Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Professor

Summa, Christopher

Second Advisor

Taylor, Christopher

Third Advisor

Rick, Steven


The structures obtained from homology modeling methods are of intermediate resolution 1-3Ã… from true structure. Energy minimization methods allow us to refine the proteins and obtain native like structures. Previous work shows that some of these methods performed well on soluble proteins. So we extended this work on membrane proteins. Prediction of membrane protein structures is a particularly important, since they are important biological drug targets, and since their number is vanishingly small, as a result of the inherent difficulties in working with these molecules experimentally. Hence there is a pressing need for alternative computational protein structure prediction methods. This work tests the ability of common molecular mechanics potential functions (AMBER99/03) and a hybrid knowledge-based potential function (KB_0.1) to refine near-native structures of membrane proteins in vacuo. A web based utility for protein refinement has been developed and deployed based on the KB_0.1 potential to refine proteins.


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