Evaluating the quality of NMR structures by local density of protons.
Evaluating the quality of experimentally determined protein structural models is an essential step toward identifying potential errors and guiding further structural refinement. Herein, we report the use of proton local density as a sensitive measure to assess the quality of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures. Using 256 high-resolution crystal structures with protons added and optimized, we show that the local density of different proton types display distinct distributions. These distributions can be characterized by statistical moments and are used to establish local density Z-scores for evaluating both global and local packing for individual protons. Analysis of 546 crystal structures at various resolutions shows that the local density Z-scores increase as the structural resolution decreases and correlate well with the ClashScore (Word et al. J Mol Biol 1999;285(4):1711-1733) generated by all atom contact analysis. Local density Z-scores for NMR structures exhibit a significantly wider range of values than for X-ray structures and demonstrate a combination of potentially problematic inflation and compression. Water-refined NMR structures show improved packing quality. Our analysis of a high-quality structural ensemble of ubiquitin refined against order parameters shows proton density distributions that correlate nearly perfectly with our standards derived from crystal structures, further validating our approach. We present an automated analysis and visualization tool for proton packing to evaluate the quality of NMR structures.
Ban, Y-EA; Rudolph, J; Zhou, P; Edelsbrunner, H
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)