of 14 groups produced predictions, ranking from acceptable to highly accurate for five of the seven targets. The use of available biochemical and biological information, and in one instance structural information, played a key role in achieving this result. It was essential for identifying the native binding modes for the five correctly predicted targets, including the kinase-substrate complex where the enzyme changes conformation on association. But it was also the cause for missing the correct solution for the two remaining unpredicted targets, which involve unexpected antigen-antibody binding modes. Overall, this analysis reveals genuine progress in docking procedures but also illustrates the remaining serious limitations and points out the need for better scoring functions and more effective ways for handling conformational flexibility. Proteins 2003;52:51–67. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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