Publication:
Development of a machine learning method to predict membrane protein-ligand binding residues using basic sequence information

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01-01-2015
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Locating ligand binding sites and finding the functionally important residues from protein sequences as well as structures became one of the challenges in understanding their function. Hence a Naïve Bayes classifier has been trained to predict whether a given amino acid residue in membrane protein sequence is a ligand binding residue or not using only sequence based information.The input to the classifier consists of the features of the target residue and two sequence neighbors on each side of the target residue. The classifier is trained and evaluated on a nonredundant set of 42 sequences (chains with at least one transmembrane domain) from 31 alpha-helical membrane proteins. The classifier achieves an overall accuracy of 70.7% with 72.5% specificity and 61.1% sensitivity in identifying ligand binding residues from sequence. The classifier performs better when the sequence is encoded by psi-blast generated PSSM profiles. Assessment of the predictions in the context of three-dimensional structures of proteins reveals the effectiveness of thismethod in identifying ligand binding sites fromsequence information. In 83.3%(35 out of 42) of the proteins, the classifier identifies the ligand binding sites by correctly recognizing more than half of the binding residues. This will be useful to protein engineers in exploiting potential residues for functional assessment.
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