Apr 5, 2020

Bacterial protein interaction networks: connectivityis ruled by gene conservation, essentiality andfunction

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Maddalena DiluccaAndrea Giansanti


Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks are the backbone of all processes in living cells. In this work we relate conservation, essentiality and functional repertoire of a gene to the connectivity k of the corresponding protein in the PPI networks. Focusing on a set of 42 bacterial species with reasonably separated evolutionary trajectories, we investigate three issues: i) whether the distribution of connectivity values changes between PPI subnetworks of essential and nonessential genes; ii) how gene conservation, measured both by the evolutionary retention index (ERI) and by evolutionary pressures (evaluated through the ratio Ka/Ks and ENC plots) is related to the the connectivity of the corresponding protein; iii) how PPI connectivities are modulated by evolutionary and functional relationships, as represented by the Clusters of Orthologous Proteins (COGs). We show that conservation, essentiality and functional specialization of genes control in a quite universal way the topology of the emerging bacterial PPI networks. Noteworthy, a structural transition in the network is observed such that, for connectivities k>= 40, bacterial PPI networks are mostly populated by genes that are conserved, essential and which,in most cases...Continue Reading

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