BACKGROUND: S-sulphenylation is a ubiquitous protein post-translational modification (PTM) where an S-hydroxyl (-SOH) bond is formed via the reversible oxidation on the Sulfhydryl group of cysteine (C). Recent experimental studies have revealed that S-sulphenylation plays critical roles in many biological functions, such as protein regulation and cell signaling. State-of-the-art bioinformatic advances have facilitated high-throughput in silico screening of protein S-sulphenylation sites, thereby significantly reducing the time and labour costs traditionally required for the experimental investigation of S-sulphenylation. RESULTS: In this study, we have proposed a novel hybrid computational framework, termed SIMLIN, for accurate prediction of protein S-sulphenylation sites using a multi-stage neural-network based ensemble-learning model integrating both protein sequence derived and protein structural features. Benchmarking experiments against the current state-of-the-art predictors for S-sulphenylation demonstrated that SIMLIN delivered competitive prediction performance. The empirical studies on the independent testing dataset demonstrated that SIMLIN achieved 88.0% prediction accuracy and an AUC score of 0.82, which outperforms currently existing methods. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, SIMLIN predicts human S-sulphenylation sites with high accuracy thereby facilitating biological hypothesis generation and experimental validation. The web server, datasets, and online instructions are freely available at http://simlin.erc.monash.edu/ for academic purposes.
- Bioinformatics software
- Ensemble learning
- Machine learning
- Protein post-translational modification