pocketZebra: a web-server for automated selection and classification of subfamily-specific binding sites by bioinformatic analysis of diverse protein families

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Abstract

The new web-server pocketZebra implements the power of bioinformatics and geometry-based structural approaches to identify and rank subfamily-specific binding sites in proteins by functional significance, and select particular positions in the structure that determine selective accommodation of ligands. A new scoring function has been developed to annotate binding sites by the presence of the subfamily-specific positions in diverse protein families. pocketZebra web-server has multiple input modes to meet the needs of users with different experience in bioinformatics. The server provides on-site visualization of the results as well as off-line version of the output in annotated text format and as PyMol sessions ready for structural analysis. pocketZebra can be used to study structure–function relationship and regulation in large protein superfamilies, classify functionally important binding sites and annotate proteins with unknown function. The server can be used to engineer ligand-binding sites and allosteric regulation of enzymes, or implemented in a drug discovery process to search for potential molecular targets and novel selective inhibitors/effectors. The server, documentation and examples are freely available at http://biokinet.belozersky.msu.ru/pocketzebra and there are no login requirements.

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