Stereochemical quality of protein structure coordinates.

Morris AL; MacArthur MW; Hutchinson EG; Thornton JM

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College, London, England.

Proteins 12: 345-64 (1992)

Methods have been developed to assess the stereochemical quality of any protein structure both globally and locally using various criteria. Several parameters can be derived from the coordinates of a given structure. Global parameters include the distribution of phi, psi and chi 1 torsion angles, and hydrogen bond energies. There are clear correlations between these parameters and resolution; as the resolution improves, the distribution of the parameters becomes more clustered. These features show a broad distribution about ideal values derived from high-resolution structures. Some structures have tightly clustered distributions even at relatively low resolutions, while others show abnormal scatter though the data go to high resolution. Additional indicators of local irregularity include proline phi angles, peptide bond planarities, disulfide bond lengths, and their chi 3 torsion angles. These stereochemical parameters have been used to generate measures of stereochemical quality which provide a simple guide as to the reliability of a structure, in addition to the most important measures, resolution and R-factor. The parameters used in this evaluation are not novel, and are easily calculated from structure coordinates. A program suite is currently being developed which will quickly check a given structure, highlighting unusual stereochemistry and possible errors.