Accurate in silico identification of species-specific acetylation sites by integrating protein sequence-derived and functional features

Sci Rep. 2014 Jul 21;4:5765. doi: 10.1038/srep05765.


Lysine acetylation is a reversible post-translational modification, playing an important role in cytokine signaling, transcriptional regulation, and apoptosis. To fully understand acetylation mechanisms, identification of substrates and specific acetylation sites is crucial. Experimental identification is often time-consuming and expensive. Alternative bioinformatics methods are cost-effective and can be used in a high-throughput manner to generate relatively precise predictions. Here we develop a method termed as SSPKA for species-specific lysine acetylation prediction, using random forest classifiers that combine sequence-derived and functional features with two-step feature selection. Feature importance analysis indicates functional features, applied for lysine acetylation site prediction for the first time, significantly improve the predictive performance. We apply the SSPKA model to screen the entire human proteome and identify many high-confidence putative substrates that are not previously identified. The results along with the implemented Java tool, serve as useful resources to elucidate the mechanism of lysine acetylation and facilitate hypothesis-driven experimental design and validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Proteome / chemistry*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • ROC Curve
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Species Specificity


  • Proteome