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FragAnchor: a large-scale predictor of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors in eukaryote protein sequences by qualitative scoring.

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  • 1Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. guylaine@hawaii.edu

Abstract

A glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor is a common but complex C-terminal post-translational modification of extracellular proteins in eukaryotes. Here we investigate the problem of correctly annotating GPI-anchored proteins for the growing number of sequences in public databases. We developed a computational system, called FragAnchor, based on the tandem use of a neural network (NN) and a hidden Markov model (HMM). Firstly, NN selects potential GPI-anchored proteins in a dataset, then HMM parses these potential GPI signals and refines the prediction by qualitative scoring. FragAnchor correctly predicted 91% of all the GPI-anchored proteins annotated in the Swiss-Prot database. In a large-scale analysis of 29 eukaryote proteomes, FragAnchor predicted that the percentage of highly probable GPI-anchored proteins is between 0.21% and 2.01%. The distinctive feature of FragAnchor, compared with other systems, is that it targets only the C-terminus of a protein, making it less sensitive to the background noise found in databases and possible incomplete protein sequences. Moreover, FragAnchor can be used to predict GPI-anchored proteins in all eukaryotes. Finally, by using qualitative scoring, the predictions combine both sensitivity and information content. The predictor is publicly available at [see text].

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