Functional Classification of G-Protein Coupled Receptors, Based on Their Specific Ligand Coupling Patterns

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Abstract

Functional identification of G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) is one of the current focus areas of pharmaceutical research. Although thousands of GPCR sequences are known, many of them remain as orphan sequences (the activating ligand is unknown). Therefore, classification methods for automated characterization of orphan GPCRs are imperative. In this study, for predicting Level 2 subfamilies of Amine GPCRs, a novel method for obtaining fixed-length feature vectors, based on the existence of activating ligand specific patterns, has been developed and utilized for a Support Vector Machine (SVM)-based classification. Exploiting the fact that there is a non-promiscuous relationship between the specific binding of GPCRs into their ligands and their functional classification, our method classifies Level 2 subfamilies of Amine GPCRs with a high predictive accuracy of 97.02% in a ten-fold cross validation test. The presented machine learning approach, bridges the gulf between the excess amount of GPCR sequence data and their poor functional characterization.