Topologically associating domains (TADs) are the structural and functional units of the genome. However, the functions of protein-coding genes existing in the same or different TADs have not been fully investigated. We compared the functional similarities of protein-coding genes existing in the same TAD and between different TADs, and also in the same gap region (the region between two consecutive TADs) and between different gap regions. We found that the protein-coding genes from the same TAD or gap region are more likely to share similar protein functions, and this trend is more obvious with TADs than the gap regions. We further created two types of gene– gene spatial interaction networks: the first type is based on Hi-C contacts, whereas the second type is based on both Hi-C contacts and the relationship of being in the same TAD. A graph auto-encoder was applied to learn the network topology, reconstruct the two types of networks, and predict the functions of the central genes/nodes based on the functions of the neighboring genes/nodes. It was found that better performance was achieved with the second type of network. Furthermore, we detected long-range spatially-interactive regions based on Hi-C contacts and calculated the functional similarities of the gene pairs from these regions.
- Functional similarity network
- Functions of protein-coding genes
- Gene–gene spatial interaction network
- Genome 3D structure
- Graph autoencoder
- Topologically associating domain
ASJC Scopus subject areas