Deep functional synthesis: a machine learning approach to gene functional enrichment

Gene functional enrichment is a mainstay of genomics, but it relies on manually curated databases of gene functions that are incomplete and unaware of the biological context. Here we present an alternative machine learning approach, Deep Functional Synthesis (DeepSyn), which moves beyond gene function databases to dynamically infer the functions of a gene set from its associated network of literature and data, conditioned on the disease and drug context of the current experiment. Using a knowledge graph with 3,048,803 associations between genes, diseases, drugs, and functions, DeepSyn obtained accurate performance (range 0.74 AUC to 0.96 AUC) on a variety of biological applications including drug target identification, gene set functional enrichment, and disease gene prediction.

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