Genomics projects have resulted in a flood of sequence data. Functional annotation currently relies almost exclusively on inter-species sequence comparison and is restricted in cases of limited data from related species and widely divergent sequences with no known homologs. Here, we demonstrate that codon composition, a fusion of codon usage bias and amino acid composition signals, can accurately discriminate, in the absence of sequence homology information, cytoplasmic ribosomal protein genes from all other genes of known function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis using an implementation of support vector machines, SVMlight. Analysis of these codon composition signals is instructive in determining features that confer individuality to ribosomal protein genes. Each of the sets of positively charged, negatively charged and small hydrophobic residues, as well as codon bias, contribute to their distinctive codon composition profile. The representation of all these signals is sensitively detected, combined and augmented by the SVMs to perform an accurate classification. Of special mention is an obvious outlier, yeast gene RPL22B, highly homologous to RPL22A but employing very different codon usage, perhaps indicating a non-ribosomal function. Finally, we propose that codon composition be used in combination with other attributes in gene/protein classification by supervised machine learning algorithms.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Nucleic Acids Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2002|
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