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Bioinformatics. 1998;14(2):121-30.

Prediction of MHC class II-binding peptides using an evolutionary algorithm and artificial neural network.

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  • 1The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.



Prediction methods for identifying binding peptides could minimize the number of peptides required to be synthesized and assayed, and thereby facilitate the identification of potential T-cell epitopes. We developed a bioinformatic method for the prediction of peptide binding to MHC class II molecules.


Experimental binding data and expert knowledge of anchor positions and binding motifs were combined with an evolutionary algorithm (EA) and an artificial neural network (ANN): binding data extraction --> peptide alignment --> ANN training and classification . This method, termed PERUN, was implemented for the prediction of peptides that bind to HLA-DR4(B1*0401). The respective positive predictive values of PERUN predictions of high-, moderate-, low- and zero-affinity binders were assessed as 0.8, 0.7, 0.5 and 0.8 by cross-validation, and 1.0, 0.8, 0.3 and 0.7 by experimental binding. This illustrates the synergy between experimentation and computer modeling, and its application to the identification of potential immunotherapeutic peptides.


Software and data are available from the authors upon request.


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