Abstract Background Protein secondary structure (PSS) is critical to further predict the tertiary structure, understand protein function and design drugs. However, experimental techniques of PSS are time consuming and expensive, and thus it’s very urgent to develop efficient computational approaches for predicting PSS based on sequence information alone. Moreover, the feature matrix of a protein contains two dimensions: the amino-acid residue dimension and the feature vector dimension. Existing deep learning based methods have achieved remarkable performances of PSS prediction, but the methods often utilize the features from the amino-acid dimension. Thus, there is still room to improve computational methods of PSS prediction. Results We propose a novel deep neural network method, called... DeepACLSTM, to predict 8-category PSS from protein sequence features and profile features. Our method efficiently applies asymmetric convolutional neural networks (ACNNs) combined with bidirectional long short-term memory (BLSTM) neural networks to predict PSS, leveraging the feature vector dimension of the protein feature matrix. In DeepACLSTM, the ACNNs extract the complex local contexts of amino-acids; the BLSTM neural networks capture the long-distance interdependencies between amino-acids. Furthermore, the prediction module predicts the category of each amino-acid residue based on both local contexts and long-distance interdependencies. To evaluate performances of DeepACLSTM, we conduct experiments on three publicly available datasets: CB513, CASP10 and CASP12. Results indicate that the performance of our method is superior to the state-of-the-art baselines on three publicly datasets. Conclusions Experiments demonstrate that DeepACLSTM is an efficient predication method for predicting 8-category PSS and has the ability to extract more complex sequence-structure relationships between amino-acid residues. Moreover, experiments also indicate the feature vector dimension contains the useful information for improving PSS prediction.