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BMC Syst Biol. 2013 Aug 16;7:79. doi: 10.1186/1752-0509-7-79.

Interspecies protein-protein interaction network construction for characterization of host-pathogen interactions: a Candida albicans-zebrafish interaction study.

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  • 1Laboratory of Control and Systems Biology, Department of Electrical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan.



Despite clinical research and development in the last decades, infectious diseases remain a top global problem in public health today, being responsible for millions of morbidities and mortalities each year. Therefore, many studies have sought to investigate host-pathogen interactions from various viewpoints in attempts to understand pathogenic and defensive mechanisms, which could help control pathogenic infections. However, most of these efforts have focused predominately on the host or the pathogen individually rather than on a simultaneous analysis of both interaction partners.


In this study, with the help of simultaneously quantified time-course Candida albicans-zebrafish interaction transcriptomics and other omics data, a computational framework was developed to construct the interspecies protein-protein interaction (PPI) network for C. albicans-zebrafish interactions based on the inference of ortholog-based PPIs and the dynamic modeling of regulatory responses. The identified C. albicans-zebrafish interspecies PPI network highlights the association between C. albicans pathogenesis and the zebrafish redox process, indicating that redox status is critical in the battle between the host and pathogen.


Advancing from the single-species network construction method, the interspecies network construction approach allows further characterization and elucidation of the host-pathogen interactions. With continued accumulation of interspecies transcriptomics data, the proposed method could be used to explore progressive network rewiring over time, which could benefit the development of network medicine for infectious diseases.

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