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This article is part of the supplement: Third International Workshop on Data and Text Mining in Bioinformatics (DTMBio) 2009

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Linear predictive coding representation of correlated mutation for protein sequence alignment

Chan-seok Jeong and Dongsup Kim*

Author Affiliations

Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, KAIST, 373-1 Guseong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-701, Korea

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BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11(Suppl 2):S2  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-S2-S2

Published: 16 April 2010



Although both conservation and correlated mutation (CM) are important information reflecting the different sorts of context in multiple sequence alignment, most of alignment methods use sequence profiles that only represent conservation. There is no general way to represent correlated mutation and incorporate it with sequence alignment yet.


We develop a novel method, CM profile, to represent correlated mutation as the spectral feature derived by using linear predictive coding where correlated mutations among different positions are represented by a fixed number of values. We combine CM profile with conventional sequence profile to improve alignment quality.


For distantly related protein pairs, using CM profile improves the profile-profile alignment with or without predicted secondary structure. Especially, at superfamily level, combining CM profile with sequence profile improves profile-profile alignment by 9.5% while predicted secondary structure does by 6.0%. More significantly, using both of them improves profile-profile alignment by 13.9%. We also exemplify the effectiveness of CM profile by demonstrating that the resulting alignment preserves share coevolution and contacts.


In this work, we introduce a novel method, CM profile, which represents correlated mutation information as paralleled form, and apply it to the protein sequence alignment problem. When combined with conventional sequence profile, CM profile improves alignment quality significantly better than predicted secondary structure information, which should be beneficial for target-template alignment in protein structure prediction. Because of the generality of CM profile, it can be used for other bioinformatics applications in the same way of using sequence profile.