Characterization of Protein Hubs by Inferring Interacting Motifs From Protein Interactions

PLoS Comput Biol. 2007 Sep;3(9):1761-71. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030178. Epub 2007 Jul 30.

Abstract

The characterization of protein interactions is essential for understanding biological systems. While genome-scale methods are available for identifying interacting proteins, they do not pinpoint the interacting motifs (e.g., a domain, sequence segments, a binding site, or a set of residues). Here, we develop and apply a method for delineating the interacting motifs of hub proteins (i.e., highly connected proteins). The method relies on the observation that proteins with common interaction partners tend to interact with these partners through a common interacting motif. The sole input for the method are binary protein interactions; neither sequence nor structure information is needed. The approach is evaluated by comparing the inferred interacting motifs with domain families defined for 368 proteins in the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP). The positive predictive value of the method for detecting proteins with common SCOP families is 75% at sensitivity of 10%. Most of the inferred interacting motifs were significantly associated with sequence patterns, which could be responsible for the common interactions. We find that yeast hubs with multiple interacting motifs are more likely to be essential than hubs with one or two interacting motifs, thus rationalizing the previously observed correlation between essentiality and the number of interacting partners of a protein. We also find that yeast hubs with multiple interacting motifs evolve slower than the average protein, contrary to the hubs with one or two interacting motifs. The proposed method will help us discover unknown interacting motifs and provide biological insights about protein hubs and their roles in interaction networks.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / methods*

Substances

  • Proteins