12 March 2018

Some previous studies have illustrated that it is possible to predict protein essentiality, to a high degree of accuracy, based merely on network data for organisms such as yeast [17, 18]. This begs the question if such approaches can be applied to other organisms, and if more network properties can be leveraged to make better predictions of essentiality, as has been done routinely in other fields. The key questions we seek to answer here are: (i) Is the essential role of a protein heavily determined by its position in the network, and its interacting partners and ‘social neighbourhood’? (ii) Is it possible to reliably infer essentiality of genes, based on the massive amounts of interactome data?