A Framework for Integrating Multiple Biological Networks to Predict MicroRNA-Disease Associations

Vol. 16, No. 2

MicroRNAs have close relationship with human diseases. Therefore, identifying disease related MicroRNAs plays an important role in disease diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. However, designing an effective computational method which can make good use of various biological resources and correctly predict the associations between MicroRNA and disease is still a big challenge. Previous researchers have pointed out that there are complex relationships among microRNAs, diseases and environment factors. There are inter-relationships between microRNAs, diseases or environment factors based on their functional similarity or phenotype similarity or chemical structure similarity and so on. There are also intra-relationships between microRNAs and diseases, microRNAs and environment factors, diseases and environment factors. Moreover, functionally similar microRNAs tend to associate with common diseases and common environment factors. The diseases with similar phenotypes are likely caused by common microRNAs and common environment factors. In this work, we propose a framework namely ThrRWMDE which can integrate these complex relationships to predict microRNA-disease associations. In this framework, microRNA similarity network (MFN), disease similarity network (DSN) and environmental factor similarity network (ESN) are constructed according to certain biological properties. Then, an unbalanced three random walking algorithm is implemented on the three networks so as to obtain information from neighbors in corresponding networks. This algorithm not only can flexibly infer information from different levels of neighbors with respect to the topological and structural differences of the three networks, but also in the course of working the functional information will be transferred from one network to another according to the associations between the nodes in different networks. The results of experiment show that our method achieves better prediction performance than other state-of-the-art methods.




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