Deep transformers and convolutional neural network in identifying DNA N6-methyladenine sites in cross-species genomes

Nguyen Quoc Khanh Le, Quang Thai Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the most common post-transcriptional epigenetic modifications, N6-methyladenine (6 mA), plays an essential role in various cellular processes and disease pathogenesis. Therefore, accurately identifying 6 mA modifications is necessary for a deep understanding of cellular processes and other possible functional mechanisms. Although a few computational methods have been proposed, their respective models were developed with small training datasets. Hence, their practical application is quite limited in genome-wide detection. To overcome the existing limitations, we present a novel model based on transformer architecture and deep learning to identify DNA 6 mA sites from the cross-species genome. The model is constructed on a benchmark dataset and explored a feature derived from pre-trained transformer word embedding approaches. Subsequently, a convolutional neural network was employed to learn the generated features and generate the prediction outcomes. As a result, our predictor achieved excellent performance during independent test with the accuracy and Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) of 79.3% and 0.58, respectively. Overall, its performance achieved better accuracy than the baseline models and significantly outperformed the existing predictors, demonstrating the effectiveness of our proposed hybrid framework. Furthermore, our model is expected to assist biologists in accurately identifying 6mAs and formulate the novel testable biological hypothesis. We also release source codes and datasets freely at for front-end users.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Contextualized word embedding
  • Deep learning
  • DNA sequence analysis
  • N6-methyladenine site
  • Natural language processing
  • Post-translational modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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