Local Rules for Protein Folding on a Triangular Lattice and Generalized Hydrophobicity in the HP Model

TitleLocal Rules for Protein Folding on a Triangular Lattice and Generalized Hydrophobicity in the HP Model
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsAgarwala R, Batzoglou S, DančíK V, Decatur SE, Hannenhalli S, Farach M, Muthukrishnan S, Skiena S
JournalJournal of Computational Biology
Pagination275 - 296
Date Published1997/01//
ISBN Number1066-5277, 1557-8666

We consider the problem of determining the three-dimensional folding of a protein given its one-dimensional amino acid sequence. We use the HP model for protein folding proposed by Dill (1985), which models protein as a chain of amino acid residues that are either hydrophobic or polar, and hydrophobic interactions are the dominant initial driving force for the protein folding. Hart and Istrail (1996a) gave approximation algorithms for folding proteins on the cubic lattice under the HP model. In this paper, we examine the choice of a lattice by considering its algorithmic and geometric implications and argue that the triangular lattice is a more reasonable choice. We present a set of folding rules for a triangular lattice and analyze the approximation ratio they achieve. In addition, we introduce a generalization of the HP model to account for residues having different levels of hydrophobicity. After describing the biological foundation for this generalization, we show that in the new model we are able to achieve similar constant factor approximation guarantees on the triangular lattice as were achieved in the standard HP model. While the structures derived from our folding rules are probably still far from biological reality, we hope that having a set of folding rules with different properties will yield more interesting folds when combined.