Based on the requirements for an organism's viability, genes can be classified into essential genes and non-essential genes. Non-essential genes can be further classified into toxicity-modulating genes and no-phenotype genes based on the fitness phenotype of yeast cells when the gene is deleted under DNA-damaging conditions. In this study, graph theoretical approaches were used to characterize essential, toxicity-modulating and no-phenotype genes for S. cerevisiae in the physical interaction (PI) network and the perturbation sensitivity (PS) network. We also gained previously published biological datasets to gain a more complete understanding of the differences and relationships between essential, toxicity-modulating genes and no-phenotype genes. The analysis results indicate that toxicity-modulating genes have similar properties as essential genes, and toxicity-modulating genes might represent a middle ground between essential genes and no-phenotype genes, suggesting that cells initiate highly coordinated responses to damage that are similar to those needed for vital cellular functions. These findings may elucidate the mechanisms for understanding toxicity-modulating processes relevant to certain diseases.
Keywords: Biological properties; DNA damage; Graph theory; Yeast.
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