Using auto covariance method for functional discrimination of membrane proteins based on evolution information

Amino Acids,(2010) 38:1497–1503

Li Yang  , Yizhou Li  , Rongquan Xiao  , Yuhong Zeng  , JiaMin Xiao  , Fuyuan Tan  , Menghui Chen


Membrane transporters are critical in living cells. Therefore, the discrimination of the types of membrane proteins based on their functions is of great importance both for helping genome annotation and providing a supplementary role to experimental researchers to gain insight into membrane proteins’ function. There are a lot of computational methods to facilitate the identification of the functional types of membrane proteins. However, in these methods, the local sequence environment was not integrated into the constructed model. In this study, we described a new strategy to predict the functional types of membrane proteins using a model based on auto covariance and position-specific scoring matrix. The novelty of the presented approach is considering the distribution of different positions of functional conservation sites in protein sequences. Thereby, this model adequately takes into account the long-range correlation between such sites during sequential evolution. Fivefold cross-validation test shows that this method greatly improves the prediction
accuracy and achieves an acceptable prediction accuracy of 87.51%. The result indicates that the current approach might be an effective tool for predicting the functional
types of membrane proteins only using the primary sequences. The code and dataset used in this article are freely available at

Amino Acids