Brief Communication | Published:

Lethality and centrality in protein networks

Nature volume 411, pages 4142 (03 May 2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Proteins are traditionally identified on the basis of their individual actions as catalysts, signalling molecules, or building blocks in cells and microorganisms. But our post-genomic view is expanding the protein's role into an element in a network of protein–protein interactions as well, in which it has a contextual or cellular function within functional modules1,2. Here we provide quantitative support for this idea by demonstrating that the phenotypic consequence of a single gene deletion in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is affected to a large extent by the topological position of its protein product in the complex hierarchical web of molecular interactions.

The most highly connected proteins in the cell are the most important for its survival.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. *Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA

    • H. Jeong
    •  & A.-L. Barabási
  2. †Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA

    • S. P. Mason
    •  & Z. N. Oltvai

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to A.-L. Barabási or Z. N. Oltvai.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/35075138

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