ProGen2: Exploring the Boundaries of Protein Language Models

27 Jun 2022  ·  Erik Nijkamp, Jeffrey Ruffolo, Eli N. Weinstein, Nikhil Naik, Ali Madani ·

Attention-based models trained on protein sequences have demonstrated incredible success at classification and generation tasks relevant for artificial intelligence-driven protein design. However, we lack a sufficient understanding of how very large-scale models and data play a role in effective protein model development. We introduce a suite of protein language models, named ProGen2, that are scaled up to 6.4B parameters and trained on different sequence datasets drawn from over a billion proteins from genomic, metagenomic, and immune repertoire databases. ProGen2 models show state-of-the-art performance in capturing the distribution of observed evolutionary sequences, generating novel viable sequences, and predicting protein fitness without additional finetuning. As large model sizes and raw numbers of protein sequences continue to become more widely accessible, our results suggest that a growing emphasis needs to be placed on the data distribution provided to a protein sequence model. We release the ProGen2 models and code at

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