Prediction of protein group function by iterative classification on functional relevance network

Bioinformatics. 2019 Apr 15;35(8):1388-1394. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty787.


Motivation: Biological experiments including proteomics and transcriptomics approaches often reveal sets of proteins that are most likely to be involved in a disease/disorder. To understand the functional nature of a set of proteins, it is important to capture the function of the proteins as a group, even in cases where function of individual proteins is not known. In this work, we propose a model that takes groups of proteins found to work together in a certain biological context, integrates them into functional relevance networks, and subsequently employs an iterative inference on graphical models to identify group functions of the proteins, which are then extended to predict function of individual proteins.

Results: The proposed algorithm, iterative group function prediction (iGFP), depicts proteins as a graph that represents functional relevance of proteins considering their known functional, proteomics and transcriptional features. Proteins in the graph will be clustered into groups by their mutual functional relevance, which is iteratively updated using a probabilistic graphical model, the conditional random field. iGFP showed robust accuracy even when substantial amount of GO annotations were missing. The perspective of 'group' function annotation opens up novel approaches for understanding functional nature of proteins in biological systems.Availability and implementation:

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computational Biology*
  • Proteins
  • Proteomics


  • Proteins