Visualization of protein interaction networks: problems and solutions

Giuseppe Agapito, Pietro Guzzi, Mario Cannataro
2013 BMC Bioinformatics  
Visualization concerns the representation of data visually and is an important task in scientific research. Protein-protein interactions (PPI) are discovered using either wet lab techniques, such mass spectrometry, or in silico predictions tools, resulting in large collections of interactions stored in specialized databases. The set of all interactions of an organism forms a protein-protein interaction network (PIN) and is an important tool for studying the behaviour of the cell machinery.
more » ... graphic representation of PINs may highlight important substructures, e.g. protein complexes, visualization is more and more used to study the underlying graph structure of PINs. Although graphs are well known data structures, there are different open problems regarding PINs visualization: the high number of nodes and connections, the heterogeneity of nodes (proteins) and edges (interactions), the possibility to annotate proteins and interactions with biological information extracted by ontologies (e.g. Gene Ontology) that enriches the PINs with semantic information, but complicates their visualization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-s1-s1 pmid:23368786 pmcid:PMC3548679 fatcat:yxvv6cgizfb7pesz6ggaxqdwye