A homology-based pipeline for global prediction of post-translational modification sites

Sci Rep. 2016 May 13:6:25801. doi: 10.1038/srep25801.


The pathways of protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) have been shown to play particularly important roles for almost any biological process. Identification of PTM substrates along with information on the exact sites is fundamental for fully understanding or controlling biological processes. Alternative computational strategies would help to annotate PTMs in a high-throughput manner. Traditional algorithms are suited for identifying the common organisms and tissues that have a complete PTM atlas or extensive experimental data. While annotation of rare PTMs in most organisms is a clear challenge. In this work, to this end we have developed a novel homology-based pipeline named PTMProber that allows identification of potential modification sites for most of the proteomes lacking PTMs data. Cross-promotion E-value (CPE) as stringent benchmark has been used in our pipeline to evaluate homology to known modification sites. Independent-validation tests show that PTMProber achieves over 58.8% recall with high precision by CPE benchmark. Comparisons with other machine-learning tools show that PTMProber pipeline performs better on general predictions. In addition, we developed a web-based tool to integrate this pipeline at http://bioinfo.ncu.edu.cn/PTMProber/index.aspx. In addition to pre-constructed prediction models of PTM, the website provides an extensional functionality to allow users to customize models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't