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Fast and Flexible Protein Design Using Deep Graph Neural Networks

Alexey Strokach, David Becerra, Carles Corbi-Verge, Albert Perez-Riba, Philip M. Kim

Protein structure and function is determined by the arrangement of the linear sequence of amino acids in 3D space. We show that a deep graph neural network, ProteinSolver, can precisely design sequences that fold into a predetermined shape by phrasing this challenge as a constraint satisfaction problem (CSP), akin to Sudoku puzzles. We trained ProteinSolver on over 70,000,000 real protein sequences corresponding to over 80,000 structures. We show that our method rapidly designs new protein sequences and benchmark them in silico using energy-based scores, molecular dynamics, and structure prediction methods. As a proof-of-principle validation, we use ProteinSolver to generate sequences that match the structure of serum albumin, then synthesize the top-scoring design and validate it in vitro using circular dichroism. ProteinSolver is freely available at and A record of this paper’s transparent peer review process is included in the Supplemental Information.

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