AlignNemo

AlignNemo: A Local Network Alignment Method to Integrate Homology and Topology. Local network alignment is an important component of the analysis of protein-protein interaction networks that may lead to the identification of evolutionary related complexes. We present AlignNemo, a new algorithm that, given the networks of two organisms, uncovers subnetworks of proteins that relate in biological function and topology of interactions. The discovered conserved subnetworks have a general topology and need not to correspond to specific interaction patterns, so that they more closely fit the models of functional complexes proposed in the literature. The algorithm is able to handle sparse interaction data with an expansion process that at each step explores the local topology of the networks beyond the proteins directly interacting with the current solution. To assess the performance of AlignNemo, we ran a series of benchmarks using statistical measures as well as biological knowledge. Based on reference datasets of protein complexes, AlignNemo shows better performance than other methods in terms of both precision and recall. We show our solutions to be biologically sound using the concept of semantic similarity applied to Gene Ontology vocabularies. The binaries of AlignNemo and supplementary details about the algorithms and the experiments are available at: sourceforge.net/p/alignnemo.