Metapredict: a fast, accurate, and easy-to-use predictor of consensus disorder and structure

Ryan J. Emenecker, Daniel Griffith, Alex S. Holehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Intrinsically disordered proteins and protein regions make up a substantial fraction of many proteomes in which they play a wide variety of essential roles. A critical first step in understanding the role of disordered protein regions in biological function is to identify those disordered regions correctly. Computational methods for disorder prediction have emerged as a core set of tools to guide experiments, interpret results, and develop hypotheses. Given the multiple different predictors available, consensus scores have emerged as a popular approach to mitigate biases or limitations of any single method. Consensus scores integrate the outcome of multiple independent disorder predictors and provide a per-residue value that reflects the number of tools that predict a residue to be disordered. Although consensus scores help mitigate the inherent problems of using any single disorder predictor, they are computationally expensive to generate. They also necessitate the installation of multiple different software tools, which can be prohibitively difficult. To address this challenge, we developed a deep-learning-based predictor of consensus disorder scores. Our predictor, metapredict, utilizes a bidirectional recurrent neural network trained on the consensus disorder scores from 12 proteomes. By benchmarking metapredict using two orthogonal approaches, we found that metapredict is among the most accurate disorder predictors currently available. Metapredict is also remarkably fast, enabling proteome-scale disorder prediction in minutes. Importantly, metapredict is a fully open source and is distributed as a Python package, a collection of command-line tools, and a web server, maximizing the potential practical utility of the predictor. We believe metapredict offers a convenient, accessible, accurate, and high-performance predictor for single-proteins and proteomes alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4312-4319
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 19 2021


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