Protein-Protein Interaction Network Analysis and Identification of Key Players in nor-NOHA and NOHA Mediated Pathways for Treatment of Cancer through Arginase Inhibition: Insights from Systems Biology
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L-arginine is involved in a number of biological processes in our bodies. Metabolism of L-arginine by the enzyme arginase has been found to be associated with cancer cell proliferation. Arginase inhibition has been proposed as a potential therapeutic means to inhibit this process. N-hydroxy-nor-L-Arg (nor-NOHA) and N (omega)-hydroxy-L-arginine (NOHA) has shown promise in inhibiting cancer progression through arginase inhibition. In this study, nor-NOHA and NOHA-associated genes and proteins were analyzed with several Bioinformatics and Systems Biology tools to identify the associated pathways and the key players involved so that a more comprehensive view of the molecular mechanisms including the regulatory mechanisms can be achieved and more potential targets for treatment of cancer can be discovered. Based on the analyses carried out, 3 significant modules have been identified from the PPI network. Five pathways/processes have been found to be significantly associated with nor-NOHA and NOHA associated genes. Out of the 1996 proteins in the PPI network, 4 have been identified as hub proteins- SOD, SOD1, AMD1, and NOS2. These 4 proteins have been implicated in cancer by other studies. Thus, this study provided further validation into the claim of these 4 proteins being potential targets for cancer treatment.