Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Proteome Science and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Selected articles from the IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine 2011: Proteome Science

Open Access Open Badges Proceedings

Accuracy improvement in protein complex prediction from protein interaction networks by refining cluster overlaps

Tak Chien Chiam1 and Young-Rae Cho12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Computer Science, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA

2 Bioinformatics Program, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Proteome Science 2012, 10(Suppl 1):S3  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-10-S1-S3

Published: 21 June 2012



Recent computational techniques have facilitated analyzing genome-wide protein-protein interaction data for several model organisms. Various graph-clustering algorithms have been applied to protein interaction networks on the genomic scale for predicting the entire set of potential protein complexes. In particular, the density-based clustering algorithms which are able to generate overlapping clusters, i.e. the clusters sharing a set of nodes, are well-suited to protein complex detection because each protein could be a member of multiple complexes. However, their accuracy is still limited because of complex overlap patterns of their output clusters.


We present a systematic approach of refining the overlapping clusters identified from protein interaction networks. We have designed novel metrics to assess cluster overlaps: overlap coverage and overlapping consistency. We then propose an overlap refinement algorithm. It takes as input the clusters produced by existing density-based graph-clustering methods and generates a set of refined clusters by parameterizing the metrics. To evaluate protein complex prediction accuracy, we used the f-measure by comparing each refined cluster to known protein complexes. The experimental results with the yeast protein-protein interaction data sets from BioGRID and DIP demonstrate that accuracy on protein complex prediction has increased significantly after refining cluster overlaps.


The effectiveness of the proposed cluster overlap refinement approach for protein complex detection has been validated in this study. Analyzing overlaps of the clusters from protein interaction networks is a crucial task for understanding of functional roles of proteins and topological characteristics of the functional systems.