iMPT-FRAKEL: A Simple Multi-label Web-server that Only Uses Fingerprints to Identify which Metabolic Pathway Types Compounds can Participate In

The Open Bioinformatics Journal 18 Aug 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1875036202013010083



Metabolic pathway is one of the most basic biological pathways in living organisms. It consists of a series of chemical reactions and provides the necessary molecules and energies for organisms. To date, lots of metabolic pathways have been detected. However, there still exist hidden participants (compounds and enzymes) for some metabolic pathways due to the complexity and diversity of metabolic pathways. It is necessary to develop quick, reliable, and non-animal-involved prediction model to recognize metabolic pathways for any compound.


In this study, a multi-label classifier, namely iMPT-FRAKEL, was developed for identifying which metabolic pathway types that compounds can participate in. Compounds and 12 metabolic pathway types were retrieved from KEGG. Each compound was represented by its fingerprints, which was the most widely used form for representing compounds and can be extracted from its SMILES format. A popular multi-label classification scheme, Random k-Labelsets (RAKEL) algorithm, was adopted to build the classifier. Classic machine learning algorithm, Support Vector Machine (SVM) with RBF kernel, was selected as the basic classification algorithm. Ten-fold cross-validation was used to evaluate the performance of the iMPT-FRAKEL. In addition, a web-server version of such classifier was set up, which can be assessed at


iMPT-FRAKEL yielded the accuracy of 0.804, exact match of 0.745 and hamming loss of 0.039. Comparison results indicated that such classifier was superior to other models, including models with Binary Relevance (BR) or other classification algorithms.


The proposed classifier employed limited prior knowledge of compounds but gives satisfying performance for recognizing metabolic pathways of compounds.

Keywords: Metabolic pathway, Fingerprint, RAKEL, Support vector machine, Meka, Web-server, Classic machine learning algorithm.
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