Binding Balls: Fast Detection of Binding Sites Using a Property of Spherical Fourier Transform
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The functional prediction of proteins is one of the most challenging problems in modern biology. An established computational technique involves the identification of threedimensional local similarities in proteins. In this article, we present a novel method to quickly identify promising binding sites. Our aim is to efficiently detect putative binding sites without explicitly aligning them. Using the theory of Spherical Harmonics, a candidate binding site is modeled as a Binding Ball. The Binding Ball signature, offered by the Spherical Fourier coefficients, can be efficiently used for a fast detection of putative regions. Our contribution includes the Binding Ball modeling and the definition of a scoring function that does not require aligning candidate regions. Our scoring function can be computed efficiently using a property of Spherical Fourier transform (SFT) that avoids the evaluation of all alignments. Experiments on different ligands show good discrimination power when searching for known binding sites. Moreover, we prove that this method can save up to 40% in time compared with traditional approaches.