Conformational analysis of protein and nucleic acid fragments with the new grid search algorithm FOUND

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The new computer algorithm FOUND, which is implemented as an integrated module of the DYANA structure calculation program, is capable of performing systematic local conformation analyses by exhaustive grid searches for arbitrary contiguous fragments of proteins and nucleic acids. It uses torsion angles as the only degrees of freedom to identify all conformations that fulfill the steric and NMR-derived conformational restraints within a contiguous molecular fragment, as defined either by limits on the maximal restraint violations or by the fragment-based DYANA target function value. Sets of mutually dependent torsion angles, for example in ribose rings, are treated as a single degree of freedom. The results of the local conformation analysis include allowed torsion angle ranges and stereospecific assignments for diastereotopic substituents, which are then included in the input of a subsequent structure calculation. FOUND can be used for grid searches comprising up to 13 torsion angles, such as the backbone of a complete α-helical turn or dinucleotide fragments in nucleic acids, and yields a significantly higher number of stereospecific assignments than the precursor grid search algorithm HABAS.

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