HPODNets: deep graph convolutional networks for predicting human protein–phenotype associations

Lizhi Liu, Hiroshi Mamitsuka, Shanfeng Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Motivation: Deciphering the relationship between human genes/proteins and abnormal phenotypes is of great importance in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment against diseases. The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) is a standardized vocabulary that describes the phenotype abnormalities encountered in human disorders. However, the current HPO annotations are still incomplete. Thus, it is necessary to computationally predict human protein-phenotype associations. In terms of current, cutting-edge computational methods for annotating proteins (such as functional annotation), three important features are (i) multiple network input, (ii) semi-supervised learning and (iii) deep graph convolutional network (GCN), whereas there are no methods with all these features for predicting HPO annotations of human protein.

Results: We develop HPODNets with all above three features for predicting human protein-phenotype associations. HPODNets adopts a deep GCN with eight layers which allows to capture high-order topological information from multiple interaction networks. Empirical results with both cross-validation and temporal validation demonstrate that HPODNets outperforms seven competing state-of-the-art methods for protein function prediction. HPODNets with the architecture of deep GCNs is confirmed to be effective for predicting HPO annotations of human protein and, more generally, node label ranking problem with multiple biomolecular networks input in bioinformatics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799–808
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online date21 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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