BLNIMDA: identifying miRNA-disease associations based on weighted bi-level network

BMC Genomics(2022)

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Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been confirmed to be inextricably linked to the emergence of human complex diseases. The identification of the disease-related miRNAs has gradually become a routine way to unveil the genetic mechanisms of examined disorders. Methods In this study, a method BLNIMDA based on a weighted bi-level network was proposed for predicting hidden associations between miRNAs and diseases. For this purpose, the known associations between miRNAs and diseases as well as integrated similarities between miRNAs and diseases are mapped into a bi-level network. Based on the developed bi-level network, the miRNA-disease associations (MDAs) are defined as strong associations, potential associations and no associations. Then, each miRNA-disease pair (MDP) is assigned two information properties according to the bidirectional information distribution strategy, i.e., associations of miRNA towards disease and vice-versa. Finally, two affinity weights for each MDP obtained from the information properties and the association type are then averaged as the final association score of the MDP. Highlights of the BLNIMDA lie in the definition of MDA types, and the introduction of affinity weights evaluation from the bidirectional information distribution strategy and defined association types, which ensure the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the final prediction score of MDAs. Results Five-fold cross-validation and leave-one-out cross-validation are used to evaluate the performance of the BLNIMDA. The results of the Area Under Curve show that the BLNIMDA has many advantages over the other seven selected computational methods. Furthermore, the case studies based on four common diseases and miRNAs prove that the BLNIMDA has good predictive performance. Conclusions Therefore, the BLNIMDA is an effective method for predicting hidden MDAs.
miRNA similarity,Disease similarity,Association type,Bi-level network
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