The Protein Data Bank (PDB), the ultimate source for data in structural biology, is inherently imbalanced. To alleviate biases, virtually all structural biology studies use nonredundant (NR) subsets of the PDB, which include only a fraction of the available data. An alternative approach, dubbed redundancy-weighting (RW), down-weights redundant entries rather than discarding them. This approach may be particularly helpful for machine-learning (ML) methods that use the PDB as their source for data. Methods for secondary structure prediction (SSP) have greatly improved over the years with recent studies achieving above 70% accuracy for eight-class (DSSP) prediction. As these methods typically incorporate ML techniques, training on RW datasets might improve accuracy, as well as pave the way toward larger and more informative secondary structure classes.


This study compares the SSP performances of deep-learning models trained on either RW or NR datasets. We show that training on RW sets consistently results in better prediction of 3- (HCE), 8- (DSSP) and 13-class (STR2) secondary structures.

Availability and implementation

The ML models, the datasets used for their derivation and testing, and a stand-alone SSP program for DSSP and STR2 predictions, are freely available under LGPL license in

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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