(no changes): The primary goal of this project is to provide the infrastructure for the Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP) program, dedicated to the objective evaluation of macromolecular structure modeling methods. Extensive knowledge of protein and RNA structures will significantly aid the investigation of macromolecular function, interactions, and biochemical pathways. It will also have a major impact on the understanding of biology and human disease, and eventually on drug design. Experimental determination of structure is inherently time-consuming and costly. For macromolecules that have not been addressed by experiment, a computational modeling approach often provides an alternative. Modeling methods, however, are continually evolving and vary in their effectiveness. The CASP process was established to answer two main questions: First, what level of modeling quality can be expected of these techniques? And second, which methods offer the most promise for continued development? CASP is a community-wide program, with over 200 research groups world-wide submitting over 85,000 predictions in the last round. Our group is the primary infrastructure resource for CASP, and handles processing of predictions, develops and implements evaluation software, performs prediction assessment, develops analysis and display tools, and facilitates access to predictions and their evaluation data. We propose to support the current biennial operation of CASP and to expand it by the addition of assessments performed on a continuing basis. To increase the supply of interesting modeling targets we will systematically broaden the network of collaborating crystallography and NMR spectroscopy research groups, including new centers dedicated to the determination of structure of membrane proteins. The expanded network will also be capable of providing the still rare RNA structures, allowing extension of CASP to the assessment of RNA structure modeling. To help overcome the most significant obstacles to progress in structure prediction, we will add a class of specialized assessments focused on specific stages of the modeling process, providing a means of evaluating the performance of these individual steps. Finally, we will place special emphasis on interactions with teachers and researchers throughout academia, with the goal of disseminating the insights and wealth of data gained through CASP.

Public Health Relevance

(no changes): Knowledge of macromolecular structure plays a crucial role in biology and medicine, allowing for detailed studies and understanding of biological processes and disease mechanisms. Yet, relatively few structures are obtained experimentally - the rest must be modeled. The Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction program (CASP), provides the primary means of evaluating performance of the methods dedicated to this task.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-B (02))
Program Officer
Wehrle, Janna P
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University of California Davis
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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