Predictive Bayesian neural network models of MHC class II peptide binding Academic Article uri icon


  • We used Bayesian regularized neural networks to model data on the MHC class II-binding affinity of peptides. Training data consisted of sequences and binding data for nonamer (nine amino acid) peptides. Independent test data consisted of sequences and binding data for peptides of length 0.8. We also used both amino acid indicator variables (bin20) and property-based descriptors to generate models for MHC class II-binding of peptides. The property-based descriptors were more parsimonious than the indicator variable descriptors, making them applicable to larger peptides, and their design makes them able to generalize to unknown peptides outside of the training space. None of the external test data sets contained any of the nonamer sequences in the training sets. Consequently, the models attempted to predict the activity of truly unknown peptides not encountered in the training sets. Our models were well able to tackle the difficult problem of correctly predicting the MHC class II-binding activities of a majority of the test set peptides. Exceptions to the assumption that nonamer motif activities were invariant to the peptide in which they were embedded, together with the limited coverage of the test data, and the fuzziness of the classification procedure, are likely explanations for some misclassifications.

publication date

  • June 2005