Level 5-1 Quest to the Native

Quest to the Native. Right-click or control-click on the protein and select "Align Guide", then shake and wiggle.

In a Quest to the Native (QTTN) puzzle, the correct solution, or "native" is known.

The native is shown as a translucent guide.

Madde's "Quest to the Native" video

Loci's "Quest to the Native" video

A new tool called "Align Guide" is available to help you get started. You can find it in the actions menu in the lower right. Using Align Guide from the actions menu centers the whole protein on the guide. This gives you a starting point, but it's usually not a very good alignment.

You can also right-click (or control-click) on any segment and pick "Align Guide" from the wheel menu. This aligns the protein based on the spot where you clicked. (For example, try clicking on the helix in this puzzle.) Aligning to a specific spot usually produces better results.

Align Guide doesn't change the shape of the protein or try to figure out the best possible alignment.

After Align Guide gives a rough alignment, try shake and wiggle. Your score will improve, but most of the protein will still be far from the guide.

You can try freezing parts of the protein and pulling on other parts of the protein to get it closer to the guide. Another way is to use bands and wiggling to gradually pull the protein toward the guide.

When banding, you can draw spacebands from a point on the protein to a matching point in the guide. Rotating the protein by dragging on the background can make it easier to find the correct spot on the guide.

Another way to find a spot on the guide is to hover on one of the stubs on the backbone of the protein. When you hover on a stub, the sidechain for that segment appears, both on the protein and the guide. You can draw a band from the sidechain to the ghost sidechain on the guide.

Tip: this puzzle can be trouble. Here are some things to try:

  1. align the helix to the guide first, by right-clicking on the helix and selecting Align Guide
  2. band one or two segments at the end of the helix first, then work your way outward
  3. gradually add bands at the ends of each sheet
  4. use a short wiggle to adjust the protein as you add bands
  5. after banding the helix and the sheets, try adding bands at the very end of the protein
  6. do a shake once in a while, after you've added a few bands
  7. once you're close, try disabling the bands ("D" keyboard shortcut), followed by a shake and a longer wiggle
  8. try the LOTR strategy, which requires as little as four bands

Technical stuff: it's been a while since there were any new QTTN puzzles in Foldit. They may reappear sometime in the future. This QTTN native puzzle is still useful as first step towards the similar but much more challenging Electron Density puzzle.

The protein in this puzzle is a real protein, found in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) as 2ERW. It's known as "infestin-4", after the organism which produces it, Triatoma infestans, also known as the "kissing bug". Infestin-4 helps the kissing bug prevent clotting as it feeds on blood.