Recently, we have developed a method (Shih et al., Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics 2007,68: 34-38) to compute correlation of fluctuations of proteins. This method, referred to as the protein fixed-point (PFP) model, is based on the positional vectors of atoms issuing from the fixed point, which is the point of the least fluctuations in proteins. One corollary from this model is that atoms lying on the same shell centered at the fixed point will have the same thermal fluctuations. In practice, this model provides a convenient way to compute the average dynamical properties of proteins directly from the geometrical shapes of proteins without the need of any mechanical models, and hence no trajectory integration or sophisticated matrix operations are needed. As a result, it is more efficient than molecular dynamics simulation or normal mode analysis. Though in the previous study the PFP model has been successfully applied to a number of proteins of various folds, it is not clear to what extent this model will be applied. In this article, we have carried out the comprehensive analysis of the PFP model for a dataset comprising 972 high-resolution X-ray structures with pairwise sequence identity <= 25%. We found that in most cases the PFP model works well. However, in case of proteins comprising multiple domains, each domain should be treated separately as an independent dynamical module with its own fixed point, and in case of the protein complex comprising it number of subunits, if functioning as a biological unit, the whole complex should be considered as one single dynamical module with one fixed point. Under such considerations, the resultant correlation coefficient between the computed and the X-ray structural B-factors for the data set is 0.59 and 75% (727/972) of proteins with a correlation coefficient >= 0.5. Our result shows that the fixed-point model is indeed quite general and will be a useful tool for high throughput analysis of dynamical properties of proteins.
- protein dynamics; thermal fluctuations; molecular dynamics; normal mode analysis; B-factors