A novel deep learning-assisted hybrid network for plasmodium falciparum parasite mitochondrial proteins classification

PLoS One. 2022 Oct 6;17(10):e0275195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275195. eCollection 2022.


Plasmodium falciparum is a parasitic protozoan that can cause malaria, which is a deadly disease. Therefore, the accurate identification of malaria parasite mitochondrial proteins is essential for understanding their functions and identifying novel drug targets. For classifying protein sequences, several adaptive statistical techniques have been devised. Despite significant gains, prediction performance is still constrained by the lack of appropriate feature descriptors and learning strategies in current systems. Moreover, good ground truth data is important for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based models but there is a lack of that data in the literature. Therefore, in this work, we propose a novel hybrid network that combines 1D Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) and Bidirectional Gated Recurrent Unit (BGRU) to classify the malaria parasite mitochondrial proteins. Furthermore, we curate a sequential data that are collected from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot proteins databanks to prepare a dataset that can be used by the research community for AI-based algorithms evaluation. We obtain 4204 cases after preprocessing of the collected data and denote this set of proteins as PF4204. Finally, we conduct an ablation study on several conventional and deep models using PF4204 and the benchmark PF2095 datasets. The proposed model 'CNN-BGRU' obtains the accuracy values of 0.9096 and 0.9857 on PF4204 and PF2095 datasets, respectively. In addition, the CNN-BGRU is compared with state-of-the-arts, where the results illustrate that it can extract robust features and identify proteins accurately.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Deep Learning*
  • Humans
  • Malaria*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Parasites* / metabolism
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Plasmodium falciparum / metabolism


  • Mitochondrial Proteins

Grants and funding

This work was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Jouf University under grant No (DSR-2021-02-03110).