Peptide-MHC Structure Prediction With Mixed Residue and Atom Graph Neural Network


Neoantigen-targeting vaccines have achieved breakthrough success in cancer immunotherapy by eliciting immune responses against neoantigens, which are proteins uniquely produced by cancer cells. During the immune response, the interactions between peptides and major histocompatibility complexes (MHC) play an important role as peptides must be bound and presented by MHC to be recognised by the immune system. However, only limited experimentally determined peptide-MHC (pMHC) structures are available, and in-silico structure modelling is therefore used for studying their interactions. Current approaches mainly use Monte Carlo sampling and energy minimisation, and are often computationally expensive. On the other hand, the advent of large high-quality proteomic data sets has led to an unprecedented opportunity for deep learning-based methods with pMHC structure prediction becoming feasible with these trained protein folding models. In this work, we present a graph neural network-based model for pMHC structure prediction, which takes an amino acid-level pMHC graph and an atomic-level peptide graph as inputs and predicts the peptide backbone conformation. With a novel weighted reconstruction loss, the trained model achieved a similar accuracy to AlphaFold 2, requiring only 1.7M learnable parameters compared to 93M, representing a more than 98% reduction in the number of required parameters.

Machine Learning in Structural Biology Workshop at the 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS)