Identification of critical paralog groups with indispensable roles in the regulation of signaling flow

Dezso Modos, Johanne Brooks, David Fazekas, Eszter Ari, Tibor Vellai, Peter Csermely, Tamas Korcsmaros, Katalin Lenti

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Extensive cross-talk between signaling pathways is required to integrate the myriad of extracellular signal combinations at the cellular level. Gene duplication events may lead to the emergence of novel functions, leaving groups of similar genes - termed paralogs - in the genome. To distinguish critical paralog groups (CPGs) from other paralogs in human signaling networks, we developed a signaling network-based method using cross-talk annotation and tissue-specific signaling flow analysis. 75 CPGs were found with higher degree, betweenness centrality, closeness, and ‘bowtieness’ when compared to other paralogs or other proteins in the signaling network. CPGs had higher diversity in all these measures, with more varied biological functions and more specific post-transcriptional regulation than non-critical paralog groups (non-CPG). Using TGF-beta, Notch and MAPK pathways as examples, SMAD2/3, NOTCH1/2/3 and MEK3/6-p38 CPGs were found to regulate the signaling flow of their respective pathways. Additionally, CPGs showed a higher mutation rate in both inherited diseases and cancer, and were enriched in drug targets. In conclusion, the results revealed two distinct types of paralog groups in the signaling network: CPGs and non-CPGs. Thus highlighting the importance of CPGs as compared to non-CPGs in drug discovery and disease pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38588
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2016

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