Modeling of Protein–RNA Complex Structures Using Computational Docking Methods
A significant part of biology involves the formation of RNA–protein complexes. X-ray crystallography has added a few solved RNA–protein complexes to the repertoire; however, it remains challenging to capture these complexes and often only the unbound structures are available. This has inspired a growing interest in finding ways to predict these RNA–protein complexes. In this study, we show ways to approach this problem by computational docking methods, either with a fully automated NPDock server or with a workflow of methods for generation of many alternative structures followed by selection of the most likely solution. We show that by introducing experimental information, the structure of the bound complex is rendered far more likely to be within reach. This study is meant to help the user of docking software understand how to grapple with a typical realistic problem in RNA–protein docking, understand what to expect in the way of difficulties, and recognize the current limitations.
Key wordsProtein–RNA docking NPDock Molecular modeling Macromolecular complexes Structural bioinformatics Statistical potential
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