L. Ponzoni, G. Polles, V. Carnevale and C. Micheletti
SPECTRUS: a dimensionality reduction approach for identifying dynamical domains in protein complexes from limited structural datasets
Structure, 2015, 23 , 1516-1525
Link to online article
Cover article for the August 2015 issue of STRUCTURE
Identifying dynamical, quasi-rigid domains in proteins provides a powerful means for characterizing functionally-oriented structural changes via a parsimonious set of degrees of freedom. In fact, the relative displacements of few dynamical domains usually suffice to rationalize the mechanics underpinning biological functionality in proteins and can even be exploited for structure determination or refinement purposes. Here we present SPECTRUS, a general scheme that, by solely using amino acids distance fluctuations, can pinpoint the innate quasi-rigid domains of single proteins or large complexes in a robust way. Consistent domains are usually obtained by using either a pair of representative structures or thousands of conformers. The functional insights offered by the approach are illustrated for biomolecular systems of very different size and complexity such as kinases, ion channels and viral capsids.
The decomposition tool is available as software package and web server at spectrus.sissa.it.