Mycobacterium leprae is a pathogenic bacteria that causes leprosy, a disease which affects mainly the skin, peripherical nerves, eyes and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. Its highly reduced genome makes it an interesting species as a model for reductive evolution within the mycobacterial genus; it shares the same ancestor with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). A functional network for MTB was generated previously and extensive computational analyses were conducted to reveal the biological organization of the organism on the basis of the networkâs topological properties. Here, we use genomic sequences and functional data from public databases to build protein functional networks for another slow grower, Mycobacterium leprae (MLP) and the fast growing non-pathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis (MSM). Together with the MTB network, this provides an opportunity for comparison of three mycobacteria with different sized genomes. In this paper, we use network centrality measures to systematically compare MTB, MLP and MSM to quantify differences between these organisms at the systems biology level and to study network biology and evolution.
Last date updated on July, 2014