structure prediction
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Minerals ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 98
Jordi Ibáñez-Insa

The crystal structures of newly found minerals are routinely determined using single-crystal techniques. However, many rare minerals usually form micrometer-sized aggregates that are difficult to study with conventional structural methods. This is the case for numerous platinum-group minerals (PGMs) such as, for instance, zaccariniite (RhNiAs), the crystal structure of which was first obtained by studying synthetic samples. The aim of the present work is to explore the usefulness of USPEX, a powerful crystal structure prediction method, as an alternative means of determining the crystal structure of minerals such as zaccariniite, with a relatively simple crystal structure and chemical formula. We show that fixed composition USPEX searches with a variable number of formula units, using the ideal formula of the mineral as the only starting point, successfully predict the tetragonal structure of a mineral. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations can then be performed in order to more tightly relax the structure of the mineral and calculate different fundamental properties, such as the frequency of zone-center Raman-active phonons, or even their pressure behavior. These theoretical data can be subsequently compared to experimental results, which, in the case of newly found minerals, would allow one to confirm the correctness of the crystal structure predicted by the USPEX code.

2022 ◽  
Vol 4 (1) ◽  
Warren B Rouse ◽  
Ryan J Andrews ◽  
Nicholas J Booher ◽  
Jibo Wang ◽  
Michael E Woodman ◽  

ABSTRACT In recent years, interest in RNA secondary structure has exploded due to its implications in almost all biological functions and its newly appreciated capacity as a therapeutic agent/target. This surge of interest has driven the development and adaptation of many computational and biochemical methods to discover novel, functional structures across the genome/transcriptome. To further enhance efforts to study RNA secondary structure, we have integrated the functional secondary structure prediction tool ScanFold, into IGV. This allows users to directly perform structure predictions and visualize results—in conjunction with probing data and other annotations—in one program. We illustrate the utility of this new tool by mapping the secondary structural landscape of the human MYC precursor mRNA. We leverage the power of vast ‘omics’ resources by comparing individually predicted structures with published data including: biochemical structure probing, RNA binding proteins, microRNA binding sites, RNA modifications, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and others that allow functional inferences to be made and aid in the discovery of potential drug targets. This new tool offers the RNA community an easy to use tool to find, analyze, and characterize RNA secondary structures in the context of all available data, in order to find those worthy of further analyses.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Zhijun Zhang ◽  
Bin Huang ◽  
Jialu Chen ◽  
Yang Jiao ◽  
Hui Guo ◽  

Jacalin-related lectins (JRLs) are a new subfamily of plant lectins that has recently been recognized and plays an important role in plant growth, development, and abiotic stress response. Although moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is an economically and industrially important bamboo worldwide, there has been no systematic identification of JRLs in this species. Here, we identified 25 JRL genes in moso bamboo, and these genes are unequally distributed among 10 genome scaffolds. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the moso bamboo JRLs were clustered into four JRL subgroups: I, II, V, and VII. Numerous stress-responsive and hormone-regulated cis-elements were detected in the upstream promoter regions of the JRLs. Genome collinearity analyses showed that the JRL genes of moso bamboo are more closely related to those of Brachypodium distachyon than to those of Oryza sativa and Zea mays. Sixty-four percent of the PeJRL genes are present as segmental and tandem duplicates. qRT-PCR expression analysis showed that JRL genes in the same subgroup were significantly downregulated in response to salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA), and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatments and significantly upregulated under low temperature, drought, and salt stress; they also exhibited tissue-specific expression patterns. Subcellular localization experiments revealed that PeJRL04 and PeJRL13 were localized to the cell membrane, nucleus, and cytoplasm. Three dimensional structure prediction and yeast two-hybrid assays were used to verify that PeJRL13 exists as a self-interacting homodimer in vivo. These findings provide an important reference for understanding the functions of specific moso bamboo JRL genes and for the effective selection of stress-related genes.

2022 ◽  
Jun Liu ◽  
Guangxing He ◽  
Kailong Zhao ◽  
Guijun Zhang

Motivation: The successful application of deep learning has promoted progress in protein model quality assessment. How to use model quality assessment to further improve the accuracy of protein structure prediction, especially not reliant on the existing templates, is helpful for unraveling the folding mechanism. Here, we investigate whether model quality assessment can be introduced into structure prediction to form a closed-loop feedback, and iteratively improve the accuracy of de novo protein structure prediction. Results: In this study, we propose a de novo protein structure prediction method called RocketX. In RocketX, a feedback mechanism is constructed through the geometric constraint prediction network GeomNet, the structural simulation module, and the model quality evaluation network EmaNet. In GeomNet, the co-evolutionary features extracted from MSA that search from the sequence databases are sent to an improved residual neural network to predict the inter-residue geometric constraints. The structure model is folded based on the predicted geometric constraints. In EmaNet, the 1D and 2D features are extracted from the folded model and sent to the deep residual neural network to estimate the inter-residue distance deviation and per-residue lDDT of the model, which will be fed back to GeomNet as dynamic features to correct the geometries prediction and progressively improve model accuracy. RocketX is tested on 483 benchmark proteins and 20 FM targets of CASP14. Experimental results show that the closed-loop feedback mechanism significantly contributes to the performance of RocketX, and the prediction accuracy of RocketX outperforms that of the state-of-the-art methods trRosetta (without templates) and RaptorX. In addition, the blind test results on CAMEO show that although no template is used, the prediction accuracy of RocketX on medium and hard targets is comparable to the advanced methods that integrate templates.

2022 ◽  
Vol 103 (1) ◽  
William N. D. Gao ◽  
Chen Gao ◽  
Janet E. Deane ◽  
David C. J. Carpentier ◽  
Geoffrey L. Smith ◽  

The morphogenesis of vaccinia virus (VACV, family Poxviridae), the smallpox vaccine, is a complex process involving multiple distinct cellular membranes and resulting in multiple different forms of infectious virion. Efficient release of enveloped virions, which promote systemic spread of infection within hosts, requires the VACV protein E2 but the molecular basis of E2 function remains unclear and E2 lacks sequence homology to any well-characterised family of proteins. We solved the crystal structure of VACV E2 to 2.3 Å resolution, revealing that it comprises two domains with novel folds: an N-terminal annular (ring) domain and a C-terminal globular (head) domain. The C-terminal head domain displays weak structural homology with cellular (pseudo)kinases but lacks conserved surface residues or kinase features, suggesting that it is not enzymatically active, and possesses a large surface basic patch that might interact with phosphoinositide lipid headgroups. Recent deep learning methods have revolutionised our ability to predict the three-dimensional structures of proteins from primary sequence alone. VACV E2 is an exemplar ‘difficult’ viral protein target for structure prediction, being comprised of multiple novel domains and lacking sequence homologues outside Poxviridae. AlphaFold2 nonetheless succeeds in predicting the structures of the head and ring domains with high and moderate accuracy, respectively, allowing accurate inference of multiple structural properties. The advent of highly accurate virus structure prediction marks a step-change in structural virology and beckons a new era of structurally-informed molecular virology.

2022 ◽  
Vol 1 ◽  
Zhi-Hao Guo ◽  
Li Yuan ◽  
Ya-Lan Tan ◽  
Ben-Gong Zhang ◽  
Ya-Zhou Shi

The 3D architectures of RNAs are essential for understanding their cellular functions. While an accurate scoring function based on the statistics of known RNA structures is a key component for successful RNA structure prediction or evaluation, there are few tools or web servers that can be directly used to make comprehensive statistical analysis for RNA 3D structures. In this work, we developed RNAStat, an integrated tool for making statistics on RNA 3D structures. For given RNA structures, RNAStat automatically calculates RNA structural properties such as size and shape, and shows their distributions. Based on the RNA structure annotation from DSSR, RNAStat provides statistical information of RNA secondary structure motifs including canonical/non-canonical base pairs, stems, and various loops. In particular, the geometry of base-pairing/stacking can be calculated in RNAStat by constructing a local coordinate system for each base. In addition, RNAStat also supplies the distribution of distance between any atoms to the users to help build distance-based RNA statistical potentials. To test the usability of the tool, we established a non-redundant RNA 3D structure dataset, and based on the dataset, we made a comprehensive statistical analysis on RNA structures, which could have the guiding significance for RNA structure modeling. The python code of RNAStat, the dataset used in this work, and corresponding statistical data files are freely available at GitHub (

Biomolecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 109
Stefano Perni

Contraction of striated muscle is triggered by a massive release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) into the cytoplasm. This intracellular calcium release is initiated by membrane depolarization, which is sensed by voltage-gated calcium channels CaV1.1 (in skeletal muscle) and CaV1.2 (in cardiac muscle) in the plasma membrane (PM), which in turn activate the calcium-releasing channel ryanodine receptor (RyR) embedded in the SR membrane. This cross-communication between channels in the PM and in the SR happens at specialized regions, the SR-PM junctions, where these two compartments come in close proximity. Junctophilin1 and Junctophilin2 are responsible for the formation and stabilization of SR-PM junctions in striated muscle and actively participate in the recruitment of the two essential players in intracellular calcium release, CaV and RyR. This short review focuses on the roles of junctophilins1 and 2 in the formation and organization of SR-PM junctions in skeletal and cardiac muscle and on the functional consequences of the absence or malfunction of these proteins in striated muscle in light of recently published data and recent advancements in protein structure prediction.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
Simone Di Cataldo ◽  
Wolfgang von der Linden ◽  
Lilia Boeri

AbstractMotivated by the recent claim of hot superconductivity with critical temperatures up to 550 K in La + x hydrides, we investigate the high-pressure phase diagram of compounds that may have formed in the experiment, using first-principles calculations for evolutionary crystal structure prediction and superconductivity. Starting from the hypothesis that the observed Tc may be realized by successive heating upon a pre-formed LaH10 phase, we examine plausible ternaries of lanthanum, hydrogen and other elements present in the diamond anvil cell: boron, nitrogen, carbon, platinum, gallium, gold. We find that only boron and, to a lesser extent, gallium form metastable superhydride-like structures that can host high-Tc superconductivity, but the predicted Tc’s are incompatible with the experimental reports. Our results indicate that, while the claims of hot superconductivity should be reconsidered, it is very likely that unknown H-rich ternary or multinary phases containing lanthanum, hydrogen, and possibly boron or gallium may have formed under the reported experimental conditions, and that these may exhibit superconducting properties comparable, or even superior, to those of currently known hydrides.

Xun Chen ◽  
Wei Lu ◽  
Min-Yeh Tsai ◽  
Shikai Jin ◽  
Peter G. Wolynes

AbstractHeme is an active center in many proteins. Here we explore computationally the role of heme in protein folding and protein structure. We model heme proteins using a hybrid model employing the AWSEM Hamiltonian, a coarse-grained forcefield for the protein chain along with AMBER, an all-atom forcefield for the heme. We carefully designed transferable force fields that model the interactions between the protein and the heme. The types of protein–ligand interactions in the hybrid model include thioester covalent bonds, coordinated covalent bonds, hydrogen bonds, and electrostatics. We explore the influence of different types of hemes (heme b and heme c) on folding and structure prediction. Including both types of heme improves the quality of protein structure predictions. The free energy landscape shows that both types of heme can act as nucleation sites for protein folding and stabilize the protein folded state. In binding the heme, coordinated covalent bonds and thioester covalent bonds for heme c drive the heme toward the native pocket. The electrostatics also facilitates the search for the binding site.

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