NIPS, a 3D network-integrated predictor of deleterious protein SAPs, and its application in cancer prognosis

Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 16;8(1):6021. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24286-2.


Identifying deleterious mutations remains a challenge in cancer genome sequencing projects, reflecting the vast number of candidate mutations per tumour and the existence of interpatient heterogeneity. Based on a 3D protein interaction network profiled via large-scale cross-linking mass spectrometry, we propose a weighted average formula involving the combination of three types of information into a 'meta-score'. We assume that a single amino acid polymorphism (SAP) may have a deleterious effect if the mutation rarely occurs naturally during evolution, if it inhibits binding between a pair of interacting proteins when located at their interface, or if it plays an important role in a protein interaction (PPI) network. Cross-validation indicated that this new method presents an AUC value of 0.93 and outperforms other widely used tools. The application of this method to the CPTAC colorectal cancer dataset enabled the accurate identification of validated deleterious mutations and yielded insights into their potential pathogenesis. Survival analysis showed that the accumulation of deleterious SAPs is significantly associated with a poor prognosis. The new method provides an alternative method to identifying and ranking deleterious cancer SAPs based on a 3D PPI network and will contribute to the understanding of pathogenesis and the discovery of prognostic biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • DNA-(Apurinic or Apyrimidinic Site) Lyase / genetics
  • DNA-(Apurinic or Apyrimidinic Site) Lyase / metabolism
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains / genetics
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Orexins / genetics
  • Orexins / metabolism
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Interaction Maps*


  • HCRT protein, human
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains
  • HLA-DQA1 antigen
  • Orexins
  • APEX1 protein, human
  • DNA-(Apurinic or Apyrimidinic Site) Lyase