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Advances in Bioinformatics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 801478, 14 pages
Research Article

Generation and Analysis of Large-Scale Data-Driven Mycobacterium tuberculosis Functional Networks for Drug Target Identification

Computational Biology Group, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Received 5 May 2011; Accepted 28 August 2011

Academic Editor: Alvis Brazma

Copyright © 2011 Gaston K. Mazandu and Nicola J. Mulder. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Technological developments in large-scale biological experiments, coupled with bioinformatics tools, have opened the doors to computational approaches for the global analysis of whole genomes. This has provided the opportunity to look at genes within their context in the cell. The integration of vast amounts of data generated by these technologies provides a strategy for identifying potential drug targets within microbial pathogens, the causative agents of infectious diseases. As proteins are druggable targets, functional interaction networks between proteins are used to identify proteins essential to the survival, growth, and virulence of these microbial pathogens. Here we have integrated functional genomics data to generate functional interaction networks between Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins and carried out computational analyses to dissect the functional interaction network produced for identifying drug targets using network topological properties. This study has provided the opportunity to expand the range of potential drug targets and to move towards optimal target-based strategies.