Motivation: High-throughput experimental techniques have produced a large amount of protein-protein interaction (PPI) data. The study of PPI networks, such as comparative analysis, shall benefit the understanding of life process and diseases at the molecular level. One way of comparative analysis is to align PPI networks to identify conserved or species-specific subnetwork motifs. A few methods have been developed for global PPI network alignment, but it still remains challenging in terms of both accuracy and efficiency.
Results: This paper presents a novel global network alignment algorithm, denoted as HubAlign, that makes use of both network topology and sequence homology information, based upon the observation that topologically important proteins in a PPI network usually are much more conserved and thus, more likely to be aligned. HubAlign uses a minimum-degree heuristic algorithm to estimate the topological and functional importance of a protein from the global network topology information. Then HubAlign aligns topologically important proteins first and gradually extends the alignment to the whole network. Extensive tests indicate that HubAlign greatly outperforms several popular methods in terms of both accuracy and efficiency, especially in detecting functionally similar proteins.
Availability: HubAlign is available freely for non-commercial purposes at http://ttic.uchicago.edu/∼hashemifar/software/HubAlign.zip.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.