BMC Bioinformatics 2014 28;15 Suppl 7:S11. Epub 2014 May 28.
Background: The expansion of polyglutamine (poly-Q) repeats in several unrelated proteins is associated with at least ten neurodegenerative diseases. The length of the poly-Q regions plays an important role in the progression of the diseases. The number of glutamines (Q) is inversely related to the onset age of these polyglutamine diseases, and the expansion of poly-Q repeats has been associated with protein misfolding. However, very little is known about the structural changes induced by the expansion of the repeats. Computational methods can provide an alternative to determine the structure of these poly-Q proteins, but it is important to evaluate their performance before large scale prediction work is done.
Results: In this paper, two popular protein structure prediction programs, I-TASSER and Rosetta, have been used to predict the structure of the N-terminal fragment of a protein associated with Huntington's disease with 17 glutamines. Results show that both programs have the ability to find the native structures, but I-TASSER performs better for the overall task.
Conclusions: Both I-TASSER and Rosetta can be used for structure prediction of proteins with poly-Q repeats. Knowledge of poly-Q structure may significantly contribute to development of therapeutic strategies for poly-Q diseases.