Cliques in mitotic spindle network bring kinetochore-associated complexes to form dependence pathway

Tzu Chi Chen, Sheng An Lee, Chen Hsiung Chan, Yue Li Juang, Yi Ren Hong, Yei Hsuan Huang, Jin Mei Lai, Cheng Yan Kao*, Chi Ying F. Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The mitotic spindle is an essential molecular machine for chromosome segregation during mitosis. Achieving a better understanding of its organization at the topological level remains a daunting task. To determine the functional connections among 137 mitotic spindle proteins, a protein-protein interaction network among queries was constructed. Many hub proteins, which connect more than one query and serve as highly plausible candidates for expanding the mitotic spindle proteome, are ranked by conventional degree centrality and a new subnetwork specificity score. Evaluation of the ranking results by literature reviews and empirical verification of SEPT6, a novel top-ranked hub, suggests that the subnetwork specificity score could enrich for putative spindle-related proteins. Topological analysis of this expanded network shows the presence of 30 3-cliques and six 4-cliques (fully connected subgraphs) that, respectively, reside in eight kinetochore-associated complexes, of which seven are evolution conserved. Notably, these complexes strikingly form dependence pathways for the assembly of the kinetochore complex. These analyses indicate the feasibility of using network topology, i.e. cliques, to uncover novel pathways to accelerate our understanding of potential biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4048-4062
Number of pages15
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Cell biology
  • Cliques
  • Hub prioritization
  • Mitotic spindle
  • Protein-protein interaction network
  • Subnetwork specificity score


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