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EvoDesign: Designing Protein–Protein Binding Interactions Using Evolutionary Interface Profiles in Conjunction with an Optimized Physical Energy Function

Pearce, Robin, Huang, Xiaoqiang, Setiawan, Dani, Zhang, Yang
Journal of molecular biology 2019 v.431 no.13 pp. 2467-2476
Monte Carlo method, binding capacity, computer software, databases, drugs, energy, protein-protein interactions, proteins, sequence alignment
EvoDesign ( is an online server system for protein design. The method uses evolutionary profiles to guide the sequence search simulation and demonstrated significant advantages over physics-based approaches in terms of more accurately designing proteins that adopt desired target folds. Despite the success, the previous EvoDesign program focused only on monomer protein design, which limited its ability and usefulness in terms of designing functional proteins. In this work, we propose a new EvoDesign server, which extends the principles of evolution-based design to design protein–protein interactions. Starting from a two-chain complex structure, structurally similar interfaces are identified from known protein–protein interaction databases. An interface evolutionary profile is then constructed from a multiple sequence alignment of the interface analogies, which is combined with a newly developed, atomic-level physical energy function to guide the replica-exchange Monte Carlo simulation search. The purpose of the server is to redesign the specified complex chain to increase its stability and binding affinity for the other chain in the complex. With the improved scope and accuracy of the methodology, the new EvoDesign pipeline should become a useful online tool for functional protein design and drug discovery studies.