S. Wang, Z. Li, Y. Yu, J. Xu
Cell Syst., volume 5, issue 3, pp. 202-211, e3, (2017)
Co-evolution analysis, Deep learning, Deep transfer learning, Homology modeling, Membrane protein contact prediction, Membrane protein folding, Multiple sequence alignment
Computational elucidation of membrane protein (MP) structures is challenging partially due to lack of sufficient solved structures for homology modeling. Here, we describe a high-throughput deep transfer learning method that first predicts MP contacts by learning from non-MPs and then predicts 3D structure models using the predicted contacts as distance restraints. Tested on 510 non-redundant MPs, our method has contact prediction accuracy at least 0.18 better than existing methods, predicts correct folds for 218 MPs, and generates 3D models with root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) less than 4 and 5 Å for 57 and 108 MPs, respectively. A rigorous blind test in the continuous automated model evaluation project shows that our method predicted high-resolution 3D models for two recent test MPs of 210 residues with RMSD ∼2 Å. We estimated that our method could predict correct folds for 1,345-1,871 reviewed human multi-pass MPs including a few hundred new folds, which shall facilitate the discovery of drugs targeting at MPs.