Andrzej Kolinski Research Group

Coarse-grained protein modeling

Modeling Software & Servers

Biomolecules — dynamics & interactions


MONSSTER: a method for folding globular proteins with a small number of distance restraints


Journal of Molecular Biology, 265:217–241, 1997


The MONSSTER (MOdeling of New Structures from Secondary and TEritary Restraints) method for folding of proteins using a small number of long-distance restraints (which can be up to seven times less than the total number of residues) and some knowledge of the secondary structure of regular fragments is described. The method employs a high-coordination lattice representation of the protein chain that incorporates a variety of potentials designed to produce protein-like behaviour. These include statistical preferences for secondary structure, side-chain burial interactions, and a hydrogen-bond potential. Using this algorithm, several globular proteins (1ctf, 2gbl, 2trx, 3fxn, 1mba, 1pcy and 6pti) have been folded to moderate-resolution, native-like compact states. For example, the 68 residue 1ctf molecule having ten loosely defined, long-range restraints was reproducibly obtained with a C alpha-backbone root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) from native of about 4. A. Flavodoxin with 35 restraints has been folded to structures whose average RMSD is 4.28 A. Furthermore, using just 20 restraints, myoglobin, which is a 146 residue helical protein, has been folded to structures whose average RMSD from native is 5.65 A. Plastocyanin with 25 long-range restraints adopts conformations whose average RMSD is 5.44 A. Possible applications of the proposed approach to the refinement of structures from NMR data, homology model-building and the determination of tertiary structure when the secondary structure and a small number of restraints are predicted are briefly discussed.