A resource for improved predictions of Trypanosoma and Leishmania protein three-dimensional structure
AbstractAlphaFold2 and RoseTTAfold represent a transformative advance for predicting protein structure. They are able to make very high-quality predictions given a high-quality alignment of the protein sequence with related proteins. These predictions are now readily available via the AlphaFold database of predicted structures and AlphaFold/RoseTTAfold Colaboratory notebooks for custom predictions. However, predictions for some species tend to be lower confidence than model organisms. This includes Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum: important unicellular eukaryotic human parasites in an early-branching eukaryotic lineage. The cause appears to be due to poor sampling of this branch of life in the protein sequences databases used for the AlphaFold database and ColabFold. Here, by comprehensively gathering openly available protein sequence data for species from this lineage, significant improvements to AlphaFold2 protein structure prediction over the AlphaFold database and ColabFold are demonstrated. This is made available as an easy-to-use tool for the parasitology community in the form of Colaboratory notebooks for generating multiple sequence alignments and AlphaFold2 predictions of protein structure for Trypanosoma, Leishmania and related species.