Cost function network-based design of protein-protein interactions: predicting changes in binding affinity

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Motivation:Accurate and economic methods to predict change in protein binding free energy upon mutation are imperative to accelerate the design of proteins for a wide range of applications. Free energy is defined by enthalpic and entropic contributions. Following the recent progresses of Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms for guaranteed NP-hard energy optimization and partition function computation, it becomes possible to quickly compute minimum energy conformations and to reliably estimate the entropic contribution of side-chains in the change of free energy of large protein interfaces.Results:Using guaranteed Cost Function Network algorithms, Rosetta energy functions and Dunbrack's rotamer library, we developed and assessed EasyE and JayZ, two methods for binding affinity estimation that ignore or include conformational entropic contributions on a large benchmark of binding affinity experimental measures. If both approaches outperform most established tools, we observe that side-chain conformational entropy brings little or no improvement on most systems but becomes crucial in some rare cases.Availability and implementation:as open-source Python/C++ code at information:Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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