DeepHINT: Understanding HIV-1 integration via deep learning with attention

Hailin Hu, An Xiao, Sai Zhang, Yangyang Li, Xuanling Shi, Tao Jiang, Linqi Zhang, Lei Zhang, Jianyang Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Motivation: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genome integration is closely related to clinical latency and viral rebound. In addition to human DNA sequences that directly interact with the integration machinery, the selection of HIV integration sites has also been shown to depend on the heterogeneous genomic context around a large region, which greatly hinders the prediction and mechanistic studies of HIV integration. Results: We have developed an attention-based deep learning framework, named DeepHINT, to simultaneously provide accurate prediction of HIV integration sites and mechanistic explanations of the detected sites. Extensive tests on a high-density HIV integration site dataset showed that DeepHINT can outperform conventional modeling strategies by automatically learning the genomic context of HIV integration from primary DNA sequence alone or together with epigenetic information. Systematic analyses on diverse known factors of HIV integration further validated the biological relevance of the prediction results. More importantly, in-depth analyses of the attention values output by DeepHINT revealed intriguing mechanistic implications in the selection of HIV integration sites, including potential roles of several DNA-binding proteins. These results established DeepHINT as an effective and explainable deep learning framework for the prediction and mechanistic study of HIV integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1660-1667
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

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