BACKGROUND: Point mutations can have a strong impact on protein stability. A change in stability may subsequently lead to dysfunction and finally cause diseases. Moreover, protein engineering approaches aim to deliberately modify protein properties, where stability is a major constraint. In order to support basic research and protein design tasks, several computational tools for predicting the change in stability upon mutations have been developed. Comparative studies have shown the usefulness but also limitations of such programs.
RESULTS: We aim to contribute a novel method for predicting changes in stability upon point mutation in proteins called MAESTRO. MAESTRO is structure based and distinguishes itself from similar approaches in the following points: (i) MAESTRO implements a multi-agent machine learning system. (ii) It also provides predicted free energy change (Δ ΔG) values and a corresponding prediction confidence estimation. (iii) It provides high throughput scanning for multi-point mutations where sites and types of mutation can be comprehensively controlled. (iv) Finally, the software provides a specific mode for the prediction of stabilizing disulfide bonds. The predictive power of MAESTRO for single point mutations and stabilizing disulfide bonds is comparable to similar methods.
CONCLUSIONS: MAESTRO is a versatile tool in the field of stability change prediction upon point mutations. Executables for the Linux and Windows operating systems are freely available to non-commercial users from http://biwww.che.sbg.ac.at/MAESTRO.
Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012
- 106 Biology
- 102 Computer Sciences
- Point Mutation
- Protein Stability
- User-Computer Interface