Enzymes play a fundamental role in almost all biological processes and identification of catalytic residues is a crucial step for deciphering the biological functions and understanding the underlying catalytic mechanisms. In this work, we developed a novel structural feature called MEDscore to identify catalytic residues, which integrated the microenvironment (ME) and geometrical properties of amino acid residues. Firstly, we converted a residue's ME into a series of spatially neighboring residue pairs, whose likelihood of being located in a catalytic ME was deduced from a benchmark enzyme dataset. We then calculated an ME-based score, termed as MEscore, by summing up the likelihood of all residue pairs. Secondly, we defined a parameter called Dscore to measure the relative distance of a residue to the center of the protein, provided that catalytic residues are typically located in the center of the protein structure. Finally, we defined the MEDscore feature based on an effective nonlinear integration of MEscore and Dscore. When evaluated on a well-prepared benchmark dataset using five-fold cross-validation tests, MEDscore achieved a robust performance in identifying catalytic residues with an AUC1.0 of 0.889. At a ≤ 10% false positive rate control, MEDscore correctly identified approximately 70% of the catalytic residues. Remarkably, MEDscore achieved a competitive performance compared with the residue conservation score (e.g. CONscore), the most informative singular feature predominantly employed to identify catalytic residues. To the best of our knowledge, MEDscore is the first singular structural feature exhibiting such an advantage. More importantly, we found that MEDscore is complementary with CONscore and a significantly improved performance can be achieved by combining CONscore with MEDscore in a linear manner. As an implementation of this work, MEDscore has been made freely accessible at http://protein.cau.edu.cn/mepi/.
Han, L., Zhang, Y. J., Song, J., Liu, M. S., & Zhang, Z. (2012). Identification of catalytic residues using a novel feature that integrates the microenvironment and geometrical location properties of residues. PLoS ONE, 7(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0041370