Fast approximations of the rotational diffusion tensor and their application to structural assembly of molecular complexes

TitleFast approximations of the rotational diffusion tensor and their application to structural assembly of molecular complexes
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBerlin K, O'Leary DP, Fushman D
JournalProteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics
Pagination2268 - 2281
Date Published2011/07/01/
ISBN Number1097-0134
Keywordsdiffusion‐guided molecular assembly, ellipsoid model, ELM, PATI, protein complexes, residual dipolar couplings, rigid‐body docking

We present and evaluate a rigid-body, deterministic, molecular docking method, called ELMDOCK, that relies solely on the three-dimensional structure of the individual components and the overall rotational diffusion tensor of the complex, obtained from nuclear spin-relaxation measurements. We also introduce a docking method, called ELMPATIDOCK, derived from ELMDOCK and based on the new concept of combining the shape-related restraints from rotational diffusion with those from residual dipolar couplings, along with ambiguous contact/interface-related restraints obtained from chemical shift perturbations. ELMDOCK and ELMPATIDOCK use two novel approximations of the molecular rotational diffusion tensor that allow computationally efficient docking. We show that these approximations are accurate enough to properly dock the two components of a complex without the need to recompute the diffusion tensor at each iteration step. We analyze the accuracy, robustness, and efficiency of these methods using synthetic relaxation data for a large variety of protein-protein complexes. We also test our method on three protein systems for which the structure of the complex and experimental relaxation data are available, and analyze the effect of flexible unstructured tails on the outcome of docking. Additionally, we describe a method for integrating the new approximation methods into the existing docking approaches that use the rotational diffusion tensor as a restraint. The results show that the proposed docking method is robust against experimental errors in the relaxation data or structural rearrangements upon complex formation and is computationally more efficient than current methods. The developed approximations are accurate enough to be used in structure refinement protocols. Proteins 2011; © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.