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1916b: MERS-CoV Binder Design: Round 4
Status: Closed


Name: 1916b: MERS-CoV Binder Design: Round 4
Status: Closed
Created: 11/13/2020
Points: 100
Expired: 11/19/2020 - 23:00
Difficulty: Intermediate
Description: Note: This puzzle replaces Puzzle 1916, which revealed a bug in the Contact Surface metric. This puzzle lacks the Contact Surface metric, but players may load solutions from the original Puzzle 1916.

Design a binder for the viral spike of MERS-CoV! This puzzle is similar to the previous round. In this puzzle, the Metrics have a ramped bonus; as you improve DDG, SASA, and SC, you will get an increasing bonus until you reach the threshold of DDG < -40, SASA > 1500, and SC > 0.6, and then the bonus will be capped. Remember that Metrics are slow to compute and run in the background, so gameplay may be different from regular puzzles. See the blog for more info about Foldit Metrics.

MERS is a respiratory disease similar to COVID-19, and is caused by a related coronavirus. There have been several MERS outbreaks since 2012, but there is still no treatment has been developed for the disease. The MERS-CoV virus is coated with a spike protein that recognizes the human protein DPP4, which is found on the surface of lung cells. A protein that binds to the MERS-CoV spike could be used as a drug to block DPP4 recognition and slow viral infection.

In this puzzle, players are presented with the binding site of the MERS-CoV spike protein. The backbone and most of the sidechains are completely frozen, except for flexible sidechains at the binding site, where the spike protein normally interacts with the human receptor protein. Players can design a new protein that binds to these sidechains, blocking interactions with the human receptor. In order to bind the MERS-CoV target, designs will need to make lots of hydrophobic contacts and satisfy any polar atoms that are buried at the interface. But designs will also need to have lots of secondary structure (helices or sheets) and a large core, so that they fold up correctly! See the puzzle comments for Objective details.
Categories: Design, Overall

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bkoep's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 hours 19 min ago. Offline
Joined: 11/15/2012
Groups: Foldit Staff

Buried Unsats (max +500)
Penalizes 60 points for each polar atom that cannot make any hydrogen bonds.

Residue Count (max +275)
Penalizes extra residues inserted beyond the starting 161, at a cost of 55 points per residue. Players may use up to 166 residues in total.

Core Existence (max +1500)
Ensures that at least 25 percent of residues are buried in the core of the monomer unit.

Interaction Energy (max +500)
Monitors that all large PHE, TYR, and TRP residues are scoring well.

Ideal Loops (max +500)
Penalizes any loop region that does not match one of the Building Blocks in the Blueprint tool. Use "Auto Structures" to see which regions of your protein count as loops.

SS Design (max +500)
Disabled use of CYS residues. Penalizes GLY, ALA residues in sheets. Penalizes GLY, ALA in helices.

SASA Metric (max +1000)
The solvent-accessible surface area that is lost upon binding. The target SASA is 1500 or more.

DDG Metric (max +1000)
The predicted binding energy of your design. The target DDG is -40.0 or less.

SC Metric (max +1000)
Measures how well your binder fits the contours of the target surface. The target Shape Complementarity is 0.60 or more.

Joined: 06/24/2008
Groups: Void Crushers
Scoring Bug

The scoring bug has not gone away.
The high score gets lost and can not be found anywhere.

grogar7's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 2 min ago. Offline
Joined: 10/03/2011
a different scoring bug

The SC metric is awarding 1000 points with the designed binder far away from the target.

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Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons