Visualization and analysis of the interaction network of proteins associated with blood-cell targeting autoimmune diseases

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2020 May 1;1866(5):165714. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2020.165714. Epub 2020 Feb 3.


Blood-cell targeting Autoimmune Diseases (BLADs) are complex diseases that affect blood cell formation or prevent blood cell production. Since these clinical conditions are gathering growing attention, experimental approaches are being used to investigate the mechanisms behind their pathogenesis and to identify proteins associated with them. However, computational approaches have not been utilized extensively in the study of BLADs. This study aims to investigate the interaction network of proteins associated with BLADs (BLAD interactome) and to identify novel associations with other human proteins. The method followed in this study combines information regarding protein-protein interaction network properties and autoimmune disease terms. Proteins with high network scores and statistically significant autoimmune disease term enrichment were obtained and 14 of them were designated as candidate proteins associated with BLADs. Additionally, clustering analysis of the BLAD interactome was used and allowed the detection of 17 proteins that act as "connectors" of different BLADs. We expect our findings to further extend experimental efforts for the investigation of the pathogenesis and the relationships of BLADs.

Keywords: Autoimmune diseases; Network analysis; Protein-disease association; Protein-protein interaction; Therapeutic targets.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoantigens / metabolism
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blood Cells / immunology*
  • Blood Cells / metabolism
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hematologic Diseases / blood
  • Hematologic Diseases / immunology*
  • Hematopoiesis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Protein Interaction Maps / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Biomarkers