March 20, 2015
An article published in Science presents a network-based framework to identify the location of disease modules within the interactome – a network integrating all interactions within a cell – to understand and predict disease modules relationships. According to the authors a complete and accurate map of the interactome, which could have tremendous impact on our ability to understand human disease at a molecular level, is at least a decade away.
The authors in this article show that the current data from an “incomplete interactome” may be able to map out some disease module relationships using network science. The authors demonstrate that the “network-based location of each disease module determines its pathobiological relationship to other diseases, where associated disease models segregate in the same neighbourhood of the human interactome”, whilst unrelated modules form in different neighbourhoods. The authors believe that the proposed network-based distance allows us to envisage the relationships between diseases even if they do not share genes. The authors believe that the study is significant as “the introduced network-based framework can be extended to address numerous questions at the forefront of network medicine, from interpreting genome-wide association study data to drug target identification and repurposing”.