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Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 19;10(1):3205. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11180-2.

Estimating dispensable content in the human interactome.

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Department of Bioengineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Department of Bioengineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.


Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks (interactome networks) have successfully advanced our knowledge of molecular function, disease and evolution. While much progress has been made in quantifying errors and biases in experimental PPI datasets, it remains unknown what fraction of the error-free PPIs in the cell are completely dispensable, i.e., effectively neutral upon disruption. Here, we estimate dispensable content in the human interactome by calculating the fractions of PPIs disrupted by neutral and non-neutral mutations. Starting with the human reference interactome determined by experiments, we construct a human structural interactome by building homology-based three-dimensional structural models for PPIs. Next, we map common mutations from healthy individuals as well as Mendelian disease-causing mutations onto the human structural interactome, and perform structure-based calculations of how these mutations perturb the interactome. Using our predicted as well as experimentally-determined interactome perturbation patterns by common and disease mutations, we estimate that <~20% of the human interactome is completely dispensable.

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