MUSTANG: A multiple structural alignment algorithm

Arun S. Konagurthu, James C. Whisstock, Peter J. Stuckey, Arthur M. Lesk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

557 Scopus citations


Multiple structural alignment is a fundamental problem in structural genomics. In this article, we define a reliable and robust algorithm, MUSTANG (Multiple STructural AligNment AlGorithm), for the alignment of multiple protein structures. Given a set of protein structures, the program constructs a multiple alignment using the spatial information of the Cα atoms in the set. Broadly based on the progressive pairwise heuristic, this algorithm gains accuracy through novel and effective refinement phases. MUSTANG reports the multiple sequence alignment and the corresponding superposition of structures. Alignments generated by MUSTANG are compared with several hand-curated alignments in the literature as well as with the benchmark alignments of 1033 alignment families from the HOMSTRAD database. The performance of MUSTANG was compared with DALI at a pairwise level, and with other multiple structural alignment tools such as POSA, CE-MC, MALECON, and MultiProt. MUSTANG performs comparably to popular pairwise and multiple structural alignment tools for closely related proteins, and performs more reliably than other multiple structural alignment methods on hard data sets containing distantly related proteins or proteins that show conformational changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-574
Number of pages16
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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