Machine Learning Approaches for Predicting Protein Complex Similarity
Discriminating native-like structures from false positives with high accuracy is one of the biggest challenges in protein-protein docking. While there is an agreement on the existence of a relationship between various favorable intermolecular interactions (e.g. Van der Waals electrostatic and desolvation forces) and the similarity of a conformation to its native structure the precise nature of this relationship is not known. Existing protein-protein docking methods typically formulate this relationship as a weighted sum of selected terms and calibrate their weights by using a training set to evaluate and rank candidate complexes. Despite improvements in the predictive power of recent docking methods producing a large number of false positives by even state-of-the-art methods often leads to failure in predicting the correct binding of many complexes. With the aid of machine learning methods we tested several approaches that not only rank candidate structures relative to each other but also predict how similar each candidate is to the native conformation. We trained a two-layer neural network a multilayer neural network and a network of Restricted Boltzmann Machines against extensive data sets of unbound complexes generated by RosettaDock and PyDock. We validated these methods with a set of refinement candidate structures. We were able to predict the root mean squared deviations (RMSDs) of protein complexes with a very small often less than 1.5 angstrom error margin when trained with structures that have RMSD values of up to 7 angstrom. In our most recent experiments with the protein samples having RMSD values up to 27 angstrom the average prediction error was still relatively small attesting to the potential of our approach in predicting the correct binding of protein-protein complexes.
SourceJournal of Computational Biology
Protein docking and refinement