Essential proteins are critical to the development and survival of cells. Identifying and analyzing essential proteins is vital to understand the molecular mechanisms of living cells and design new drugs. With the development of high-throughput technologies, many protein–protein interaction (PPI) data are available, which facilitates the studies of essential proteins at the network level. Up to now, although various computational methods have been proposed, the prediction precision still needs to be improved. In this paper, we propose a novel method by applying Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search (HITS) on weighted PPI networks to detect essential proteins, named HSEP. First, an original undirected PPI network is transformed into a bidirectional PPI network. Then, both biological information and network topological characteristics are taken into account to weighted PPI networks. Pieces of biological information include gene expression data, Gene Ontology (GO) annotation and subcellular localization. The edge clustering coefficient is represented as network topological characteristics to measure the closeness of two connected nodes. We conducted experiments on two species, namely Saccharomyces cerevisiae
and Drosophila melanogaster
, and the experimental results show that HSEP outperformed some state-of-the-art essential proteins detection techniques.
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