Journal Article

Global topological features of cancer proteins in the human interactome

Pall F. Jonsson and Paul A. Bates

in Bioinformatics

Volume 22, issue 18, pages 2291-2297
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 1367-4803
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2059 | DOI:
Global topological features of cancer proteins in the human interactome

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Motivation: The study of interactomes, or networks of protein-protein interactions, is increasingly providing valuable information on biological systems. Here we report a study of cancer proteins in an extensive human protein-protein interaction network constructed by computational methods.

Results: We show that human proteins translated from known cancer genes exhibit a network topology that is different from that of proteins not documented as being mutated in cancer. In particular, cancer proteins show an increase in the number of proteins they interact with. They also appear to participate in central hubs rather than peripheral ones, mirroring their greater centrality and participation in networks that form the backbone of the proteome. Moreover, we show that cancer proteins contain a high ratio of highly promiscuous structural domains, i.e., domains with a high propensity for mediating protein interactions. These observations indicate an underlying evolutionary distinction between the two groups of proteins, reflecting the central roles of proteins, whose mutations lead to cancer.

Supplementary information: The interactome data are available though the PIP (Potential Interactions of Proteins) web server at . Further additional material is available at

Journal Article.  4094 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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