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PLoS Biol ; 17(11): e3000472, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31714936


With the rapid improvement of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) resolution, new computational tools are needed to assist and improve upon atomic model building and refinement options. This communication demonstrates that microscopists can now collaborate with the players of the computer game Foldit to generate high-quality de novo structural models. This development could greatly speed the generation of excellent cryo-EM structures when used in addition to current methods.

Ciência do Cidadão , Microscopia Crioeletrônica/tendências , Jogos de Vídeo , Algoritmos , Bioquímica , Microscopia Crioeletrônica/métodos , Modelos Moleculares
Nature ; 570(7761): 390-394, 2019 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31168091


Online citizen science projects such as GalaxyZoo1, Eyewire2 and Phylo3 have proven very successful for data collection, annotation and processing, but for the most part have harnessed human pattern-recognition skills rather than human creativity. An exception is the game EteRNA4, in which game players learn to build new RNA structures by exploring the discrete two-dimensional space of Watson-Crick base pairing possibilities. Building new proteins, however, is a more challenging task to present in a game, as both the representation and evaluation of a protein structure are intrinsically three-dimensional. We posed the challenge of de novo protein design in the online protein-folding game Foldit5. Players were presented with a fully extended peptide chain and challenged to craft a folded protein structure and an amino acid sequence encoding that structure. After many iterations of player design, analysis of the top-scoring solutions and subsequent game improvement, Foldit players can now-starting from an extended polypeptide chain-generate a diversity of protein structures and sequences that encode them in silico. One hundred forty-six Foldit player designs with sequences unrelated to naturally occurring proteins were encoded in synthetic genes; 56 were found to be expressed and soluble in Escherichia coli, and to adopt stable monomeric folded structures in solution. The diversity of these structures is unprecedented in de novo protein design, representing 20 different folds-including a new fold not observed in natural proteins. High-resolution structures were determined for four of the designs, and are nearly identical to the player models. This work makes explicit the considerable implicit knowledge that contributes to success in de novo protein design, and shows that citizen scientists can discover creative new solutions to outstanding scientific challenges such as the protein design problem.

Ciência do Cidadão/métodos , Criatividade , Engenharia de Proteínas/métodos , Dobramento de Proteína , Automação , Escherichia coli/química , Escherichia coli/genética , Escherichia coli/metabolismo , Jogos Experimentais , Modelos Moleculares , Interface Usuário-Computador
Biochem Mol Biol Educ ; 47(2): 133-139, 2019 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30638297


The computer game Foldit is currently widely used as a biology and biochemistry teaching aid. Herein, we introduce a new feature of Foldit called "custom contests" that allows educators to create puzzles that fit their curriculum. The effectiveness of the custom contests is demonstrated by the use of five distinct custom contests in an upper-level biochemistry class. The new custom contest feature can be implemented in classes ranging from middle school to graduate school to enable educators to best complement their current curriculum. © 2019 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 47(2): 133-139, 2019.

Bioquímica/educação , Instrução por Computador , Ensino/educação , Estudantes
Bioinformatics ; 33(17): 2765-2767, 2017 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28481970


Summary: Foldit Standalone is an interactive graphical interface to the Rosetta molecular modeling package. In contrast to most command-line or batch interactions with Rosetta, Foldit Standalone is designed to allow easy, real-time, direct manipulation of protein structures, while also giving access to the extensive power of Rosetta computations. Derived from the user interface of the scientific discovery game Foldit (itself based on Rosetta), Foldit Standalone has added more advanced features and removed the competitive game elements. Foldit Standalone was built from the ground up with a custom rendering and event engine, configurable visualizations and interactions driven by Rosetta. Foldit Standalone contains, among other features: electron density and contact map visualizations, multiple sequence alignment tools for template-based modeling, rigid body transformation controls, RosettaScripts support and an embedded Lua interpreter. Availability and Implementation: Foldit Standalone is available for download at , under the Rosetta license, which is free for academic and non-profit users. It is implemented in cross-platform C ++ and binary executables are available for Windows, macOS and Linux. Contact:

Biologia Computacional/métodos , Modelos Moleculares , Conformação Proteica , Análise de Sequência de Proteína/métodos , Software , Alinhamento de Sequência , Jogos de Vídeo
Nat Commun ; 7: 12549, 2016 09 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27633552


We show here that computer game players can build high-quality crystal structures. Introduction of a new feature into the computer game Foldit allows players to build and real-space refine structures into electron density maps. To assess the usefulness of this feature, we held a crystallographic model-building competition between trained crystallographers, undergraduate students, Foldit players and automatic model-building algorithms. After removal of disordered residues, a team of Foldit players achieved the most accurate structure. Analysing the target protein of the competition, YPL067C, uncovered a new family of histidine triad proteins apparently involved in the prevention of amyloid toxicity. From this study, we conclude that crystallographers can utilize crowdsourcing to interpret electron density information and to produce structure solutions of the highest quality.

Crowdsourcing/métodos , Cristalografia/métodos , Currículo , Modelos Químicos , Software , Hidrolases/química , Hidrolases/classificação , Conformação Proteica
Proteins ; 82(9): 1850-68, 2014 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24677212


The protein structure prediction problem continues to elude scientists. Despite the introduction of many methods, only modest gains were made over the last decade for certain classes of prediction targets. To address this challenge, a social-media based worldwide collaborative effort, named WeFold, was undertaken by 13 labs. During the collaboration, the laboratories were simultaneously competing with each other. Here, we present the first attempt at "coopetition" in scientific research applied to the protein structure prediction and refinement problems. The coopetition was possible by allowing the participating labs to contribute different components of their protein structure prediction pipelines and create new hybrid pipelines that they tested during CASP10. This manuscript describes both successes and areas needing improvement as identified throughout the first WeFold experiment and discusses the efforts that are underway to advance this initiative. A footprint of all contributions and structures are publicly accessible at

Biologia Computacional/métodos , Simulação por Computador , Comportamento Cooperativo , Estrutura Terciária de Proteína , Proteínas/ultraestrutura , Humanos , Modelos Moleculares , Projetos de Pesquisa , Jogos de Vídeo