Assessing protein similarity with Gene Ontology and its use in subnuclear localization prediction
Department of Bioengineering (MC063), University of Illinois at Chicago, 851 South Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
BMC Bioinformatics 2006, 7:491 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-7-491Published: 7 November 2006
The accomplishment of the various genome sequencing projects resulted in accumulation of massive amount of gene sequence information. This calls for a large-scale computational method for predicting protein localization from sequence. The protein localization can provide valuable information about its molecular function, as well as the biological pathway in which it participates. The prediction of localization of a protein at subnuclear level is a challenging task. In our previous work we proposed an SVM-based system using protein sequence information for this prediction task. In this work, we assess protein similarity with Gene Ontology (GO) and then improve the performance of the system by adding a module of nearest neighbor classifier using a similarity measure derived from the GO annotation terms for protein sequences.
The performance of the new system proposed here was compared with our previous system using a set of proteins resided within 6 localizations collected from the Nuclear Protein Database (NPD). The overall MCC (accuracy) is elevated from 0.284 (50.0%) to 0.519 (66.5%) for single-localization proteins in leave-one-out cross-validation; and from 0.420 (65.2%) to 0.541 (65.2%) for an independent set of multi-localization proteins. The new system is available at http://array.bioengr.uic.edu/subnuclear.htm webcite.
The prediction of protein subnuclear localizations can be largely influenced by various definitions of similarity for a pair of proteins based on different similarity measures of GO terms. Using the sum of similarity scores over the matched GO term pairs for two proteins as the similarity definition produced the best predictive outcome. Substantial improvement in predicting protein subnuclear localizations has been achieved by combining Gene Ontology with sequence information.