Rxivist logo

Accelerating Protein Design Using Autoregressive Generative Models

By Adam Riesselman, Jung-Eun Shin, Aaron Kollasch, Conor McMahon, Elana Simon, Chris Sander, Aashish Manglik, Andrew C. Kruse, Debora S. Marks

Posted 05 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/757252

A major biomedical challenge is the interpretation of genetic variation and the ability to design functional novel sequences. Since the space of all possible genetic variation is enormous, there is a concerted effort to develop reliable methods that can capture genotype to phenotype maps. State-of-art computational methods rely on models that leverage evolutionary information and capture complex interactions between residues. However, current methods are not suitable for a large number of important applications because they depend on robust protein or RNA alignments. Such applications include genetic variants with insertions and deletions, disordered proteins, and functional antibodies. Ideally, we need models that do not rely on assumptions made by multiple sequence alignments. Here we borrow from recent advances in natural language processing and speech synthesis to develop a generative deep neural network-powered autoregressive model for biological sequences that captures functional constraints without relying on an explicit alignment structure. Application to unseen experimental measurements of 43 deep mutational scans predicts the effect of insertions and deletions while matching state-of-art missense mutation prediction accuracies. We then test the model on single domain antibodies, or nanobodies, a complex target for alignment-based models due to the highly variable complementarity determining regions. We fit the model to a naïve llama immune repertoire and generate a diverse, optimized library of 105 nanobody sequences for experimental validation. Our results demonstrate the power of the 'alignment-free' autoregressive model in mutation effect prediction and design of traditionally challenging sequence families.

Download data

  • Downloaded 2,973 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 2,189 out of 100,838
    • In systems biology: 54 out of 2,563
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 1,156 out of 100,838
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 956 out of 100,838

Altmetric data


Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


PanLingua

Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


News

  • 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
  • 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
  • 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
  • 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
  • 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
  • 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
  • 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
  • 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
  • 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!