Effective comparative analysis of protein-protein interaction networks by measuring the steady-state network flow using a Markov model
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BACKGROUND: Comparative analysis of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks provides an effective means of detecting conserved functional network modules across different species. Such modules typically consist of orthologous proteins with conserved interactions, which can be exploited to computationally predict the modules through network comparison. RESULTS: In this work, we propose a novel probabilistic framework for comparing PPI networks and effectively predicting the correspondence between proteins, represented as network nodes, that belong to conserved functional modules across the given PPI networks. The basic idea is to estimate the steady-state network flow between nodes that belong to different PPI networks based on a Markov random walk model. The random walker is designed to make random moves to adjacent nodes within a PPI network as well as cross-network moves between potential orthologous nodes with high sequence similarity. Based on this Markov random walk model, we estimate the steady-state network flow - or the long-term relative frequency of the transitions that the random walker makes - between nodes in different PPI networks, which can be used as a probabilistic score measuring their potential correspondence. Subsequently, the estimated scores can be used for detecting orthologous proteins in conserved functional modules through network alignment. CONCLUSIONS: Through evaluations based on multiple real PPI networks, we demonstrate that the proposed scheme leads to improved alignment results that are biologically more meaningful at reduced computational cost, outperforming the current state-of-the-art algorithms. The source code and datasets can be downloaded from http://www.ece.tamu.edu/~bjyoon/CUFID .
author list (cited authors)
Jeong, H., Qian, X., & Yoon, B.