Statistical properties of contact vectors

A. Kabakçioǧlu, I. Kanter, M. Vendruscolo, E. Domany

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21 Scopus citations


We study the statistical properties of contact vectors, a construct to characterize a protein’s structure. The contact vector of an N-residue protein is a list of N integers [formula presented] representing the number of residues in contact with residue i. We study analytically (at mean-field level) and numerically the amount of structural information contained in a contact vector. Analytical calculations reveal that a large variance in the contact numbers reduces the degeneracy of the mapping between contact vectors and structures. Exact enumeration for lengths up to [formula presented] on the three-dimensional cubic lattice indicates that the growth rate of number of contact vectors as a function of N is only 3% less than that for contact maps. In particular, for compact structures we present numerical evidence that, practically, each contact vector corresponds to only a handful of structures. We discuss how this information can be used for better structure prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002


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