A predictive software system, SOSUI-GramN, was developed for assessing the subcellular localization of proteins in Gram-negative bacteria. The system does not require the sequence homology data of any known sequences; instead, it uses only physicochemical parameters of the N- and C-terminal signal sequences, and the total sequence. The precision of the prediction system for subcellular localization to extracellular, outer membrane, periplasm, inner membrane and cytoplasmic medium was 92.3%, 89.4%, 86.4%, 97.5% and 93.5%, respectively, with corresponding recall rates of 70.3%, 87.5%, 76.0%, 97.5% and 88.4%, respectively. The overall performance for precision and recall obtained using this method was 92.9% and 86.7%, respectively. The comparison of performance of SOSUI-GramN with that of other methods showed the performance of prediction for extracellular proteins, as well as inner and outer membrane proteins, was either superior or equivalent to that obtained with other systems. SOSUI-GramN particularly improved the accuracy for predictions of extracellular proteins which is an area of weakness common to the other methods.
Keywords: Gram-negative bacteria; amino acids; physicochemical parameters; subcellular localization of proteins.