N-Terminal myristoylation predictions by ensembles of neural networks

Proteomics. 2004 Jun;4(6):1626-32. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200300783.


N-terminal myristoylation is a post-translational modification that causes the addition of a myristate to a glycine in the N-terminal end of the amino acid chain. This work presents neural network (NN) models that learn to discriminate myristoylated and nonmyristoylated proteins. Ensembles of 25 NNs and decision trees were trained on 390 positive sequences and 327 negative sequences. Experiments showed that NN ensembles were more accurate than decision tree ensembles. Our NN predictor evaluated by the leave-one-out procedure, obtained a false positive error rate equal to 2.1%. That was better than the PROSITE pattern for myristoylation for which the false positive error rate was 22.3%. On a recent version of Swiss-Prot (41.2), the NN ensemble predicted 876 myristoylated proteins, while 1150 proteins were predicted by the PROSITE pattern for myristoylation. Finally, compared to the well-known NMT predictor, the NN predictor gave similar results. Our tool is available under http://www.expasy.org/tools/myristoylator/myristoylator.html.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / chemistry
  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Databases, Factual
  • Glycine / metabolism
  • Myristic Acids / metabolism
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Probability
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Amino Acids
  • Myristic Acids
  • Glycine