New restraints and validation approaches for nucleic acid structures in PDB-REDO.


The quality of macromolecular structure models crucially depends on refinement and validation targets, which optimally describe the expected chemistry. Commonly used software for these two procedures has been designed and developed in a protein-centric manner, resulting in relatively few established features for the refinement and validation of nucleic acid-containing structure models. Here, new nucleic acid-specific approaches implemented in PDB-REDO are described, including a new restraint model using noncovalent geometries (base-pair hydrogen bonding and base-pair stacking) as refinement targets. New validation routines are also presented, including a metric for Watson-Crick base-pair geometry normality (ZbpG). Applying the PDB-REDO pipeline with the new restraint model to the whole Protein Data Bank (PDB) demonstrates an overall positive effect on the quality of nucleic acid-containing structure models. Finally, we discuss examples of improvements in the geometry of specific nucleic acid structures in the PDB. The new PDB-REDO models and pipeline are available at

More about this publication

Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology
  • Volume 77
  • Issue nr. Pt 9
  • Pages 1127-1141
  • Publication date 01-09-2021

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