QBES: Predicting real values of solvent accessibility from sequences by efficient, constrained energy optimization

Zhigang Xu, Chi Zhang, Song Liu, Yaoqi Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Solvent accessibility, one of the key properties of amino acid residues in proteins, can be used to assist protein structure prediction. Various approaches such as neural network, support vector machines, probability profiles, information theory, Bayesian theory, logistic function, and multiple linear regression have been developed for solvent accessibility prediction. In this article, a much simpler quadratic programming method based on the buriability parameter set of amino acid residues is developed. The new method, called QBES (Quadratic programming and Buriability Energy function for Solvent accessibility prediction), is reasonably accurate for predicting the real value of solvent accessibility. By using a dataset of 30 proteins to optimize three parameters, the average correlation coefficients between the predicted and actual solvent accessibility are about 0.5 for all four independent test sets ranging from 126 to 513 proteins. The method is efficient. It takes only 20 min for a regular PC to obtain results of 30 proteins with an average length of 263 amino acids. Although the proposed method is less accurate than a few more sophisticated methods based on neural network or support vector machines, this is the first attempt to predict solvent accessibility by energy optimization with constraints. Possible improvements and other applications of the method are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-966
Number of pages6
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Amino acid residues
  • Proteins
  • Solvent accessibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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