Heterogeneous Network Edge Prediction: A Data Integration Approach to Prioritize Disease-Associated Genes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Daniel S Himmelstein, Sergio E Baranzini


The first decade of Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) has uncovered a wealth of disease-associated variants. Two important derivations will be the translation of this information into a multiscale understanding of pathogenic variants, and leveraging existing data to increase the power of existing and future studies through prioritization. We explore edge prediction on heterogeneous networks—graphs with multiple node and edge types—for accomplishing both tasks. First we constructed a network with 18 node types—genes, diseases, tissues, pathophysiologies, and 14 MSigDB (molecular signatures database) collections—and 19 edge types from high-throughput publicly-available resources. From this network composed of 40,343 nodes and 1,608,168 edges, we extracted features that describe the topology between specific genes and diseases. Next, we trained a model from GWAS associations and predicted the probability of association between each protein-coding gene and each of 29 well-studied complex diseases. The model, which achieved 132-fold enrichment in precision at 10% recall, outperformed any individual domain, highlighting the benefit of integrative approaches. We identified pleiotropy, transcriptional signatures of perturbations, ...Continue Reading

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