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Immunome Res. 2005 Dec 13;1:6.

Prediction of MHC class II binding peptides based on an iterative learning model.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering (MC063), University of Illinois at Chicago, 851 South Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA.



Prediction of the binding ability of antigen peptides to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules is important in vaccine development. The variable length of each binding peptide complicates this prediction. Motivated by a text mining model designed for building a classifier from labeled and unlabeled examples, we have developed an iterative supervised learning model for the prediction of MHC class II binding peptides.


A linear programming (LP) model was employed for the learning task at each iteration, since it is fast and can re-optimize the previous classifier when the training sets are altered. The performance of the new model has been evaluated with benchmark datasets. The outcome demonstrates that the model achieves an accuracy of prediction that is competitive compared to the advanced predictors (the Gibbs sampler and TEPITOPE). The average areas under the ROC curve obtained from one variant of our model are 0.753 and 0.715 for the original and homology reduced benchmark sets, respectively. The corresponding values are respectively 0.744 and 0.673 for the Gibbs sampler and 0.702 and 0.667 for TEPITOPE.


The iterative learning procedure appears to be effective in prediction of MHC class II binders. It offers an alternative approach to this important prediction problem.

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