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In Frontiers in microbiology

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is one of the most important RNA modifications, which is involved in many biological activities. Computational methods have been developed to detect m6A sites due to their high efficiency and low costs. As one of the most widely utilized model organisms, many methods have been developed for predicting m6A sites of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, the generalization of these methods was hampered by the limited size of the benchmark datasets. On the other hand, over 60,000 low resolution m6A sites and more than 10,000 base resolution m6A sites of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are recorded in RMBase and m6A-Atlas, respectively. The base resolution m6A sites are often obtained from low resolution results by post calibration. In view of these, we proposed a two-stage deep learning method, named MTDeepM6A-2S, to predict RNA m6A sites of Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on RNA sequence information. In the first stage, a multi-task model with convolutional neural network (CNN) and bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) deep framework was built to not only detect the low resolution m6A sites but also assign a reasonable probability for the predicted site. In the second stage, a transfer-learning strategy was used to build the model to predict the base resolution m6A sites from those low resolution m6A sites. The effectiveness of our model was validated on both training and independent test sets. The results show that our model outperforms other state-of-the-art models on the independent test set, which indicates that our model holds high potential to become a useful tool for epitranscriptomics analysis.

Wang Hong, Zhao Shihao, Cheng Yinchu, Bi Shoudong, Zhu Xiaolei


BiLSTM, N6-methyladenosine site, computational methods, multi-task learning, post-transcriptional modification