Protein loop modeling with optimized backbone potential functions

Shide Liang, Chi Zhang, Jamica Sarmiento, Daron M. Standley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We represented protein backbone potential as a Fourier series. The parameters of the backbone dihedral potential were initialized to random values and optimized by Monte Carlo simulations so that generated native-like loop decoys had a lower energy than non-native decoys. The low energy regions of the optimized backbone potential were consistent with observed Ramachandran plots derived from crystal structures. The backbone potential was then used for the prediction of loop conformations (OSCAR-loop) combining with the previously described OSCAR force field, which has been shown to be very accurate in side chain modeling. As a result, the accuracy of OSCAR-loop was improved by local energy minimization based on the complete force field. The average accuracies were 0.40, 0.70, 1.10, 2.08, and 3.58 Å for 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-residue loops, respectively, with each size being represented by 325 to 2809 targets. The accuracy was better than that of other loop modeling algorithms for short loops (<10 residues). For longer loops, the prediction accuracy was improved by concurrently sampling with a fragment-based method, Spanner. OSCAR-loop is available for download at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1820-1827
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 8 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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