A Siamese neural network model for the prioritization of metabolic disorders by integrating real and simulated data.

Gian Marco Messa, Francesco Napolitano, Sarah H Elsea, Diego di Bernardo, Xin Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


MotivationUntargeted metabolomic approaches hold a great promise as a diagnostic tool for inborn errors of metabolisms (IEMs) in the near future. However, the complexity of the involved data makes its application difficult and time consuming. Computational approaches, such as metabolic network simulations and machine learning, could significantly help to exploit metabolomic data to aid the diagnostic process. While the former suffers from limited predictive accuracy, the latter is normally able to generalize only to IEMs for which sufficient data are available. Here, we propose a hybrid approach that exploits the best of both worlds by building a mapping between simulated and real metabolic data through a novel method based on Siamese neural networks (SNN).ResultsThe proposed SNN model is able to perform disease prioritization for the metabolic profiles of IEM patients even for diseases that it was not trained to identify. To the best of our knowledge, this has not been attempted before. The developed model is able to significantly outperform a baseline model that relies on metabolic simulations only. The prioritization performances demonstrate the feasibility of the method, suggesting that the integration of metabolic models and data could significantly aid the IEM diagnosis process in the near future.Availability and implementationMetabolic datasets used in this study are publicly available from the cited sources. The original data produced in this study, including the trained models and the simulated metabolic profiles, are also publicly available (Messa et al., 2020).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i787-i794
Number of pages1
JournalBioinformatics (Oxford, England)
Issue numberSupplement_2
StatePublished - Dec 31 2020

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