Interaction and localization diversities of global and local hubs in human protein–protein interaction networks†
Hubs, the highly connected nodes in protein–protein interaction networks (PPINs), are associated with several characteristic properties and are known to perform vital roles in cells. We defined two classes of hubs, global (housekeeping) and local (tissue-specific) hubs. These two categories of hubs are distinct from each other with respect to their abundance, structure and function. However, how distinct are the spatial expression pattern and other characteristics of their interacting partners is still not known. Our investigations revealed that the partners of the local hubs compared with those of global hubs are conserved across the tissues in which they are expressed. Partners of local hubs show diverse subcellular localizations as compared with the partners of global hubs. We examined the nature of interacting domains in both categories of hubs and found that they are promiscuous in global hubs but not so in local hubs. Deletion of some of the local and global hubs has an impact on the characteristic path length of the network indicating that those hubs are inter-modular in nature. Our present study has, therefore, shed further light on the characteristic features of the local and global hubs in human PPIN. This knowledge of different topological aspects of hubs with regard to their types and subtypes is essential as it helps in better understanding of roles of hub proteins in various cellular processes under various conditions including those caused by host-pathogen interactions and therefore useful in prioritizing targets for drug design and repositioning.