Sequence alignment is fundamental for analyzing protein structure and function. For all but closely-related proteins, alignments based on structures are more accurate than alignments based purely on amino-acid sequences. However, the disparity between the large amount of sequence data and the relative paucity of experimentally-determined structures has precluded the general applicability of structure alignment. Based on the success of AlphaFold (and its likes) in producing high-quality structure predictions, we suggest that when aligning homologous proteins, lacking experimental structures, better results can be obtained by a structural alignment of predicted structures than by an alignment based only on amino-acid sequences. We present a quantitative evaluation, based on pairwise alignments of sequences and structures (both predicted and experimental) to support this hypothesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology