Background: Among all the major Post-translational modification, lipid modifications
possess special significance due to their widespread functional importance in eukaryotic cells. There
exist multiple types of lipid modifications and Palmitoylation, among them, is one of the broader
types of modification, having three different types. The N-Palmitoylation is carried out by
attachment of palmitic acid to an N-terminal cysteine. Due to the association of N-Palmitoylation
with various biological functions and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative
diseases, its identification is very important.
Objective: The in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo identification of Palmitoylation is laborious, time-taking
and costly. There is a dire need for an efficient and accurate computational model to help researchers
and biologists identify these sites, in an easy manner. Herein, we propose a novel prediction model
for the identification of N-Palmitoylation sites in proteins.
Methods: The proposed prediction model is developed by combining the Chou’s Pseudo Amino
Acid Composition (PseAAC) with deep neural networks. We used well-known deep neural
networks (DNNs) for both the tasks of learning a feature representation of peptide sequences and
developing a prediction model to perform classification.
Results: Among different DNNs, Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) based RNN model showed the
highest scores in terms of accuracy, and all other computed measures, and outperforms all the
previously reported predictors.
Conclusion: The proposed GRU based RNN model can help to identify N-Palmitoylation in a very
efficient and accurate manner which can help scientists understand the mechanism of this
modification in proteins.