Motivation

The long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) studies have been hot topics in the field of RNA biology. Recent studies have shown that their subcellular localizations carry important information for understanding their complex biological functions. Considering the costly and time-consuming experiments for identifying subcellular localization of lncRNAs, computational methods are urgently desired. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no computational tools for predicting the lncRNA subcellular locations to date.

Results

In this study, we report an ensemble classifier-based predictor, lncLocator, for predicting the lncRNA subcellular localizations. To fully exploit lncRNA sequence information, we adopt both k-mer features and high-level abstraction features generated by unsupervised deep models, and construct four classifiers by feeding these two types of features to support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF), respectively. Then we use a stacked ensemble strategy to combine the four classifiers and get the final prediction results. The current lncLocator can predict five subcellular localizations of lncRNAs, including cytoplasm, nucleus, cytosol, ribosome and exosome, and yield an overall accuracy of 0.59 on the constructed benchmark dataset.

Availability and implementation

The lncLocator is available at www.csbio.sjtu.edu.cn/bioinf/lncLocator.

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)