Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Syst Biol. 2012;6 Suppl 1:S7. doi: 10.1186/1752-0509-6-S1-S7. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Inferring domain-domain interactions from protein-protein interactions in the complex network conformation.

Author information

  • 1Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China.



As protein domains are functional and structural units of proteins, a large proportion of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are achieved by domain-domain interactions (DDIs), many computational efforts have been made to identify DDIs from experimental PPIs since high throughput technologies have produced a large number of PPIs for different species. These methods can be separated into two categories: deterministic and probabilistic. In deterministic methods, parsimony assumption has been utilized. Parsimony principle has been widely used in computational biology as the evolution of the nature is considered as a continuous optimization process. In the context of identifying DDIs, parsimony methods try to find a minimal set of DDIs that can explain the observed PPIs. This category of methods are promising since they can be formulated and solved easily. Besides, researches have shown that they can detect specific DDIs, which is often hard for many probabilistic methods. We notice that existing methods just view PPI networks as simply assembled by single interactions, but there is now ample evidence that PPI networks should be considered in a global (systematic) point of view for it exhibits general properties of complex networks, such as 'scale-free' and 'small-world'.


In this work, we integrate this global point of view into the parsimony-based model. Particularly, prior knowledge is extracted from these global properties by plausible reasoning and then taken as input. We investigate the role of the added information extensively through numerical experiments. Results show that the proposed method has improved performance, which confirms the biological meanings of the extracted prior knowledge.


This work provides us some clues for using these properties of complex networks in computational models and to some extent reveals the biological meanings underlying these general network properties.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk