PSRTTCA: A new approach for improving the prediction and characterization of tumor T cell antigens using propensity score representation learning

Phasit Charoenkwan, Chonlatip Pipattanaboon, Chanin Nantasenamat, Md Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Ali Moni, Pietro Lio, Watshara Shoombuatong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the arsenal of existing cancer therapies, the ongoing recurrence and new cases of cancer pose a serious health concern that necessitates the development of new and effective treatments. Cancer immunotherapy, which uses the body's immune system to combat cancer, is a promising treatment option. As a result, in silico methods for identifying and characterizing tumor T cell antigens (TTCAs) would be useful for better understanding their functional mechanisms. Although few computational methods for TTCA identification have been developed, their lack of model interpretability is a major drawback. Thus, developing computational methods for the effective identification and characterization of TTCAs is a critical endeavor. PSRTTCA, a new machine learning (ML)-based approach for improving the identification and characterization of TTCAs based on their primary sequences, is proposed in this study. Specifically, we introduce a new propensity score representation learning algorithm that allows one to generate various sets of propensity scores of amino acids, dipeptides, and g-gap dipeptides to be TTCAs. To enhance the predictive performance, optimal sets of variant propensity scores were determined and fed into the final meta-predictor (PSRTTCA). Benchmarking results revealed that PSRTTCA was a more precise and promising tool for the identification and characterization of TTCAs than conventional ML classifiers and existing methods. Furthermore, PSR-derived propensities of amino acids in becoming TTCAs are used to reveal the relationship between TTCAs and their informative physicochemical properties in order to provide insights into TTCA characteristics. Finally, a user-friendly online computational platform of PSRTTCA is publicly available at The PSRTTCA predictor is anticipated to facilitate community-wide efforts in accelerating the discovery of novel TTCAs for cancer immunotherapy and other clinical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106368
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Early online dateNov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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