Shortest Path Analyses in the Protein-Protein Interaction Network of NGAL (Neutrophil Gelatinase-associated Lipocalin) Overexpression in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma


NGAL (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin) is a novel cancer-related protein involves multiple functions in many cancers and other diseases. We previously overexpressed NGAL to analyze its role in esophageal squamouscell carcinoma (ESCC). In this study, a protein-protein interaction (PPI) was constructed and the shortest paths from NGAL to transcription factors in the network were analyzed. We found 28 shortest paths from NGAL to RELA, most of them obeying the principle of extracellular to cytoplasm, then nucleus. These shortest paths were also prioritized according to their normalized intensity from the microarray by the order of interaction cascades. A systems approach was developed in this study by linking differentially expressed genes with publiclyavailable PPI data, Gene Ontology and subcellular localizaton for the integrated analyses. These shortest paths from NGAL to DEG transcription factors or other transcription factors in the PPI network provide important clues for future experimental identification of new pathways.