A Deep-Learning Sequence-Based Method to Predict Protein Stability Changes Upon Genetic Variations

Genes (Basel). 2021 Jun 12;12(6):911. doi: 10.3390/genes12060911.


Several studies have linked disruptions of protein stability and its normal functions to disease. Therefore, during the last few decades, many tools have been developed to predict the free energy changes upon protein residue variations. Most of these methods require both sequence and structure information to obtain reliable predictions. However, the lower number of protein structures available with respect to their sequences, due to experimental issues, drastically limits the application of these tools. In addition, current methodologies ignore the antisymmetric property characterizing the thermodynamics of the protein stability: a variation from wild-type to a mutated form of the protein structure (XW→XM) and its reverse process (XM→XW) must have opposite values of the free energy difference (ΔΔGWM=-ΔΔGMW). Here we propose ACDC-NN-Seq, a deep neural network system that exploits the sequence information and is able to incorporate into its architecture the antisymmetry property. To our knowledge, this is the first convolutional neural network to predict protein stability changes relying solely on the protein sequence. We show that ACDC-NN-Seq compares favorably with the existing sequence-based methods.

Keywords: ACDC; antisymmetry; deep learning; free energy changes; protein stability; sequence.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Deep Learning*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Protein Stability*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / methods*