Tsinghua Science and Technology


multi-sequence alignment, residue-residue contact prediction, feature extraction, statistical information, Deep Learning (DL), high computational efficiency


Sequence-based protein tertiary structure prediction is of fundamental importance because the function of a protein ultimately depends on its 3D structure. An accurate residue-residue contact map is one of the essential elements for current ab initio prediction protocols of 3D structure prediction. Recently, with the combination of deep learning and direct coupling techniques, the performance of residue contact prediction has achieved significant progress. However, a considerable number of current Deep-Learning (DL)-based prediction methods are usually time-consuming, mainly because they rely on different categories of data types and third-party programs. In this research, we transformed the complex biological problem into a pure computational problem through statistics and artificial intelligence. We have accordingly proposed a feature extraction method to obtain various categories of statistical information from only the multi-sequence alignment, followed by training a DL model for residue-residue contact prediction based on the massive statistical information. The proposed method is robust in terms of different test sets, showed high reliability on model confidence score, could obtain high computational efficiency and achieve comparable prediction precisions with DL methods that relying on multi-source inputs.