Exploration of natural red-shifted rhodopsins using a machine learning-based Bayesian experimental design

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
K. InoueIchiro Takeuchi


Microbial rhodopsins are photoreceptive membrane proteins utilized as molecular tools in optogenetics. In this paper, a machine learning (ML)-based model was constructed to approximate the relationship between amino acid sequences and absorption wavelengths using {approx}800 rhodopsins with known absorption wavelengths. This ML-based model was specifically designed for screening rhodopsins that are red-shifted from representative rhodopsins in the same subfamily. Among 5,558 candidate rhodopsins suggested by a protein BLAST search of several protein databases, 40 were selected by the ML-based model. The wavelengths of these 40 selected candidates were experimentally investigated, and 32 (80%) showed red-shift gains. In addition, four showed red-shift gains > 20 nm, and two were found to have desirable ion-transporting properties, indicating that they were potentially useful in optogenetics. These findings suggest that an ML-based model can reduce the cost for exploring new functional proteins.

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