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J Comput Biol. 2012 Jun;19(6):785-95. doi: 10.1089/cmb.2012.0054.

The importance of age and high degree, in protein-protein interaction networks.

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Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, Oxford United Kingdom.


Here we present an in-depth analysis of the protein age patterns found in the edge and triangle subgraphs of the yeast protein-protein interaction network (PIN). We assess their statistical significance both according to what would be expected by chance given the node frequencies found in the yeast PIN, and also, for the case of triangles, given the age frequencies observed in the currently available pairwise data. We find that pairwise interactions between Old proteins are over-represented even when controlling for high degree, and triangle interactions between Old proteins are over-represented even when controlling for pairwise interaction frequencies. There is evidence for negative selection of interactions between Middle-aged and Old proteins within triangles, despite pairwise Middle-Old interactions being common. Most triangles consist solely of vertices with high degree. Our findings point towards an architecture of the yeast PIN that is highly heterogeneous, having connected clumps which contain a large number of interacting Old proteins along with selective age-dependent interaction patterns. Supplementary Material is available online (

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