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Protein Structure Similarity

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Research area: 
Bioinformatics & Cheminformatics
Proteins perform many different biological functions and so ensure most of the vital processes in the living organisms. Proteins can fold into various 3D structures and this is the reason for their huge functional diversity. Better understanding of protein function can result in more effective drugs or various industrial products (e.g., laundry detergent containing enzymes).

The study of protein functions is one of the areas where similarity search in protein structure databases is widely used. The usage follows from the thesis that proteins having similar structures also share similar biological function. Similarity search poses two major challenges. It is necessary to design a measure modeling similarity between a pair of protein structures. Then it is necessary to design efficient access method for searching structural databases using the proposed measure. We have introduced a similarity measure SProt showing high effectiveness, and developed an efficient access method employed within the P3S engine.