Graemlin: general and robust alignment of multiple large interaction networks

Genome Res. 2006 Sep;16(9):1169-81. doi: 10.1101/gr.5235706. Epub 2006 Aug 9.


The recent proliferation of protein interaction networks has motivated research into network alignment: the cross-species comparison of conserved functional modules. Previous studies have laid the foundations for such comparisons and demonstrated their power on a select set of sparse interaction networks. Recently, however, new computational techniques have produced hundreds of predicted interaction networks with interconnection densities that push existing alignment algorithms to their limits. To find conserved functional modules in these new networks, we have developed Graemlin, the first algorithm capable of scalable multiple network alignment. Graemlin's explicit model of functional evolution allows both the generalization of existing alignment scoring schemes and the location of conserved network topologies other than protein complexes and metabolic pathways. To assess Graemlin's performance, we have developed the first quantitative benchmarks for network alignment, which allow comparisons of algorithms in terms of their ability to recapitulate the KEGG database of conserved functional modules. We find that Graemlin achieves substantial scalability gains over previous methods while improving sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein