# Statistical potential

## From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In protein structure prediction, **statistical potentials** or **knowledge-based potentials** are scoring functions derived from an analysis of known protein structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB).

The original method to obtain such potentials is the *quasi-chemical approximation*, due to Miyazawa and Jernigan.[2] It was later followed by the *potential of mean force* (statistical PMF [Note 1]), developed by Sippl.[3] Although the obtained scores are often considered as approximations of the free energy—thus referred to as *pseudo-energies*—this physical interpretation is incorrect.[4][5] Nonetheless, they are applied with success in many cases, because they frequently correlate with actual Gibbs free energy differences.[6]