Server - Analyze single structure.

Proper analysis of complex lasso proteins and (bio)polymers requires investigation of its dynamics. This, on the other hand requires the ability to study in detail also a selected frame. LinkProt provides both options to the users.

The LinkProt server supports a couple of basic formats of input files and gives the user a set of advanced options that allow adjusting this tool to the user's needs. Additionally, the files enabling visualization of the structure with the surface spanned on the closed loops can be downloaded. Currently LinkProt provides files for vmd and Mathematica. Such presentation would certainly help the users to imagine the notion and location of minimal surface spanned on the closed loops and can be essential in further personal analysis.

To further facilitate the understanding of the link-type entanglement, smooth representation of link proteins or (bio)polymer (in pdb format) is available as well. All the details are described in the following subsections:

  1. Single structure analysis
  2. Possible Errors

Single structure analysis.


Coordinates of the structure can be provided in following ways:

  1. A PDB file may be uploaded, although it is enough to provide relevant pdb code (4 characters) and the structure will be automatically downloaded and analyzed by the server. The user should provide the chain number(s) (in accordance with pdb notation) and either specify loops to be analyzed or set the "Whole chains" option. In the analysis non-standard amino acids (CIT, HEY, HYP, ORN, SEC, PYL, ASX, GLX, XLE, XAA, MSE, FGL, LLP, SAC, PCA, MEN, CSB, HTR, PTR, SCE, M3L, OCS, KCX, SEB, MLY, CSW, TPO, SEP, AYA, TRN) and D-amino acids (DAL, DAR, DSG, DAS, DCY, DGN, DGL, DHI, DIL, DLE, DLY, MED, DPN, DPR, DSN, DTH, DTR, DTY, DVA) denoted as HETATOM will be automatically replaced by corresponding proper amino acids. For NMR structures only the first model with requested chain type will be analyzed.
  2. Users can upload their own file in the standard pdb format.
  3. Users can upload a file (or two files in case of a two-chain link detection) in xyz format, which contains only Cα (or monomer) atoms indices with their x, y and z coordinates (respectively in the first, second, third and fourth column); such a file cannot contain any additional columns. In particular such a file is assumed to contain only one chain per file, thus it is not necessary to additionally specify the chain to analyze. An example of such a file.
    1 -9.102 -18.555 15.000
    2 -9.384 -17.556 14.080
    3 -5.661 -16.841 14.367
    4 -3.660 -15.387 11.487
    5 0.096 -15.769 11.241
    6 2.646 -13.739 9.329
    7 5.806 -15.775 8.604

Remark: In pdb file all information should be located in their proper position in line. In particular, the "CA" atom name should be placed in 14th and 15th characters of line. This notation (although not required exactly by pdb standard) is widely used. Please note however, that some format converting software shift the "CA" characters. E.g. CatDCD locates "CA" in 15th and 16th character of the line. Please note also, that the chain name is required to be present in the pdb file.

After selecting the file, the user is supposed to choose the covalent loops, which ought to be analyzed. The indices must be the same as in the file provided. We do not use the atoms renumbering, and accept e.g. negative indices. Always two loops must be specified.

The uploaded file is checked to confirm that it contains proper protein data. The conditions which protein chain must fulfill are basically the same, as in the case of the data stored in the database (see Closed loop detection). Those are:

  • the distance between consecutive Cα atoms should be contained in range 2.0-4.2 Å,
  • the distance between Cα atoms of bridge-building residues should be in range 3.3-10.0 Å.

Fig.1 The view of the input page for single structure with "PDB file format" option selected.


The results of the single structure analysis are presented in the same way as the information about any chain in the LinkProt database, described in details in the Single protein chain data presentation section (Fig. 2).

In particular, the user can download all information about a link-type entanglement and visualization facilitating interpretation of the data. In particular users can download the structure in pdb and xyz format, files for vmd, Mathematica and JSmol, enabling them to view the minimal surface spanned on the closed loop. The file for vmd is written as a tcl script. To view the surface, one has to first open the structure in vmd (the downloaded pdb file), click Extensions-> TK Console and load the tcl script in the new window via File->Load file.

Additionally, user can download all files with smooth representation of the structure. This could be helpful in understanding link-type entanglement in more complicated proteins. LinkProt uses the procedure where chain is being smoothed via averaging coordinates of three neighbouring atoms, as long as the link type of the structure stays unchanged (the running average), or 15 runs are done (the sufficient number in all known cases). The number occuring at the end of the “smooth files” names indicates the number of iterations of that procedure that were applied to a chain.

During the analysis there some errors concerning the input file may occure. We provide a full list of known problems with possible solutions in the Possible errors subsection.

A structure uploaded and analyzed by the user is stored for 14 days (so that it can be viewed again).

Fig. 2 The typical output for a single structure analysis.

Possible errors.

During the analysis some errors concerning input file may occure. We provide a full list of known problems. Clicking on them will display possible solutions. If after reading all known solutions you are sure, that the file is correct and contains the Cα coordinates written in proper way, please send us the file, as that could be a clue how to fix and improve our server.

  • ERROR(3) - There are at least two Cα atoms with higher index occuring before a lower one.
    The atoms in pdb file are expected to be ordered according to rising indices. If that is the case, and the analysis of the structure still results in this error, the reason can be bad separation between chains. The chains should be named by a different label, and both should be separated by "TER" line. If that is the case and the ERROR(3) repeats, try to upload one chain at a time.
    This error can also happen if there is some nonstandard way of naming the residues. E.g. structures with the indices as follows 1P,2P,3P,...,95P,96P,1,2,3,... within the same chain will result in this ERROR. In such case please change the notation to standard one.

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