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Integrative structural modelling of macromolecular complexes using Assembline

By Vasileios Rantos, Kai Karius, Jan Kosinski

Posted 06 Apr 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.06.438590

Integrative modelling enables structure determination of macromolecular complexes by combining data from multiple experimental sources such as X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy (EM), or crosslinking mass spectrometry (XL-MS). It is particularly useful for complexes not amenable to high-resolution EM-complexes that are flexible, heterogenous, or imaged in cells with cryo-electron tomography. We have recently developed an integrative modelling protocol that allowed us to model multi-megadalton complexes as large as the nuclear pore complex. Here, we describe the Assembline software package, which combines multiple programs and libraries with our own algorithms in a streamlined modelling pipeline. Assembline builds ensembles of models satisfying data from atomic structures or homology models, EM maps and other experimental data, and provides tools for their analysis. Comparing to other methods, Assembline enables efficient sampling of conformational space through a multi-step procedure, provides new modeling restraints, and includes a unique configuration system for setting up the modelling project. Our protocol achieves exhaustive sampling in less than 100 - 1,000 CPU-hours even for complexes in the megadalton range. For larger complexes, resources available in institutional or public computer clusters are needed and sufficient to run the protocol. We also provide step-by-step instructions for preparing the input, running the core modelling steps, and assessing modelling performance at any stage.

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