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Phylogenetic correlations can suffice to infer protein partners from sequences

TitlePhylogenetic correlations can suffice to infer protein partners from sequences
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMarmier, G, Weigt, M, Bitbol, A-F
JournalPLOS Computational BiologyPLOS Computational Biology
Volume15
Issue10
Paginatione1007179 -
Date Published2019/10/14
Abstract

Author summary Many biologically important protein-protein interactions are conserved over evolutionary time scales. This leads to two different signals that can be used to computationally predict interactions between protein families and to identify specific interaction partners. First, the shared evolutionary history leads to highly similar phylogenetic relationships between interacting proteins of the two families. Second, the need to keep the interaction surfaces of partner proteins biophysically compatible causes a correlated amino-acid usage of interface residues. Employing simulated data, we show that the shared history alone can be used to detect partner proteins. Similar accuracies are achieved by algorithms comparing phylogenetic relationships and by methods based on Direct Coupling Analysis (DCA), which are primarily known for their ability to detect the second type of signal. Using natural sequence data, we show that in cases with shared evolutionary history but without known physical interactions, both methods work with similar accuracy, while for some physically interacting systems, DCA and mutual information outperform phylogenetic methods. We propose methods allowing both to predict interactions between protein families and to find interacting partners among paralogs.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007179