Frontiers of Computer Science

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 26–39 | Cite as

Bioimage-based protein subcellular location prediction: a comprehensive review

  • Ying-Ying Xu
  • Li-Xiu Yao
  • Hong-Bin Shen
Review Article


Subcellular localization of proteins can provide key hints to infer their functions and structures in cells. With the breakthrough of recent molecule imaging techniques, the usage of 2D bioimages has become increasingly popular in automatically analyzing the protein subcellular location patterns. Compared with the widely used protein 1D amino acid sequence data, the images of protein distribution are more intuitive and interpretable, making the images a better choice at many applications for revealing the dynamic characteristics of proteins, such as detecting protein translocation and quantification of proteins. In this paper, we systematically reviewed the recent progresses in the field of automated image-based protein subcellular location prediction, and classified them into four categories including growing of bioimage databases, description of subcellular location distribution patterns, classification methods, and applications of the prediction systems. Besides, we also discussed some potential directions in this field.


bioimage informatics protein subcellular location prediction global and local features multi-location protein recognition 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61671288, 91530321, and 61603161), National Outstanding Young Scholar Program and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (16JC1404300).

Supplementary material

11704_2016_6309_MOESM1_ESM.ppt (312 kb)
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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Image Processing and Pattern RecognitionShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of System Control and Information ProcessingMinistry of Education of ChinaShanghaiChina

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