Some protein interaction data do not exhibit power law statistics.

Abstract

It has been claimed that protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks are scale-free, and that identifying high-degree "hub" proteins reveals important features of PPI networks. In this paper, we evaluate the claims that PPI node degree sequences follow a power law, a necessary condition for networks to be scale-free. We provide two PPI network examples which clearly do not have power laws when analyzed correctly, and thus at least these PPI networks are not scale-free. We also show that these PPI networks do appear to have power laws according to methods that have become standard in the existing literature. We explain the source of this error using numerically generated data from analytic formulas, where there are no sampling or noise ambiguities.

DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.08.024

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