The Web site, by Karsten Suhre, where the low-frequency normal modes of a system can be calculated online, within the frame of the ELastic NEtwork MOdel, using PDBMAT and DIAGRTB. Moreover, they can be visualized, and displacements along one or two of them can be obtained, as a series of coordinate files (in PDB format).

Such "pertubed" structures can for instance be used as templates for crystal structure determination, using molecular replacement approaches, when standard ones fail, as a consequence of some large conformational change. This approach has noteworthy been implemented in the PHASER package.


Suhre, K., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (2004): "ElNemo: a normal mode server for protein movement analysis and the generation of templates for molecular replacement", Nucl. Ac. Res. vol.32 (Web server issue), pW610-W614.

Suhre, K., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (2004): "On the potential of normal mode analysis for solving difficult molecular replacement problems", Acta Cryst. D vol.60, p796-799.

McCoy, A.J., Grosse-Kunstleve, R.W., Adams, P.D., Winn, M.D., Storoni, L.C. & Read, R.J. (2007): "Phaser crystallographic software" J. Appl. Cryst. vol.40, p658-674.

PDBMAT: v3.50 (2004), v3.73 (2007), v3.89 (2011).

A fortran program in which Tirion's model (also called the Elastic Network Model) is implemented. Within the frame of this model, atoms (particles) less than cutoff (angstroms) away from each others are linked by springs of same strength. Alternatively, a list of interacting atoms can be given to the program.

Requirements: a file with the coordinates of the system, in PDB (Protein Data Bank) or "x y z mass" format.

Output: the hessian (the mass-weighted second derivatives of energy matrix), in the "i j non-zero-ij-matrix-element" format.

Diagstd, a fortran program with a standard diagonalization routine, can next be used in order to obtain the corresponding normal modes of the system. If the system is large, the RTB approximation can prove usefull (see below).

The 2004 version of the code is the one used by Elnemo.


Tirion, M. (1996): "Large amplitude elastic motions in proteins from a single-parameter, atomic analysis", Phys. Rev. letters vol.77 (9), p1905-1908.

Tama, F., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (2001): " Conformational change of proteins arising from normal mode calculations ", Protein Engineering vol.14, p1-6.

Delarue, M., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (2002): " Simplified normal mode analysis of conformational transitions in DNA-dependant polymerases: the Elastic Network Model", J. Mol. Biol. vol.320, p1011-1024.

Nicolay, S., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (2006): "Functional modes of proteins are among the most robust", Phys. Rev. letters vol.96, p078104.

DIAGRTB: v2.52 (2004), v2.64 (2011).

A fortran program for the calculation of some eigenvectors of a large real, symmetrical, matrix.

If the matrix was obtained, for instance, with the PDBMAT program, these eigenvectors correspond to the low-frequency normal modes (i.e., mostly those with a collective character) of the system. Note that in the case of proteins, low-frequency normal modes thus obtained are found to be very close to those obtained with standard, much more realistic (e.g., all atoms with empirical force fields), models.

The method used rests upon the RTB approximation (standing for Rotations-Translations-of-Blocks). Within the frame of this approximation, blocks of n (n=1,2,...) consecutive monomers (amino-acid residues) are assumed to behave like rigid bodies.

Requirements: a matrix in the "i j non-zero-ij-matrix-element" format. A file with the coordinates of the system, in the PDB or "x y z mass block-number" format.

The 2004 version of the code is the one used by Elnemo.

The corresponding, more efficient version of RTB, called BNM, is available as part of the CHARMM package, since version 32.


Durand, P., Trinquier, G., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (1994): " A new approach for determining low-frequency normal modes in macromolecules", Biopolymers, vol.34, p759 (scanned: 7 Mo).

Tama, F., Gadea, F.X., Marques, O., & Sanejouand, Y.H. (2000): " Building-block approach for determining low-frequency normal modes of macromolecules", Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics vol.41(1), p1-7.

Li, G., & Cui, Q (2002): " A coarse-grained normal mode approach for macromolecules: an efficient implementation and application to Ca(2+)-ATPase", Biophys. J. vol.83, p2457-2474.

ANALYSIS (v1.00):

Some simple programs for analyzing the normal modes of vibration thus obtained.

Also, a few Linux tricks are stored there.

Last significant modification: December 22, 2014, by YHS (Yves-Henri.Sanejouand at univ-nantes in fr). You may also see the list of my other (published) works.