Predicting cross-tissue hormone–gene relations using balanced word embeddings

Aditya Jadhav , Tarun Kumar , Mohit Raghavendra , Tamizhini Loganathan , Manikandan Narayanan , Bioinformatics (2022) .


Inter-organ/inter-tissue communication is central to multi-cellular organisms including humans, and mapping inter-tissue interactions can advance system-level whole-body modeling efforts. Large volumes of biomedical literature have fostered studies that map within-tissue or tissue-agnostic interactions, but literature-mining studies that infer inter-tissue relations, such as between hormones and genes are solely missing.

We present a first study to predict from biomedical literature the hormone–gene associations mediating inter-tissue signaling in the human body. Our BioEmbedS* models use neural network-based Biomedical word Embeddings with a Support Vector Machine classifier to predict if a hormone–gene pair is associated or not, and whether an associated gene is involved in the hormone’s production or response. Model training relies on our unified dataset Hormone-Gene version 1 of ground-truth associations between genes and endocrine hormones, which we compiled and carefully balanced in the embedded space to handle data disparities, such as between poorly- versus well-studied hormones. Our BioEmbedS model recapitulates known gene mediators of tissue–tissue signaling with 70.4% accuracy; predicts novel inter-tissue communication genes in humans, which are enriched for hormone-related disorders; and generalizes well to mouse, thereby holding promise for its extension to other multi-cellular organisms as well.