Smotifs as structural local descriptors of supersecondary elements: Classification, completeness and applications

Jaume Bonet, Andras Fiser, Baldo Oliva, Narcis Fernandez-Fuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Protein structures are made up of periodic and aperiodic structural elements (i.e., α-helices, β-strands and loops). Despite the apparent lack of regular structure, loops have specific conformations and play a central role in the folding, dynamics, and function of proteins. In this article, we reviewed our previous works in the study of protein loops as local supersecondary structural motifs or Smotifs. We reexamined our works about the structural classification of loops (ArchDB) and its application to loop structure prediction (ArchPRED), including the assessment of the limits of knowledge-based loop structure prediction methods. We finalized this article by focusing on the modular nature of proteins and how the concept of Smotifs provides a convenient and practical approach to decompose proteins into strings of concatenated Smotifs and how can this be used in computational protein design and protein structure prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalBio-Algorithms and Med-Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014



  • Loop structure prediction
  • Protein loops
  • Protein secondary structures
  • Protein structure design
  • Protein structure prediction
  • Protein supersecondary structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics

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