Protein complexes are of great importance in understanding the principles of cellular organization and function. The increase in available protein-protein interaction data, gene ontology and other resources make it possible to develop computational methods for protein complex prediction. Most existing methods focus mainly on the topological structure of protein-protein interaction networks, and largely ignore the gene ontology annotation information. In this article, we constructed ontology augmented networks with protein-protein interaction data and gene ontology, which effectively unified the topological structure of protein-protein interaction networks and the similarity of gene ontology annotations into unified distance measures.
After constructing ontology augmented networks, a novel method (clustering based on ontology augmented networks) was proposed to predict protein complexes, which was capable of taking into account the topological structure of the protein-protein interaction network, as well as the similarity of gene ontology annotations. Our method was applied to two different yeast protein-protein interaction datasets and predicted many well-known complexes. The experimental results showed that (i) ontology augmented networks and the unified distance measure can effectively combine the structure closeness and gene ontology annotation similarity; (ii) our method is valuable in predicting protein complexes and has higher F1 and accuracy compared to other competing methods.