A method for validating the accuracy of NMR protein structures (Nature Communications)
Williamson et. al. present a method that measures the accuracy of NMR protein structures. It compares random coil index [RCI] against local rigidity predicted by mathematical rigidity theory, calculated from NMR structures [FIRST], using a correlation score (which assesses secondary structure), and an RMSD score (which measures overall rigidity). They test its performance using: structures refined in explicit solvent, which are much better than unrefined structures; decoy structures generated for 89 NMR structures; and conventional predictors of accuracy such as number of restraints per residue, restraint violations, energy of structure, ensemble RMSD, Ramachandran distribution, and clashscore. Restraint violations and RMSD are poor measures of accuracy. Comparisons of NMR to crystal structures show that secondary structure is equally accurate, but crystal structures are typically too rigid in loops, whereas NMR structures are typically too floppy overall. They show that the method is a useful addition to existing measures of accuracy.