Deciphering the Relationship between Obesity and Various Diseases from a Network Perspective
School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
College of Information Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
Anhui Province Key Lab of Farmland Ecological Conversation and Pollution Prevention, School of Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Genes 2017, 8(12), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8120392
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes, Obesity and the Gut Microbiome)
The number of obesity cases is rapidly increasing in developed and developing countries, thereby causing significant health problems worldwide. The pathologic factors of obesity at the molecular level are not fully characterized, although the imbalance between energy intake and consumption is widely recognized as the main reason for fat accumulation. Previous studies reported that obesity can be caused by the dysfunction of genes associated with other diseases, such as myocardial infarction, hence providing new insights into dissecting the pathogenesis of obesity by investigating its associations with other diseases. In this study, we investigated the relationship between obesity and diseases from Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) databases on the protein–protein interaction (PPI) network. The obesity genes and genes of one OMIM disease were mapped onto the network, and the interaction scores between the two gene sets were investigated on the basis of the PPI of individual gene pairs, thereby inferring the relationship between obesity and this disease. Results suggested that diseases related to nutrition and endocrine are the top two diseases that are closely associated with obesity. This finding is consistent with our general knowledge and indicates the reliability of our obtained results. Moreover, we inferred that diseases related to psychiatric factors and bone may also be highly related to obesity because the two diseases followed the diseases related to nutrition and endocrine according to our results. Numerous obesity–disease associations were identified in the literature to confirm the relationships between obesity and the aforementioned four diseases. These new results may help understand the underlying molecular mechanisms of obesity–disease co-occurrence and provide useful insights for disease prevention and intervention.