Sirius PSB: a generic system for analysis of biological sequences

J Bioinform Comput Biol. 2009 Dec;7(6):973-90. doi: 10.1142/s0219720009004436.


Computational tools are essential components of modern biological research. For example, BLAST searches can be used to identify related proteins based on sequence homology, or when a new genome is sequenced, prediction models can be used to annotate functional sites such as transcription start sites, translation initiation sites and polyadenylation sites and to predict protein localization. Here we present Sirius Prediction Systems Builder (PSB), a new computational tool for sequence analysis, classification and searching. Sirius PSB has four main operations: (1) Building a classifier, (2) Deploying a classifier, (3) Search for proteins similar to query proteins, (4) Preliminary and post-prediction analysis. Sirius PSB supports all these operations via a simple and interactive graphical user interface. Besides being a convenient tool, Sirius PSB has also introduced two novelties in sequence analysis. Firstly, genetic algorithm is used to identify interesting features in the feature space. Secondly, instead of the conventional method of searching for similar proteins via sequence similarity, we introduced searching via features' similarity. To demonstrate the capabilities of Sirius PSB, we have built two prediction models - one for the recognition of Arabidopsis polyadenylation sites and another for the subcellular localization of proteins. Both systems are competitive against current state-of-the-art models based on evaluation of public datasets. More notably, the time and effort required to build each model is greatly reduced with the assistance of Sirius PSB. Furthermore, we show that under certain conditions when BLAST is unable to find related proteins, Sirius PSB can identify functionally related proteins based on their biophysical similarities. Sirius PSB and its related supplements are available at:

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Database Management Systems*
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / methods*
  • Software*


  • Proteins