DOI: 10.1101/463976Nov 7, 2018Paper

Rationalizing Translation Elongation by Reinforcement Learning

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Hailin HuJianyang Zeng


Translation elongation plays a crucial role in multiple aspects of protein biogenesis. In this study, we develop a novel deep reinforcement learning based framework, named RiboRL, to model the distributions of ribosomes on transcripts. In particular, RiboRL employs a policy network (PolicyNet) to perform a context-dependent feature selection to facilitate the prediction of ribosome density. Extensive tests demonstrate that RiboRL can outperform other state-of-the-art methods in predicting ribosome densities. We also show that the reinforcement learning based strategy can generate more informative features for the prediction task when compared to other commonly used attribution methods in deep learning. Moreover, the in-depth analyses and a case study also indicate the potential applications of the RiboRL framework in generating meaningful biological insights regarding translation elongation dynamics. These results have established RiboRL as a useful computational tool to facilitate the studies of the underlying mechanisms of translational regulation.

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