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Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2019 Jul 3;17:972-981. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2019.06.024. eCollection 2019.

AtbPpred: A Robust Sequence-Based Prediction of Anti-Tubercular Peptides Using Extremely Randomized Trees.

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Department of Physiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea.
School of Computer Science and Technology, Tianjin University, China.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis is one of the most dangerous pathogens in humans. It acts as an etiological agent of tuberculosis (TB), infecting almost one-third of the world's population. Owing to the high incidence of multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB, there is an urgent need for novel and effective alternative therapies. Peptide-based therapy has several advantages, such as diverse mechanisms of action, low immunogenicity, and selective affinity to bacterial cell envelopes. However, the identification of anti-tubercular peptides (AtbPs) via experimentation is laborious and expensive; hence, the development of an efficient computational method is necessary for the prediction of AtbPs prior to both in vitro and in vivo experiments. To this end, we developed a two-layer machine learning (ML)-based predictor called AtbPpred for the identification of AtbPs. In the first layer, we applied a two-step feature selection procedure and identified the optimal feature set individually for nine different feature encodings, whose corresponding models were developed using extremely randomized tree (ERT). In the second-layer, the predicted probability of AtbPs from the above nine models were considered as input features to ERT and developed the final predictor. AtbPpred respectively achieved average accuracies of 88.3% and 87.3% during cross-validation and an independent evaluation, which were ~8.7% and 10.0% higher than the state-of-the-art method. Furthermore, we established a user-friendly webserver which is currently available at We anticipate that this predictor could be useful in the high-throughput prediction of AtbPs and also provide mechanistic insights into its functions.


Antitubercular peptide; Cross-validation; Extremely randomized tree; Tuberculosis; Two-layer framework; Two-step feature selection

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