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Primary Publication
Liang MP, Banatao DR, Klein TE, Brutlag DL, Altman RB. "WebFEATURE: an interactive web tool for identifying and visualizing functional sites on macromolecular structures." Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Jul 1;31(13):3324-7. (2003)  View

WebFEATURE ( is a web-accessible structural analysis tool that allows users to scan query structures for functional sites in both proteins and nucleic acids. WebFEATURE is the public interface to the scanning algorithm of the FEATURE package, a supervised learning algorithm for creating and identifying 3D, physicochemical motifs in molecular structures. Given an input structure or Protein Data Bank identifier (PDB ID), and a statistical model of a functional site, WebFEATURE will return rank-scored 'hits' in 3D space that identify regions in the structure where similar distributions of physicochemical properties occur relative to the site model. Users can visualize and interactively manipulate scored hits and the query structure in web browsers that support the Chime plug-in. Alternatively, results can be downloaded and visualized through other freely available molecular modeling tools, like RasMol, PyMOL and Chimera. A major application of WebFEATURE is in rapid annotation of function to structures in the context of structural genomics.

Related Publications
The FEATURE framework for protein function annotation: modeling new functions, improving performance, and extending to novel applications. Halperin I, Glazer DS, Wu S, Altman RB. BMC Genomics. 2008 Sep 16;9 Suppl 2:S2. (2008)  View

Structural genomics efforts contribute new protein structures that often lack significant sequence and fold similarity to known proteins. Traditional sequence and structure-based methods may not be sufficient to annotate the molecular functions of these structures. Techniques that combine structural and functional modeling can be valuable for functional annotation. FEATURE is a flexible framework for modeling and recognition of functional sites in macromolecular structures. Here, we present an overview of the main components of the FEATURE framework, and describe the recent developments in its use. These include automating training sets selection to increase functional coverage, coupling FEATURE to structural diversity generating methods such as molecular dynamics simulations and loop modeling methods to improve performance, and using FEATURE in large-scale modeling and structure determination efforts.