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PLoS One. 2016 Dec 1;11(12):e0167345. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167345. eCollection 2016.

DNABP: Identification of DNA-Binding Proteins Based on Feature Selection Using a Random Forest and Predicting Binding Residues.

Author information

School of Science, Nanjing Audit University, Nanjing, China.
State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.


DNA-binding proteins are fundamentally important in cellular processes. Several computational-based methods have been developed to improve the prediction of DNA-binding proteins in previous years. However, insufficient work has been done on the prediction of DNA-binding proteins from protein sequence information. In this paper, a novel predictor, DNABP (DNA-binding proteins), was designed to predict DNA-binding proteins using the random forest (RF) classifier with a hybrid feature. The hybrid feature contains two types of novel sequence features, which reflect information about the conservation of physicochemical properties of the amino acids, and the binding propensity of DNA-binding residues and non-binding propensities of non-binding residues. The comparisons with each feature demonstrated that these two novel features contributed most to the improvement in predictive ability. Furthermore, to improve the prediction performance of the DNABP model, feature selection using the minimum redundancy maximum relevance (mRMR) method combined with incremental feature selection (IFS) was carried out during the model construction. The results showed that the DNABP model could achieve 86.90% accuracy, 83.76% sensitivity, 90.03% specificity and a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.727. High prediction accuracy and performance comparisons with previous research suggested that DNABP could be a useful approach to identify DNA-binding proteins from sequence information. The DNABP web server system is freely available at

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