March 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 6)


Strong Points: Easy to use
Weak Points: None


For researchers studying protein structure, TOPCONS is an easy-to-use tool that predicts the topology for a user-inputted protein sequence. TOPCONS is a Hidden Markov model that returns a consensus topology based on inputs taken from five separate topology prediction algorithms (SCAMPI, OCTOPUS, Philius, PolyPhobius, and SPOCTOPUS). To use TOPCONS, users simply enter an amino acid sequence in FASTA format. After a brief delay, TOPCONS returns topology predictions and predicted ΔG values for the protein. As TOPCONS is intended for putative alpha-helical transmembrane (TM) proteins, the topology predictions for different regions of the protein are given in relation to the membrane: inside, outside, TM-helix (in-to-out), TM-helix (out-to-in), and signal peptide. These different categories are color-coded in a summary figure, generated by the tool for convenient viewing. The website provides example results to get users started; and references to related primary citations are also provided.

Previous articleTeam Develops More Effective Therapeutic Antibodies
Next articleTough Fixes Not in a Startup’s Playbook