COMUBUS - mapping the human interactome
Title: COMUBUS - mapping the human interactome
SNIC Project: SNIC 2020/5-333
Project Type: SNIC Medium Compute
Principal Investigator: Mikael Benson <>
Affiliation: Linköpings universitet
Duration: 2020-09-11 – 2021-04-01
Classification: 30101


The oldest known geographical maps are preserved on Babylonian clay tablets from 2300 B.C. The principles from those maps remain today: They are graphical representations of the relative locations of areas of different scales, such as oceans, continents, countries, regions and cities. Important uses are to describe where resources and dangers are found, as well as how they are connected. The simplicity and usefulness of these principles led us to ask if they could be applied to map functions in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, as well as their connections. If so, this could help answer systems level questions like if biological functions co-localise in the PPI network. Where are those functions located and how are they connected? Is there a hierarchy between the functions? Are there vulnerable functions or connections? Or are vulnerabilities found outside of areas identified as functional? Are there signs of evolutionary protective mechanisms in vulnerable areas? Answers to those questions could help improve basic understanding of the functional organisation of the PPI network. They could also have direct clinical implications. For example, if a disease is associated with genetic variants in two functions, more than one drug may be needed to target them both. Alternatively, if there is a hierarchy between the two functions, targeting the superior one may suffice. Many of those questions have already been answered using our own group's small computer cluster. However, drug prediction, needed to complete the project, cannot be executed by our small cluster within an reasonable amount of time.