Functions of proteins are in general related to their subcellular locations. To identify the functions of a protein, we first need know where this protein is located. Interacting proteins tend to locate in the same subcellular location. Thus, it is imperative to take the protein-protein interactions into account for computational identification of protein subcellular locations.In this study, we present a deep learning-based method, node2loc, to predict protein subcellular location. node2loc first learns distributed representations of proteins in a protein-protein network using node2vec, which acquires representations from unlabeled data for downstream tasks. Then the learned representations are further fed into a recurrent neural network (RNN) to predict subcellular locations. Considering the severe class imbalance of different subcellular locations, Synthetic Minority Over-sampling Technique (SMOTE) is applied to artificially boost subcellular locations with few proteins.We construct a benchmark dataset with 16 subcellular locations and evaluate node2loc on this dataset. node2loc yields a Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) value of 0.812, which outperforms other baseline methods. The results demonstrate that the learned presentations from a protein-protein network have strong discriminate ability for classifying protein subcellular locations and the RNN is a more powerful classifier than traditional machine learning models.
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