A Regionalizable Statistical Model Of Intersecting Regions In Protein-Ligand Binding Cavities

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Bioinform Comput Biol, World Scientific, Volume 10, Number 03 (2012)


Finding elements of proteins that influence ligand binding specificity is an essential aspect of research in many fields. To assist in this effort, this paper presents two statistical models, based on the same theoretical foundation, for evaluating structural similarity among binding cavities. The first model specializes in the unified comparison of whole cavities, enabling the selection of cavities that are too dissimilar to have similar binding specificity. The second model enables a regionalized comparison of cavities within a user defined region, enabling the selection of cavities that are too dissimilar to bind the same molecular fragments in the given region. We applied these models to analyze the ligand binding cavities of the serine protease and enolase superfamilies. Next, we observed that our unified model correctly separated sets of cavities with identical binding preferences from other sets with varying binding preferences, and that our regionalized model correctly distinguished cavity regions that are too dissimilar to bind similar molecular fragments in the user defined region. These observations point to applications of statistical modeling that can be used to examine and, more importantly, identify influential structural similarities within binding site structure in order to better detect influences on protein ligand binding specificity.