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Prediction of liquid-liquid phase separation proteins using machine learning

By Tanlin Sun, Qian Li, Youjun Xu, Zhuqing Zhang, Luhua Lai, Jianfeng Pei

Posted 15 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/842336

The liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of bio-molecules in cell underpins the formation of membraneless organelles, which are the condensates of protein, nucleic acid, or both, and play critical roles in cellular functions. The dysregulation of LLPS might be implicated in a number of diseases. Although the LLPS of biomolecules has been investigated intensively in recent years, the knowledge of the prevalence and distribution of phase separation proteins (PSPs) is still lag behind. Development of computational methods to predict PSPs is therefore of great importance for comprehensive understanding of the biological function of LLPS. Here, a sequence-based prediction tool using machine learning for LLPS proteins (PSPredictor) was developed. Our model can achieve a maximum 10-CV accuracy of 96.03%, and performs much better in identifying new PSPs than reported PSP prediction tools. As far as we know, this is the first attempt to make a direct and more general prediction on LLPS proteins only based on sequence information.

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