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Bioinformatics. 2011 May 1;27(9):1239-46. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr121. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

A probabilistic model of nuclear import of proteins.

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Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.



Nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking of proteins is a core regulatory process that sustains the integrity of the nuclear space of eukaryotic cells via an interplay between numerous factors. Despite progress on experimentally characterizing a number of nuclear localization signals, their presence alone remains an unreliable indicator of actual translocation.


This article introduces a probabilistic model that explicitly recognizes a variety of nuclear localization signals, and integrates relevant amino acid sequence and interaction data for any candidate nuclear protein. In particular, we develop and incorporate scoring functions based on distinct classes of classical nuclear localization signals. Our empirical results show that the model accurately predicts whether a protein is imported into the nucleus, surpassing the classification accuracy of similar predictors when evaluated on the mouse and yeast proteomes (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of 0.84 and 0.80, respectively). The model also predicts the sequence position of a nuclear localization signal and whether it interacts with importin-α.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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