High precision in protein contact prediction using fully convolutional neural networks and minimal sequence features

More about Open Access at the Crick


In addition to substitution frequency data from protein sequence alignments, many state-of-the-art methods for contact prediction rely on additional sources of information, or features, of protein sequences in order to predict residue-residue contacts, such as solvent accessibility, predicted secondary structure, and scores from other contact prediction methods. It is unclear how much of this information is needed to achieve state-of-the-art results. Here, we show that using deep neural network models, simple alignment statistics contain sufficient information to achieve state-of-the-art precision. Our prediction method, DeepCov, uses fully convolutional neural networks operating on amino-acid pair frequency or covariance data derived directly from sequence alignments, without using global statistical methods such as sparse inverse covariance or pseudolikelihood estimation.

Journal details

Journal Bioinformatics
Volume 34
Issue number 19
Pages 3308-3315
Available online
Publication date

Crick labs/facilities