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Fragon: rapid high-resolution structure determination from ideal protein fragments

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Publication details

JournalActa crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - 2 Mar 2018
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)205-214
Original languageEnglish


Correctly positioning ideal protein fragments by molecular replacement presents an attractive method for obtaining preliminary phases when no template structure for molecular replacement is available. This has been exploited in several existing pipelines. This paper presents a new pipeline, named Fragon, in which fragments (ideal α-helices or β-strands) are placed using Phaser and the phases calculated from these coordinates are then improved by the density-modification methods provided by ACORN. The reliable scoring algorithm provided by ACORN identifies success. In these cases, the resulting phases are usually of sufficient quality to enable automated model building of the entire structure. Fragon was evaluated against two test sets comprising mixed α/β folds and all-β folds at resolutions between 1.0 and 1.7 Å. Success rates of 61% for the mixed α/β test set and 30% for the all-β test set were achieved. In almost 70% of successful runs, fragment placement and density modification took less than 30 min on relatively modest four-core desktop computers. In all successful runs the best set of phases enabled automated model building with ARP/wARP to complete the structure.

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