Topology and weights in a protein domain interaction network - A novel way to predict protein interactions

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23 Scopus citations


Background: While the analysis of unweighted biological webs as diverse as genetic, protein and metabolic networks allowed spectacular insights in the inner workings of a cell, biological networks are not only determined by their static grid of links. In fact, we expect that the heterogeneity in the utilization of connections has a major impact on the organization of cellular activities as well. Results: We consider a web of interactions between protein domains of the Protein Family database (PFAM), which are weighted by a probability score. We apply metrics that combine the static layout and the weights of the underlying interactions. We observe that unweighted measures as well as their weighted counterparts largely share the same trends in the underlying domain interaction network. However, we only find weak signals that weights and the static grid of interactions are connected entities. Therefore assuming that a protein interaction is governed by a single domain interaction, we observe strong and significant correlations of the highest scoring domain interaction and the confidence of protein interactions in the underlying interactions of yeast and fly. Modeling an interaction between proteins if we find a high scoring protein domain interaction we obtain 1, 428 protein interactions among 361 proteins in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Assessing their quality by a logistic regression method we observe that increasing confidence predicted interactions is accompanied by high scoring domain interactions and elevated levels of functional similarity and evolutionary conservation. Conclusion: Our results indicate that probability scores are randomly distributed, allowing to treat static grid and weights of domain interactions as separate entities. In particular, these finding confirms earlier observations that a protein interaction is a matter of a single interaction event on domain level. As an immediate application, we show a simple way to predict potential protein interactions by utilizing expectation scores of single domain interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122
JournalBMC genomics
StatePublished - May 23 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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