ILearnPlus: A comprehensive and automated machine-learning platform for nucleic acid and protein sequence analysis, prediction and visualization

Zhen Chen, Pei Zhao, Chen Li, Fuyi Li, Dongxu Xiang, Yong-zi Chen, Tatsuya Akutsu, Roger J. Daly, Geoffrey I. Webb, Quanzhi Zhao, Lukasz Kurgan, Jiangning Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Sequence-based analysis and prediction are fundamental bioinformatic tasks that facilitate understanding of the sequence(-structure)-function paradigm for DNAs, RNAs and proteins. Rapid accumulation of sequences requires equally pervasive development of new predictive models, which depends on the availability of effective tools that support these efforts. We introduce iLearnPlus, the first machine-learning platform with graphical-and web-based interfaces for the construction of machine-learning pipelines for analysis and predictions using nucleic acid and protein sequences. iLearnPlus provides a comprehensive set of algorithms and automates sequence-based feature extraction and analysis, construction and deployment of models, assessment of predictive performance, statistical analysis, and data visualization; all without programming. iLearnPlus includes a wide range of feature sets which encode information from the input sequences and over twenty machine-learning algorithms that cover several deep-learning approaches, outnumbering the current solutions by a wide margin. Our solution caters to experienced bioinformaticians, given the broad range of options, and biologists with no programming background, given the point-and-click interface and easy-to-follow design process. We showcase iLearnPlus with two case studies concerning prediction of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) from RNA transcripts and prediction of crotonylation sites in protein chains. iLearnPlus is an open-source platform available at the webserver at

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60
Number of pages19
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2021

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