A Global Ramachandran Score Identifies Protein Structures with Unlikely Stereochemistry.


Ramachandran plots report the distribution of the (ϕ, ψ) torsion angles of the protein backbone and are one of the best quality metrics of experimental structure models. Typically, validation software reports the number of residues belonging to "outlier," "allowed," and "favored" regions. While "zero unexplained outliers" can be considered the current "gold standard," this can be misleading if deviations from expected distributions are not considered. We revisited the Ramachandran Z score (Rama-Z), a quality metric introduced more than two decades ago but underutilized. We describe a reimplementation of the Rama-Z score in the Computational Crystallography Toolbox along with an algorithm to estimate its uncertainty for individual models; final implementations are available in Phenix and PDB-REDO. We discuss the interpretation of the Rama-Z score and advocate including it in the validation reports provided by the Protein Data Bank. We also advocate reporting it alongside the outlier/allowed/favored counts in structural publications.

More about this publication

Structure (London, England : 1993)
  • Volume 28
  • Issue nr. 11
  • Pages 1249-1258.e2
  • Publication date 03-11-2020

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