Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players

Khatib, F., DiMaio F., Contenders Group F., Void Crushers Group F. et al. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (2011)

Following the failure of a wide range of attempts to solve the crystal structure of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV) retroviral protease by molecular replacement, we challenged players of the protein folding game Foldit to produce accurate models of the protein. Remarkably, Foldit players were able to generate models of sufficient quality for successful molecular replacement and subsequent structure determination. This is the first example we are aware of in which non-scientists have solved a long standing scientific problem.