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  1. Martelli, Pier Luigi (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation Clustering spatial-resolved gene expression is an essential analysis to reveal gene activities in the underlying morphological context by their functional roles. However, conventional clustering analysis does not consider gene expression co-localizations in tissue for detecting spatial expression patterns or functional relationships among the genes for biological interpretation in the spatial context. In this article, we present a convolutional neural network (CNN) regularized by the graph of protein–protein interaction (PPI) network to cluster spatially resolved gene expression. This method improves the coherence of spatial patterns and provides biological interpretation of the gene clusters in the spatial context by exploiting the spatial localization by convolution and gene functional relationships by graph-Laplacian regularization. Results In this study, we tested clustering the spatially variable genes or all expressed genes in the transcriptome in 22 Visium spatial transcriptomics datasets of different tissue sections publicly available from 10× Genomics and spatialLIBD. The results demonstrate that the PPI-regularized CNN constantly detects gene clusters with coherent spatial patterns and significantly enriched by gene functions with the state-of-the-art performance. Additional case studies on mouse kidney tissue and human breast cancer tissue suggest that the PPI-regularized CNN also detects spatially co-expressed genes to define the corresponding morphological context in the tissue with valuable insights. Availability and implementation Source code is available at Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. 
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  2. Martelli, Pier Luigi (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation Accurate prediction of residue-residue distances is important for protein structure prediction. We developed several protein distance predictors based on a deep learning distance prediction method and blindly tested them in the 14th Critical Assessment of Protein Structure Prediction (CASP14). The prediction method uses deep residual neural networks with the channel-wise attention mechanism to classify the distance between every two residues into multiple distance intervals. The input features for the deep learning method include co-evolutionary features as well as other sequence-based features derived from multiple sequence alignments (MSAs). Three alignment methods are used with multiple protein sequence/profile databases to generate MSAs for input feature generation. Based on different configurations and training strategies of the deep learning method, five MULTICOM distance predictors were created to participate in the CASP14 experiment. Results Benchmarked on 37 hard CASP14 domains, the best performing MULTICOM predictor is ranked 5th out of 30 automated CASP14 distance prediction servers in terms of precision of top L/5 long-range contact predictions (i.e. classifying distances between two residues into two categories: in contact (< 8 Angstrom) and not in contact otherwise) and performs better than the best CASP13 distance prediction method. The best performing MULTICOM predictor is also ranked 6th among automated server predictors in classifying inter-residue distances into 10 distance intervals defined by CASP14 according to the precision of distance classification. The results show that the quality and depth of MSAs depend on alignment methods and sequence databases and have a significant impact on the accuracy of distance prediction. Using larger training datasets and multiple complementary features improves prediction accuracy. However, the number of effective sequences in MSAs is only a weak indicator of the quality of MSAs and the accuracy of predicted distance maps. In contrast, there is a strong correlation between the accuracy of contact/distance predictions and the average probability of the predicted contacts, which can therefore be more effectively used to estimate the confidence of distance predictions and select predicted distance maps. Availability The software package, source code, and data of DeepDist2 are freely available at and 
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  3. Martelli, Pier Luigi (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation Transferring knowledge between species is challenging: different species contain distinct proteomes and cellular architectures, which cause their proteins to carry out different functions via different interaction networks. Many approaches to protein functional annotation use sequence similarity to transfer knowledge between species. These approaches cannot produce accurate predictions for proteins without homologues of known function, as many functions require cellular context for meaningful prediction. To supply this context, network-based methods use protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks as a source of information for inferring protein function and have demonstrated promising results in function prediction. However, most of these methods are tied to a network for a single species, and many species lack biological networks. Results In this work, we integrate sequence and network information across multiple species by computing IsoRank similarity scores to create a meta-network profile of the proteins of multiple species. We use this integrated multispecies meta-network as input to train a maxout neural network with Gene Ontology terms as target labels. Our multispecies approach takes advantage of more training examples, and consequently leads to significant improvements in function prediction performance compared to two network-based methods, a deep learning sequence-based method and the BLAST annotation method used in the Critial Assessment of Functional Annotation. We are able to demonstrate that our approach performs well even in cases where a species has no network information available: when an organism’s PPI network is left out we can use our multi-species method to make predictions for the left-out organism with good performance. Availability and implementation The code is freely available at The data, including sequences, PPI networks and GO annotations are available at Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. 
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  4. Martelli, Pier Luigi (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation As experimental efforts are costly and time consuming, computational characterization of enzyme capabilities is an attractive alternative. We present and evaluate several machine-learning models to predict which of 983 distinct enzymes, as defined via the Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers, are likely to interact with a given query molecule. Our data consists of enzyme-substrate interactions from the BRENDA database. Some interactions are attributed to natural selection and involve the enzyme’s natural substrates. The majority of the interactions however involve non-natural substrates, thus reflecting promiscuous enzymatic activities. Results We frame this ‘enzyme promiscuity prediction’ problem as a multi-label classification task. We maximally utilize inhibitor and unlabeled data to train prediction models that can take advantage of known hierarchical relationships between enzyme classes. We report that a hierarchical multi-label neural network, EPP-HMCNF, is the best model for solving this problem, outperforming k-nearest neighbors similarity-based and other machine-learning models. We show that inhibitor information during training consistently improves predictive power, particularly for EPP-HMCNF. We also show that all promiscuity prediction models perform worse under a realistic data split when compared to a random data split, and when evaluating performance on non-natural substrates compared to natural substrates. Availability and implementation We provide Python code and data for EPP-HMCNF and other models in a repository termed EPP (Enzyme Promiscuity Prediction) at Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. 
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  5. Martelli, Pier Luigi (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation The complete characterization of enzymatic activities between molecules remains incomplete, hindering biological engineering and limiting biological discovery. We develop in this work a technique, enzymatic link prediction (ELP), for predicting the likelihood of an enzymatic transformation between two molecules. ELP models enzymatic reactions cataloged in the KEGG database as a graph. ELP is innovative over prior works in using graph embedding to learn molecular representations that capture not only molecular and enzymatic attributes but also graph connectivity. Results We explore transductive (test nodes included in the training graph) and inductive (test nodes not part of the training graph) learning models. We show that ELP achieves high AUC when learning node embeddings using both graph connectivity and node attributes. Further, we show that graph embedding improves link prediction by 30% in area under curve over fingerprint-based similarity approaches and by 8% over support vector machines. We compare ELP against rule-based methods. We also evaluate ELP for predicting links in pathway maps and for reconstruction of edges in reaction networks of four common gut microbiota phyla: actinobacteria, bacteroidetes, firmicutes and proteobacteria. To emphasize the importance of graph embedding in the context of biochemical networks, we illustrate how graph embedding can guide visualization. Availability and implementation The code and datasets are available through 
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