Topology analysis and visualization of Potyvirus protein-protein interaction network

Autores UPV
Revista BMC Systems Biology


Background: One of the central interests of Virology is the identification of host factors that contribute to virus infection. Despite tremendous efforts, the list of factors identified remains limited. With omics techniques, the focus has changed from identifying and thoroughly characterizing individual host factors to the simultaneous analysis of thousands of interactions, framing them on the context of protein-protein interaction networks and of transcriptional regulatory networks. This new perspective is allowing the identification of direct and indirect viral targets. Such information is available for several members of the Potyviridae family, one of the largest and more important families of plant viruses. Results: After collecting information on virus protein-protein interactions from different potyviruses, we have processed it and used it for inferring a protein-protein interaction network. All proteins are connected into a single network component. Some proteins show a high degree and are highly connected while others are much less connected, with the network showing a significant degree of dissortativeness. We have attempted to integrate this virus protein-protein interaction network into the largest protein-protein interaction network of Arabidopsis thaliana, a susceptible laboratory host. To make the interpretation of data and results easier, we have developed a new approach for visualizing and analyzing the dynamic spread on the host network of the local perturbations induced by viral proteins. We found that local perturbations can reach the entire host protein-protein interaction network, although the efficiency of this spread depends on the particular viral proteins. By comparing the spread dynamics among viral proteins, we found that some proteins spread their effects fast and efficiently by attacking hubs in the host network while other proteins exert more local effects. Conclusions: Our findings confirm that potyvirus protein-protein interaction networks are highly connected, with some proteins playing the role of hubs. Several topological parameters depend linearly on the protein degree. Some viral proteins focus their effect in only host hubs while others diversify its effect among several proteins at the first step. Future new data will help to refine our model and to improve our predictions.