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In BMC bioinformatics

BACKGROUND : The prediction of protein subcellular localization is a key step of the big effort towards protein functional annotation. Many computational methods exist to identify high-level protein subcellular compartments such as nucleus, cytoplasm or organelles. However, many organelles, like mitochondria, have their own internal compartmentalization. Knowing the precise location of a protein inside mitochondria is crucial for its accurate functional characterization. We recently developed DeepMito, a new method based on a 1-Dimensional Convolutional Neural Network (1D-CNN) architecture outperforming other similar approaches available in literature.

RESULTS : Here, we explore the adoption of DeepMito for the large-scale annotation of four sub-mitochondrial localizations on mitochondrial proteomes of five different species, including human, mouse, fly, yeast and Arabidopsis thaliana. A significant fraction of the proteins from these organisms lacked experimental information about sub-mitochondrial localization. We adopted DeepMito to fill the gap, providing complete characterization of protein localization at sub-mitochondrial level for each protein of the five proteomes. Moreover, we identified novel mitochondrial proteins fishing on the set of proteins lacking any subcellular localization annotation using available state-of-the-art subcellular localization predictors. We finally performed additional functional characterization of proteins predicted by DeepMito as localized into the four different sub-mitochondrial compartments using both available experimental and predicted GO terms. All data generated in this study were collected into a database called DeepMitoDB (available at ), providing complete functional characterization of 4307 mitochondrial proteins from the five species.

CONCLUSIONS : DeepMitoDB offers a comprehensive view of mitochondrial proteins, including experimental and predicted fine-grain sub-cellular localization and annotated and predicted functional annotations. The database complements other similar resources providing characterization of new proteins. Furthermore, it is also unique in including localization information at the sub-mitochondrial level. For this reason, we believe that DeepMitoDB can be a valuable resource for mitochondrial research.

Savojardo Castrense, Martelli Pier Luigi, Tartari Giacomo, Casadio Rita


Convolutional neural network, Deep learning, Functional annotation, Mitochondrial protein, Subcellular localization, Submitochondrial localization