Protein Threading Based on Multiple Protein Structure Alignment

Tatsuya Akutsu (
Kim Lan Sim (

Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo
4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan


Protein threading, a method employed in protein three-dimensional (3D) structure prediction was only proposed in the early 1990's although predicting protein 3D structure from its given amino acid sequence has been around since 1970's. Here we describe a protein threading method/system that we have developed based on multiple protein structure alignment. In order to compute multiple structure alignments, we developed a similar structure search program on massive parallel computers and a program for constructing a multiple structure alignment from pairwise structure alignments, where the latter is based on the center star method for sequence alignment. A simple dynamic-programming based algorithm which uses a profile matrix obtained from the result of multiple structure alignment was also developed to compute a threading (i.e., an alignment between a target sequence and a known structure). Using this system, we participated in the threading category (category AL) of CASP3 (Third Community Wide Experiment on the Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction). The results are discussed.

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Japanese Society for Bioinformatics