Using a neural network to identify potential HLA-DR1 binding sites within proteins

J Mol Recognit. 1993 Mar;6(1):41-8. doi: 10.1002/jmr.300060105.


The presentation by antigen-presenting cells of immunodominant peptide segments in association with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) encoded proteins is fundamental to the efficacy of a specific immune response. One approach used to identify immunodominant segments within proteins has involved the development of predictive algorithms which utilize amino acid sequence data to identify structural characteristics or motifs associated with in vivo antigenicity. The parallel-computing technique termed 'neural networking' has recently been shown to be remarkably efficient at addressing the problem of pattern recognition and can be applied to predict protein secondary structure attributes directly from amino acid sequence data. In order to examine the potential of a neural network to generalize peptide structural features related to binding within class II MHC-encoded proteins, we have trained a neural network to determine whether or not any given amino acid of a protein is part of a peptide segment capable of binding to HLA-DR1. We report that a neural network trained on a data base consisting of peptide segments known to bind to HLA-DR1 is able to generalize features relating to HLA-DR1-binding capacity (r = 0.17 and p = 0.0001).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • HLA-DR1 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Proteins / chemistry*


  • HLA-DR1 Antigen
  • Proteins