Protein structure prediction using a docking-based hierarchical folding scheme

Ilona Kifer*, Ruth Nussinov, Haim J. Wolfson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pathways by which proteins fold into their specific native structure are still an unsolved mystery. Currently, many methods for protein structure prediction are available, and most of them tackle the problem by relying on the vast amounts of data collected from known protein structures. These methods are often not concerned with the route the protein follows to reach its final fold. This work is based on the premise that proteins fold in a hierarchical manner. We present FOBIA, an automated method for predicting a protein structure. FOBIA consists of two main stages: the first finds matches between parts of the target sequence and independently folding structural units using profile-profile comparison. The second assembles these units into a 3D structure by searching and ranking their possible orientations toward each other using a docking-based approach. We have previously reported an application of an initial version of this strategy to homology based targets. Since then we have considerably enhanced our method's abilities to allow it to address the more difficult template-based target category. This allows us to now apply FOBIA to the template-based targets of CASP8 and to show that it is both very efficient and promising. Our method can provide an alternative for template-based structure prediction, and in particular, the docking-basedranking technique presented here can be incorporated into any profile-profile comparison based method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1773
Number of pages15
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Docking
  • Fragment based
  • Hierarchical folding
  • Protein folding
  • Structure prediction
  • Template ranking


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