DOI: 10.3390/info14120636 ISSN: 2078-2489

A Novel Predictor for the Analysis and Prediction of Enhancers and Their Strength via Multi-View Features and Deep Forest

Mehwish Gill, Saeed Ahmed, Muhammad Kabir, Maqsood Hayat
  • Information Systems

Enhancers are short DNA segments (50–1500 bp) that effectively activate gene transcription when transcription factors (TFs) are present. There is a correlation between the genetic differences in enhancers and numerous human disorders including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. In computational biology, the accurate categorization of enhancers can yield important information for drug discovery and development. High-throughput experimental approaches are thought to be vital tools for researching enhancers’ key characteristics; however, because these techniques require a lot of labor and time, it might be difficult for researchers to forecast enhancers and their powers. Therefore, computational techniques are considered an alternate strategy for handling this issue. Based on the types of algorithms that have been used to construct predictors, the current methodologies can be divided into three primary categories: ensemble-based methods, deep learning-based approaches, and traditional ML-based techniques. In this study, we developed a novel two-layer deep forest-based predictor for accurate enhancer and strength prediction, namely, NEPERS. Enhancers and non-enhancers are divided at the first level by NEPERS, whereas strong and weak enhancers are divided at the second level. To evaluate the effectiveness of feature fusion, block-wise deep forest and other algorithms were combined with multi-view features such as PSTNPss, PSTNPdss, CKSNAP, and NCP via 10-fold cross-validation and independent testing. Our proposed technique performs better than competing models across all parameters, with an ACC of 0.876, Sen of 0.864, Spe of 0.888, MCC of 0.753, and AUC of 0.940 for layer 1 and an ACC of 0.959, Sen of 0.960, Spe of 0.958, MCC of 0.918, and AUC of 0.990 for layer 2, respectively, for the benchmark dataset. Similarly, for the independent test, the ACC, Sen, Spe, MCC, and AUC were 0.863, 0.865, 0.860, 0.725, and 0.948 for layer 1 and 0.890, 0.940, 0.840, 0.784, and 0.951 for layer 2, respectively. This study provides conclusive insights for the accurate and effective detection and characterization of enhancers and their strengths.

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