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In Briefings in bioinformatics

Protein arginine methylation is an important posttranslational modification (PTM) associated with protein functional diversity and pathological conditions including cancer. Identification of methylation binding sites facilitates a better understanding of the molecular function of proteins. Recent developments in the field of deep neural networks have led to a proliferation of deep learning-based methylation identification studies because of their fast and accurate prediction. In this paper, we propose DeepGpgs, an advanced deep learning model incorporating Gaussian prior and gated attention mechanism. We introduce a residual network channel to extract the evolutionary information of proteins. Then we combine the adaptive embedding with bidirectional long short-term memory networks to form a context-shared encoder layer. A gated multi-head attention mechanism is followed to obtain the global information about the sequence. A Gaussian prior is injected into the sequence to assist in predicting PTMs. We also propose a weighted joint loss function to alleviate the false negative problem. We empirically show that DeepGpgs improves Matthews correlation coefficient by 6.3% on the arginine methylation independent test set compared with the existing state-of-the-art methylation site prediction methods. Furthermore, DeepGpgs has good robustness in phosphorylation site prediction of SARS-CoV-2, which indicates that DeepGpgs has good transferability and the potential to be extended to other modification sites prediction. The open-source code and data of the DeepGpgs can be obtained from

Zhou Haiwei, Tan Wenxi, Shi Shaoping


Gaussian prior, gated attention mechanism, methylation, residual network, weighted joint loss function