In Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology
The availability of new artificial intelligence-based protein-structure-prediction tools has radically changed the way that cryo-EM maps are interpreted, but it has not eliminated the challenges of map interpretation faced by a microscopist. Models will continue to be locally rebuilt and refined using interactive tools. This inevitably results in occasional errors, among which register shifts remain one of the most difficult to identify and correct. Here, checkMySequence, a fast, fully automated and parameter-free method for detecting register shifts in protein models built into cryo-EM maps, is introduced. It is shown that the method can assist model building in cases where poorer map resolution hinders visual interpretation. It is also shown that checkMySequence could have helped to avoid a widely discussed sequence-register error in a model of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that was originally detected thanks to a visual residue-by-residue inspection by members of the structural biology community. The software is freely available at https://gitlab.com/gchojnowski/checkmysequence.
checkMySequence, cryo-EM, model validation, register shifts, sequence assignment