With the in-depth study of posttranslational modification sites, protein ubiquitination has become the key problem to study the molecular mechanism of posttranslational modification. Pupylation is a widely used process in which a prokaryotic ubiquitin-like protein (Pup) is attached to a substrate through a series of biochemical reactions. However, the experimental methods of identifying pupylation sites is often time-consuming and laborious. This study aims to propose an improved approach for predicting pupylation sites. Firstly, the Pearson correlation coefficient was used to reflect the correlation among different amino acid pairs calculated by the frequency of each amino acid. Then according to a descending ranked order, the multiple types of features were filtered separately by values of Pearson correlation coefficient. Thirdly, to get a qualified balanced dataset, the K-means principal component analysis (KPCA) oversampling technique was employed to synthesize new positive samples and Fuzzy undersampling method was employed to reduce the number of negative samples. Finally, the performance of our method was verified by means of jackknife and a 10-fold cross-validation test. The average results of 10-fold cross-validation showed that the sensitivity (Sn) was 90.53%, specificity (Sp) was 99.8%, accuracy (Acc) was 95.09%, and Matthews Correlation Coefficient (MCC) was 0.91. Moreover, an independent test dataset was used to further measure its performance, and the prediction results achieved the Acc of 83.75%, MCC of 0.49, which was superior to previous predictors. The better performance and stability of our proposed method showed it is an effective way to predict pupylation sites.
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