DR_bind: a web server for predicting DNA-binding residues from the protein structure based on electrostatics, evolution and geometry
DR_bind is a web server that automatically predicts DNA-binding residues, given the respective protein structure based on (i) electrostatics, (ii) evolution and (iii) geometry. In contrast to machine-learning methods, DR_bind does not require a training data set or any parameters. It predicts DNA-binding residues by detecting a cluster of conserved, solvent-accessible residues that are electrostatically stabilized upon mutation to Asp−/Glu−. The server requires as input the DNA-binding protein structure in PDB format and outputs a downloadable text file of the predicted DNA-binding residues, a 3D visualization of the predicted residues highlighted in the given protein structure, and a downloadable PyMol script for visualization of the results. Calibration on 83 and 55 non-redundant DNA-bound and DNA-free protein structures yielded a DNA-binding residue prediction accuracy/precision of 90/47% and 88/42%, respectively. Since DR_bind does not require any training using protein–DNA complex structures, it may predict DNA-binding residues in novel structures of DNA-binding proteins resulting from structural genomics projects with no conservation data. The DR_bind server is freely available with no login requirement at http://dnasite.limlab.ibms.sinica.edu.tw.