Computational Protein Design Using AND/OR Branch-and-Bound Search


The computation of the global minimum energy conformation (GMEC) is an important and challenging topic in structure-based computational protein design. In this paper, we propose a new protein design algorithm based on the AND/OR branch-and-bound (AOBB) search, which is a variant of the traditional branch-and-bound search algorithm, to solve this combinatorial optimization problem. By integrating with a powerful heuristic function, AOBB is able to fully exploit the graph structure of the underlying residue interaction network of a backbone template to significantly accelerate the design process. Tests on real protein data show that our new protein design algorithm is able to solve many prob- lems that were previously unsolvable by the traditional exact search algorithms, and for the problems that can be solved with traditional provable algorithms, our new method can provide a large speedup by several orders of magnitude while still guaranteeing to find the global minimum energy conformation (GMEC) solution.