Andrei Lupas: The revolution in protein structure prediction
Speaker: Andrei Lupas, Max Planck Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen
Chair: Birte Höcker, Fakultät für Biologie, Chemie, Geowissenschaften, Universität Bayreuth
Organizers: Study Group Protein Engineering and Design
I was the assessor for high-accuracy models in this year's CASP experiment (Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction), in which computational groups try to predict the three-dimensional structure of proteins for which neither they nor the organizers know the answer at the time of prediction. For the first time in CASP history all targets ended up being high-accuracy targets, because one predictor (AlphaFold2) predicted structures at an accuracy that often rivaled that of experimental methods. I will cover as far as I can the main questions I am constantly asked: What happened at CASP14? Are AlphaFold2 predictions as good as crystal structures? Is the protein folding problem now solved? When and how will their method become available? Do they predict protein interactions? Dynamics? Unstructure? Where do the other leading groups stand (Baker, Zhang, Tencent)? I will also try to outline some thoughts about how this will impact Protein Science and the Life Sciences more broadly!