MHC2MIL: A novel multiple instance learning based method for MHC-II peptide binding prediction by considering peptide flanking region and residue positions

Yichang Xu, Cheng Luo, Mingjie Qian, Xiaodi Huang, Shanfeng Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Computational prediction of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) binding peptides can assist researchers in understanding the mechanism of immune systems and developing peptide based vaccines. Although many computational methods have been proposed, the performance of these methods are far from satisfactory. The difficulty of MHC-II peptide binding prediction comes mainly from the large length variation of binding peptides.
Methods: We develop a novel multiple instance learning based method called MHC2MIL, in order to predict MHC-II binding peptides. We deem each peptide in MHC2MIL as a bag, and some substrings of the peptide as the instances in the bag. Unlike previous multiple instance learning based methods that consider only instances of fixed length 9 (9 amino acids), MHC2MIL is able to deal with instances of both lengths of 9 and 11 (11 amino acids), simultaneously. As such, MHC2MIL incorporates important information in the peptide flanking region. For measuring the distances between different instances, furthermore, MHC2MIL explicitly highlights the amino acids in some important positions.
Results: Experimental results on a benchmark dataset have shown that, the performance of MHC2MIL is significantly improved by considering the instances of both 9 and 11 amino acids, as well as by emphasizing amino acids at key positions in the instance. The results are consistent with those reported in the literature on MHC-II peptide binding. In addition to five important positions (1, 4, 6, 7 and 9) for HLA(human leukocyte antigen, the name of MHC in Humans) DR peptide binding, we also find that position 2 may play some roles in the binding process. By using 5-fold cross validation on the benchmark dataset, MHC2MIL outperforms two state-of-the-art methods of MHC2SK and NN-align with being statistically significant, on 12 HLA DP and DQ molecules. In addition, it achieves comparable performance with MHC2SK and NN-align on 14 HLA DR molecules. MHC2MIL is freely available at http://datamining-iip.fudan.edu.cn/service/MHC2MIL/index.html.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume15
Issue numberS9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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