What is MBA?

MBA is Java program for performing protein backbone resonance assignment for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. MBA is an open source project distributed under a BSD-style licence.

Detailed description

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used to study protein structure, dynamics, and interactions. NMR methods face the bottleneck of spectral analysis, in particular determining the resonance assignment, which helps define the mapping between atoms in the protein and peaks in the spectra. A substantial amount of noise in spectral data, along with ambiguities in interpretation, make this analysis difficult. MBA uses a Bayesian statistical model to account for various sources of uncertainty and provide an automatable framework for inference. MBA is able to characterize the uncertainty associated with backbone resonance assignment in several ways: 1) it quantifies of uncertainty in the individually assigned resonances in terms of their posterior standard deviations; 2) it assesses the information content in the data with a posterior distribution of plausible assignments; and 3) it provides a measure of the overall plausibility of assignments.


MBA was written by Olga Vitek based on code by Jan Vitek. The distributed and parrallel version was written by Paul Kuliniewicz.


Version 1.0 can be downloaded here.


Model-Based Assignment and Inference of Protein Backbone Nuclear Magnetic Resonances
Olga Vitek, Jan Vitek, Bruce Craig, and Chris Bailey-Kellogg
Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology: Vol. 3: No. 1, Article 6, 2004.
(archive) and (pdf)