Insights into cancer severity from biomolecular interaction mechanisms
Authors: Raimondi F, Singh G, Betts MJ, Apic G, Vukotic R, Andreone P, Stein L, Russell RB
CellNetworks People: Betts Matthew, Russell Robert B.
Journal: Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 4;6:34490. doi: 10.1038/srep34490

To attain a deeper understanding of diseases like cancer, it is critical to couple genetics with biomolecular mechanisms. High-throughput sequencing has identified thousands of somatic mutations across dozens of cancers, and there is a pressing need to identify the few that are pathologically relevant. Here we use protein structure and interaction data to interrogate nonsynonymous somatic cancer mutations, identifying a set of 213 molecular interfaces (protein-protein, -small molecule or -nucleic acid) most often perturbed in cancer, highlighting several potentially novel cancer genes. Over half of these interfaces involve protein-small-molecule interactions highlighting their overall importance in cancer. We found distinct differences in the predominance of perturbed interfaces between cancers and histological subtypes and presence or absence of certain interfaces appears to correlate with cancer severity.