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Multi-Label Multi-Kernel Transfer Learning for Human Protein Subcellular Localization

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037716
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Anatomy And Physiology
  • Cell Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Proteins
  • Protein Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Computational Biology
  • Genomics
  • Genome Analysis Tools
  • Gene Ontologies
  • Functional Genomics
  • Systems Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Modeling
  • Biology
  • Computer Science


Recent years have witnessed much progress in computational modelling for protein subcellular localization. However, the existing sequence-based predictive models demonstrate moderate or unsatisfactory performance, and the gene ontology (GO) based models may take the risk of performance overestimation for novel proteins. Furthermore, many human proteins have multiple subcellular locations, which renders the computational modelling more complicated. Up to the present, there are far few researches specialized for predicting the subcellular localization of human proteins that may reside in multiple cellular compartments. In this paper, we propose a multi-label multi-kernel transfer learning model for human protein subcellular localization (MLMK-TLM). MLMK-TLM proposes a multi-label confusion matrix, formally formulates three multi-labelling performance measures and adapts one-against-all multi-class probabilistic outputs to multi-label learning scenario, based on which to further extends our published work GO-TLM (gene ontology based transfer learning model for protein subcellular localization) and MK-TLM (multi-kernel transfer learning based on Chou's PseAAC formulation for protein submitochondria localization) for multiplex human protein subcellular localization. With the advantages of proper homolog knowledge transfer, comprehensive survey of model performance for novel protein and multi-labelling capability, MLMK-TLM will gain more practical applicability. The experiments on human protein benchmark dataset show that MLMK-TLM significantly outperforms the baseline model and demonstrates good multi-labelling ability for novel human proteins. Some findings (predictions) are validated by the latest Swiss-Prot database. The software can be freely downloaded at

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