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How biologically relevant are interaction-based modules in protein networks?

Juan F Poyatos1* and Laurence D Hurst2

Author Affiliations

1 Evolutionary Systems Biology Initiative, Structural and Computational Biology Program, Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO), Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain

2 Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK

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Genome Biology 2004, 5:R93  doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-11-r93

Published: 1 November 2004


By applying a graph-based algorithm to yeast protein-interaction networks we have extracted modular structures and show that they can be validated using information from the phylogenetic conservation of the network components. We show that the module cores, the parts with the highest intramodular connectivity, are biologically relevant components of the networks. These constituents correlate only weakly with other levels of organization. We also discuss how such structures could be used for finding targets for antimicrobial drugs.