International Journal of Genomics

International Journal of Genomics / 2003 / Article

Conference Review | Open Access

Volume 4 |Article ID 243530 |

Rachel E. Bell, Nir Ben-Tal, "In Silico Identification of Functional Protein Interfaces", International Journal of Genomics, vol. 4, Article ID 243530, 4 pages, 2003.

In Silico Identification of Functional Protein Interfaces

Received22 May 2003
Revised03 Jun 2003
Accepted03 Jun 2003


Proteins perform many of their biological roles through protein–protein, protein–DNA or protein–ligand interfaces. The identification of the amino acids comprising these interfaces often enhances our understanding of the biological function of the proteins. Many methods for the detection of functional interfaces have been developed, and large-scale analyses have provided assessments of their accuracy. Among them are those that consider the size of the protein interface, its amino acid composition and its physicochemical and geometrical properties. Other methods to this effect use statistical potential functions of pairwise interactions, and evolutionary information. The rationale of the evolutionary approach is that functional and structural constraints impose selective pressure; hence, biologically important interfaces often evolve at a slower pace than do other external regions of the protein. Recently, an algorithm, Rate4Site, and a web-server, ConSurf (, for the identification of functional interfaces based on the evolutionary relations among homologous proteins as reflected in phylogenetic trees, were developed in our laboratory. The explicit use of the tree topology and branch lengths makes the method remarkably accurate and sensitive. Here we demonstrate its potency in the identification of the functional interfaces of a hypothetical protein, the structure of which was determined as part of the international structural genomics effort. Finally, we propose to combine complementary procedures, in order to enhance the overall performance of methods for the identification of functional interfaces in proteins.

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More related articles

 PDF Download Citation Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted research articles as well as case reports and case series related to COVID-19. Review articles are excluded from this waiver policy. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.