Princeton_TIGRESS 2.0: High refinement consistency and net gains through support vector machines and molecular dynamics in double-blind predictions during the CASP11 experiment. Academic Article uri icon


  • Protein structure refinement is the challenging problem of operating on any protein structure prediction to improve its accuracy with respect to the native structure in a blind fashion. Although many approaches have been developed and tested during the last four CASP experiments, a majority of the methods continue to degrade models rather than improve them. Princeton_TIGRESS (Khoury et al., Proteins 2014;82:794-814) was developed previously and utilizes separate sampling and selection stages involving Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations and classification using an SVM predictor. The initial implementation was shown to consistently refine protein structures 76% of the time in our own internal benchmarking on CASP 7-10 targets. In this work, we improved the sampling and selection stages and tested the method in blind predictions during CASP11. We added a decomposition of physics-based and hybrid energy functions, as well as a coordinate-free representation of the protein structure through distance-binning Cα-Cα distances to capture fine-grained movements. We performed parameter estimation to optimize the adjustable SVM parameters to maximize precision while balancing sensitivity and specificity across all cross-validated data sets, finding enrichment in our ability to select models from the populations of similar decoys generated for targets in CASPs 7-10. The MD stage was enhanced such that larger structures could be further refined. Among refinement methods that are currently implemented as web-servers, Princeton_TIGRESS 2.0 demonstrated the most consistent and most substantial net refinement in blind predictions during CASP11. The enhanced refinement protocol Princeton_TIGRESS 2.0 is freely available as a web server at Proteins 2017; 85:1078-1098. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Proteins

author list (cited authors)

  • Khoury, G. A., Smadbeck, J., Kieslich, C. A., Koskosidis, A. J., Guzman, Y. A., Tamamis, P., & Floudas, C. A

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Khoury, George A||Smadbeck, James||Kieslich, Chris A||Koskosidis, Alexandra J||Guzman, Yannis A||Tamamis, Phanourios||Floudas, Christodoulos A

publication date

  • June 2017