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Exploring novel mechanistic insights in Alzheimer's disease by assessing reliability of protein interactions

: Malhotra, A.; Younesi, E.; Sahadevan, S.; Zimmermann, J.; Hofmann-Apitius, M.

Volltext ()

Scientific Reports 5 (2015), Art.13634
ISSN: 2045-2322
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer SCAI ()

Protein interaction networks are widely used in computational biology as a graphical means of representing higher-level systemic functions in a computable form. Although, many algorithms exist that seamlessly collect and measure protein interaction information in network models, they often do not provide novel mechanistic insights using quantitative criteria. Measuring information content and knowledge representation in network models about disease mechanisms becomes crucial particularly when exploring new target candidates in a well-defined functional context of a potential disease mechanism. To this end, we have developed a knowledge-based scoring approach that uses literature-derived protein interaction features to quantify protein interaction confidence. Thereby, we introduce the novel concept of knowledge cliffs, regions of the interaction network where a significant gap between high scoring and low scoring interactions is observed, representing a divide between established and emerging knowledge on disease mechanism. To show the application of this approach, we constructed and assessed reliability of a protein-protein interaction model specific to Alzheimer's disease, which led to screening, and prioritization of four novel protein candidates. Evaluation of the identified candidates showed that two of them are already followed in clinical trials for testing potential AD drugs.