Motivation

The interactions between T-cell receptors (TCR) and peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) are essential for the adaptive immune system. However, identifying these interactions can be challenging due to the limited availability of experimental data, sequence data heterogeneity, and high experimental validation costs.

Results

To address this issue, we develop a novel computational framework, named MIX-TPI, to predict TCR–pMHC interactions using amino acid sequences and physicochemical properties. Based on convolutional neural networks, MIX-TPI incorporates sequence-based and physicochemical-based extractors to refine the representations of TCR–pMHC interactions. Each modality is projected into modality-invariant and modality-specific representations to capture the uniformity and diversities between different features. A self-attention fusion layer is then adopted to form the classification module. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of MIX-TPI in comparison with other state-of-the-art methods. MIX-TPI also shows good generalization capability on mutual exclusive evaluation datasets and a paired TCR dataset.

Availability and implementation

The source code of MIX-TPI and the test data are available at: https://github.com/Wolverinerine/MIX-TPI.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.