We define an expression for the probabilistic information content associated with the relative position of a pair of amino acid residues in a protein structure. By means of fitting the protein chain to a self-avoiding random walk model, we derive a probability distribution for the distance between residues as a function of their separation along the sequence. We then show that the average information content for all residue pairs in a structure, considered as an estimate of its fold’s complexity, is well correlated to the logarithm of its folding rate. Moreover, the same information content measure may be exploited to rank contacts and identify redundancies, allowing the prediction the structure’s folding rate with similar accuracy while taking into account less than 5% of its contacts.
Prediction of kinetics of protein folding with non-redundant contact information
Folding rates can be predicted using less than 5% of the contacts of a protein with the same accuracy than with the full contact Information.