Mapping the geometric evolution of protein folding motor

Gaurav Jerath, Prakash Kishore Hazam, Shashi Shekhar, Vibin Ramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Polypeptide chain has an invariant main-chain and a variant side-chain sequence. How the side-chain sequence determines fold in terms of its chemical constitution has been scrutinized extensively and verified periodically. However, a focussed investigation on the directive effect of side-chain geometry may provide important insights supplementing existing algorithms in mapping the geometrical evolution of protein chains and its structural preferences. Geometrically, folding of protein structure may be envisaged as the evolution of its geometric variables: φ, and Φ dihedral angles of polypeptide main-chain directed by χ1, and χ2 of side chain. In this work, protein molecule is metaphorically modelled as a machine with 4 rotors φ, Φ, χ1 and χ2, with its evolution to the functional fold is directed by combinations of its rotor directions. We observe that differential rotor motions lead to different secondary structure formations and the combinatorial pattern is unique and consistent for particular secondary structure type. Further, we found that combination of rotor geometries of each amino acid is unique which partly explains how different amino acid sequence combinations have unique structural evolution and functional adaptation. Quantification of these amino acid rotor preferences, resulted in the generation of 3 substitution matrices, which later on plugged in the BLAST tool, for evaluating their efficiency in aligning sequences. We have employed BLOSUM62 and PAM30 as standard for primary evaluation. Generation of substitution matrices is a logical extension of the conceptual framework we attempted to build during the development of this work. Optimization of matrices following the conventional routines and possible application with biologically relevant data sets are beyond the scope of this manuscript, though it is a part of the larger project design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0163993
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Jerath et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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