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Department of Computer Science


O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a distinct monosaccharide modification of serine (S) or threonine (T) residues of nucleocytoplasmic and mitochondrial proteins. O-GlcNAc modification (i.e., O-GlcNAcylation) is involved in the regulation of diverse cellular processes, including transcription, epigenetic modifications, and cell signaling. Despite the great progress in experimentally mapping O-GlcNAc sites, there is an unmet need to develop robust prediction tools that can effectively locate the presence of O-GlcNAc sites in protein sequences of interest. In this work, we performed a comprehensive evaluation of a framework for prediction of protein O-GlcNAc sites using embeddings from pre-trained protein language models. In particular, we compared the performance of three protein sequence-based large protein language models (pLMs), Ankh, ESM-2, and ProtT5, for prediction of O-GlcNAc sites and also evaluated various ensemble strategies to integrate embeddings from these protein language models. Upon investigation, the decision-level fusion approach that integrates the decisions of the three embedding models, which we call LM-OGlcNAc-Site, outperformed the models trained on these individual language models as well as other fusion approaches and other existing predictors in almost all of the parameters evaluated. The precise prediction of O-GlcNAc sites will facilitate the probing of O-GlcNAc site-specific functions of proteins in physiology and diseases. Moreover, these findings also indicate the effectiveness of combined uses of multiple protein language models in post-translational modification prediction and open exciting avenues for further research and exploration in other protein downstream tasks. LM-OGlcNAc-Site’s web server and source code are publicly available to the community.

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Copyright: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Publisher’s version of record:

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International Journal of Molecular Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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