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BiRDS – Binding Residue Detection from Protein Sequences using Deep ResNets

Abstract

Protein-drug interactions play important roles in many biological processes and therapeutics. Prediction of the active binding site of a protein helps discover and optimise these interactions leading to the design of better ligand molecules. The tertiary structure of a protein determines the binding sites available to the drug molecule. A quick and accurate prediction of the binding site from sequence alone without utilising the three-dimensional structure is challenging. Deep Learning has been used in a variety of biochemical tasks and has been hugely successful. In this paper, a Residual Neural Network (leveraging skip connections) is implemented to predict a protein’s most active binding site. An Annotated Database of Druggable Binding Sites from the Protein DataBank, sc-PDB, is used for training the network. Features extracted from the Multiple Sequence Alignments (MSAs) of the protein generated using DeepMSA, such as Position-Specific Scoring Matrix (PSSM), Secondary Structure (SS3), and Relative Solvent Accessibility (RSA), are provided as input to the network. A weighted binary cross-entropy loss function is used to counter the substantial imbalance in the two classes of binding and non-binding residues. The network performs very well on single-chain proteins, providing a pocket that has good interactions with a ligand.

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