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Genes2FANs: connecting genes through functional association networks.

Dannenfelser R, Clark NR, Ma'ayan A - BMC Bioinformatics (2012)

Bottom Line: However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated.In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF.Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Systems Biology Center of New York, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Protein-protein, cell signaling, metabolic, and transcriptional interaction networks are useful for identifying connections between lists of experimentally identified genes/proteins. However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated. By systematically incorporating knowledge on shared properties of genes from diverse sources to build functional association networks (FANs), researchers may be able to identify additional functional interactions between groups of genes that are not readily apparent.

Results: Genes2FANs is a web based tool and a database that utilizes 14 carefully constructed FANs and a large-scale protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to build subnetworks that connect lists of human and mouse genes. The FANs are created from mammalian gene set libraries where mouse genes are converted to their human orthologs. The tool takes as input a list of human or mouse Entrez gene symbols to produce a subnetwork and a ranked list of intermediate genes that are used to connect the query input list. In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF. This gene list is then used as input to generate a subnetwork from the user's PubMed query. As a case study, we applied Genes2FANs to connect disease genes from 90 well-studied disorders. We find an inverse correlation between the counts of links connecting disease genes through PPI and links connecting diseases genes through FANs, separating diseases into two categories.

Conclusions: Genes2FANs is a useful tool for interpreting the relationships between gene/protein lists in the context of their various functions and networks. Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation. Our finding that disease genes in many cancers are mostly connected through PPIs whereas other complex diseases, such as autism and type-2 diabetes, are mostly connected through FANs without PPIs, can guide better strategies for disease gene discovery. Genes2FANs is available at: http://actin.pharm.mssm.edu/genes2FANs.

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Heatmap of genes. Heatmap showing the similarity of the genes within each of the FANs and PPI network. Similarity was calculated using the Jaccard index.
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Figure 2: Heatmap of genes. Heatmap showing the similarity of the genes within each of the FANs and PPI network. Similarity was calculated using the Jaccard index.

Mentions: One of the strengths of FANs is the broad coverage of genes and their interactions. Thus, to quantify the overlap between the different types of FANs we assessed their similarity both at the gene and interaction levels, as well as comparing the FANs to the PPI network (Figures 2 and 3). Similarity was measured using the Jaccard index of the total genes and undirected edges in each of the FANs. Unsurprisingly, the largest FANs: ChEA, TRANSFAC, GeneSigDB, CMAP, PPI, and domains, contain many common genes (Figure 2). The diversity of the FANs can also be seen from the network visualization plots. Most of the networks have a large highly connected component while some networks clearly display a modular structure (Figure 4 and Additional file 1: Figure S1).


Genes2FANs: connecting genes through functional association networks.

Dannenfelser R, Clark NR, Ma'ayan A - BMC Bioinformatics (2012)

Heatmap of genes. Heatmap showing the similarity of the genes within each of the FANs and PPI network. Similarity was calculated using the Jaccard index.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3472228&req=5

Figure 2: Heatmap of genes. Heatmap showing the similarity of the genes within each of the FANs and PPI network. Similarity was calculated using the Jaccard index.
Mentions: One of the strengths of FANs is the broad coverage of genes and their interactions. Thus, to quantify the overlap between the different types of FANs we assessed their similarity both at the gene and interaction levels, as well as comparing the FANs to the PPI network (Figures 2 and 3). Similarity was measured using the Jaccard index of the total genes and undirected edges in each of the FANs. Unsurprisingly, the largest FANs: ChEA, TRANSFAC, GeneSigDB, CMAP, PPI, and domains, contain many common genes (Figure 2). The diversity of the FANs can also be seen from the network visualization plots. Most of the networks have a large highly connected component while some networks clearly display a modular structure (Figure 4 and Additional file 1: Figure S1).

Bottom Line: However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated.In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF.Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Systems Biology Center of New York, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Protein-protein, cell signaling, metabolic, and transcriptional interaction networks are useful for identifying connections between lists of experimentally identified genes/proteins. However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated. By systematically incorporating knowledge on shared properties of genes from diverse sources to build functional association networks (FANs), researchers may be able to identify additional functional interactions between groups of genes that are not readily apparent.

Results: Genes2FANs is a web based tool and a database that utilizes 14 carefully constructed FANs and a large-scale protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to build subnetworks that connect lists of human and mouse genes. The FANs are created from mammalian gene set libraries where mouse genes are converted to their human orthologs. The tool takes as input a list of human or mouse Entrez gene symbols to produce a subnetwork and a ranked list of intermediate genes that are used to connect the query input list. In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF. This gene list is then used as input to generate a subnetwork from the user's PubMed query. As a case study, we applied Genes2FANs to connect disease genes from 90 well-studied disorders. We find an inverse correlation between the counts of links connecting disease genes through PPI and links connecting diseases genes through FANs, separating diseases into two categories.

Conclusions: Genes2FANs is a useful tool for interpreting the relationships between gene/protein lists in the context of their various functions and networks. Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation. Our finding that disease genes in many cancers are mostly connected through PPIs whereas other complex diseases, such as autism and type-2 diabetes, are mostly connected through FANs without PPIs, can guide better strategies for disease gene discovery. Genes2FANs is available at: http://actin.pharm.mssm.edu/genes2FANs.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus