Table_1_Ensembles of Hydrophobicity Scales as Potent Classifiers for Chimeric Virus-Like Particle Solubility – An Amino Acid Sequence-Based Machine Le.XLSX (18.05 kB)

Table_1_Ensembles of Hydrophobicity Scales as Potent Classifiers for Chimeric Virus-Like Particle Solubility – An Amino Acid Sequence-Based Machine Learning Approach.XLSX

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posted on 05.05.2020 by Philipp Vormittag, Thorsten Klamp, Jürgen Hubbuch

Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based nanoscale structures that show high potential as immunotherapeutics or cargo delivery vehicles. Chimeric VLPs are decorated with foreign peptides resulting in structures that confer immune responses against the displayed epitope. However, insertion of foreign sequences often results in insoluble proteins, calling for methods capable of assessing a VLP candidate’s solubility in silico. The prediction of VLP solubility requires a model that can identify critical hydrophobicity-related parameters, distinguishing between VLP-forming aggregation and aggregation leading to insoluble virus protein clusters. Therefore, we developed and implemented a soft ensemble vote classifier (sEVC) framework based on chimeric hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) amino acid sequences and 91 publicly available hydrophobicity scales. Based on each hydrophobicity scale, an individual decision tree was induced as classifier in the sEVC. An embedded feature selection algorithm and stratified sampling proved beneficial for model construction. With a learning experiment, model performance in the space of model training set size and number of included classifiers in the sEVC was explored. Additionally, seven models were created from training data of 24–384 chimeric HBcAg constructs, which were validated by 100-fold Monte Carlo cross-validation. The models predicted external test sets of 184–544 chimeric HBcAg constructs. Best models showed a Matthew’s correlation coefficient of >0.6 on the validation and the external test set. Feature selection was evaluated for classifiers with best and worst performance in the chimeric HBcAg VLP solubility scenario. Analysis of the associated hydrophobicity scales allowed for retrieval of biological information related to the mechanistic backgrounds of VLP solubility, suggesting a special role of arginine for VLP assembly and solubility. In the future, the developed sEVC could further be applied to hydrophobicity-related problems in other domains, such as monoclonal antibodies.

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