Machine Learning Guided Atom Mapping of Metabolic Reactions

E. E. Litsa, M. I. Pena, M. Moll, G. Giannakopoulos, G. N. Bennett, and L. E. Kavraki, “Machine Learning Guided Atom Mapping of Metabolic Reactions,” Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 2019.


Atom mapping of a chemical reaction is a mapping between the atoms in the reactant molecules and the atoms in the product molecules. It encodes the underlying reaction mechanism and, as such, constitutes essential information in computational studies in metabolic engineering. Various techniques have been investigated for the automatic computation of the atom mapping of a chemical reaction, approaching the problem as a graph matching problem. The graph abstraction of the chemical problem, though, eliminates crucial chemical information. There have been efforts for enhancing the graph representation by introducing the bond stabilities as edge weights, as they are estimated based on experimental evidence. Here, we present a fully automated optimization-based approach, named AMLGAM, (Automated Machine Learning Guided Atom Mapping), that uses machine learning techniques for the estimation of the bond stabilities based on the chemical environment of each bond. The optimization method finds the reaction mechanism which favors the breakage/formation of the less stable bonds. We evaluated our method on a manually curated data set of 382 chemical reactions and ran our method on a much larger and diverse data set of 7400 chemical reactions. We show that the proposed method improves the accuracy over existing techniques based on results published by earlier studies on a common data set and is capable of handling unbalanced reactions.