Biophysics


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0 Q&A 974 Views Feb 20, 2024

Coiled-coil domains (CCDs) are structural motifs observed in proteins in all organisms that perform several crucial functions. The computational identification of CCD segments over a protein sequence is of great importance for its functional characterization. This task can essentially be divided into three separate steps: the detection of segment boundaries, the annotation of the heptad repeat pattern along the segment, and the classification of its oligomerization state. Several methods have been proposed over the years addressing one or more of these predictive steps. In this protocol, we illustrate how to make use of CoCoNat, a novel approach based on protein language models, to characterize CCDs. CoCoNat is, at its release (August 2023), the state of the art for CCD detection. The web server allows users to submit input protein sequences and visualize the predicted domains after a few minutes. Optionally, precomputed segments can be provided to the model, which will predict the oligomerization state for each of them. CoCoNat can be easily integrated into biological pipelines by downloading the standalone version, which provides a single executable script to produce the output.


Key features

• Web server for the prediction of coiled-coil segments from a protein sequence.

• Three different predictions from a single tool (segment position, heptad repeat annotation, oligomerization state).

• Possibility to visualize the results online or to download the predictions in different formats for further processing.

• Easy integration in automated pipelines with the local version of the tool.


Graphical overview


0 Q&A 2417 Views Jul 20, 2021

Protein filaments are dynamic entities that respond to external stimuli by slightly or substantially modifying the internal binding geometries between successive protomers. This results in overall changes in the filament architecture, which are difficult to model due to the helical character of the system. Here, we describe how distortions in RecA nucleofilaments and their consequences on the filament-DNA and bound DNA-DNA interactions at different stages of the homologous recombination process can be modeled using the PTools/Heligeom software and subsequent molecular dynamics simulation with NAMD. Modeling methods dealing with helical macromolecular objects typically rely on symmetric assemblies and take advantage of known symmetry descriptors. Other methods dealing with single objects, such as MMTK or VMD, do not integrate the specificities of regular assemblies. By basing the model building on binding geometries at the protomer-protomer level, PTools/Heligeom frees the building process from a priori knowledge of the system topology and enables irregular architectures and symmetry disruption to be accounted for.


Graphical abstract:



Model of ATP hydrolysis-induced distortions in the recombinant nucleoprotein, obtained by combining RecA-DNA and two RecA-RecA binding geometries.





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