Network Medicine

The impact of cellular networks on disease comorbidity

The impact of disease-causing defects is often not limited to the products of a mutated gene but, thanks to interactions between the molecular components, may also affect other cellular functions, resulting in potential comorbidity effects. By combining information on cellular interactions, disease--gene associations, and population-level disease patterns extracted from Medicare data, we find statistically significant correlations between the underlying structure of cellular networks and disease comorbidity patterns in the human population. Our results indicate that such a combination of population-level data and cellular network information could help build novel hypotheses about disease mechanisms.


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A. Vazquez, J.G. Oliveira, Z. Dezso, K.I. Goh, I. Kondor, A.-L. Barabási

Physical Review E 73, 036127 (2006)

A.-L. Barabási

IEEE Control Systems Magazine 27:4, 33-42 (2007)

D.-S. Lee, H. Burd, J. Liu, E. Almass, O. Weist, A.-L. Barabási, Z. N. Oltvai, V. Kapatra

Journal of Bacteriology 191:12, 4015–4024 (2009)