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Atom-Specific Persistent Homology and Its Application to Protein Flexibility Analysis
David Bramer, Guo-Wei Wei
Recently, persistent homology has had tremendous success in biomolecular data analysis. It works by examining the topological relationship or connectivity of a group of atoms in a molecule at a variety of scales, then rendering a family of topological representations of the molecule. However, persistent homology is rarely employed for the analysis of atomic properties, such as biomolecular flexibility analysis or B-factor prediction. This work introduces atom-specific persistent homology to provide a local atomic level representation of a molecule via a global topological tool. This is achieved through the construction of a pair of conjugated sets of atoms and corresponding conjugated simplicial complexes, as well as conjugated topological spaces. The difference between the topological invariants of the pair of conjugated sets is measured by Bottleneck and Wasserstein metrics and leads to an atom-specific topological representation of individual atomic properties in a molecule. Atom-specific topological features are integrated with various machine learning algorithms, including gradient boosting trees and convolutional neural network for protein thermal fluctuation analysis and B-factor prediction. Extensive numerical results indicate the proposed method provides a powerful topological tool for analyzing and predicting localized information in complex macromolecules.