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Sample records for biological regulatory networks

  1. Oscillatory Activities in Regulatory Biological Networks and Hopf Bifurcation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YAN Shi-Wei; WANG Qi; XIE Bai-Song; ZHANG Feng-Shou

    2007-01-01

    Exploiting the nonlinear dynamics in the negative feedback loop, we propose a statistical signal-response model to describe the different oscillatory behaviour in a biological network motif. By choosing the delay as a bifurcation parameter, we discuss the existence of Hopf bifurcation and the stability of the periodic solutions of model equations with the centre manifold theorem and the normal form theory. It is shown that a periodic solution is born in a Hopf bifurcation beyond a critical time delay, and thus the bifurcation phenomenon may be important to elucidate the mechanism of oscillatory activities in regulatory biological networks.

  2. Combination of Neuro-Fuzzy Network Models with Biological Knowledge for Reconstructing Gene Regulatory Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guixia Liu; Lei Liu; Chunyu Liu; Ming Zheng; Lanying Su; Chunguang Zhou

    2011-01-01

    Inferring gene regulatory networks from large-scale expression data is an important topic in both cellular systems and computational biology. The inference of regulators might be the core factor for understanding actual regulatory conditions in gene regulatory networks, especially when strong regulators do work significantly, in this paper, we propose a novel approach based on combining neuro-fuzzy network models with biological knowledge to infer strong regulators and interrelated fuzzy rules. The hybrid neuro-fuzzy architecture can not only infer the fuzzy rules, which are suitable for describing the regulatory conditions in regulatory networks, but also explain the meaning of nodes and weight value in the neural network. It can get useful rules automatically without factitious judgments. At the same time, it does not add recursive layers to the model, and the model can also strengthen the relationships among genes and reduce calculation. We use the proposed approach to reconstruct a partial gene regulatory network of yeast. The results show that this approach can work effectively.

  3. Information theory in systems biology. Part I: Gene regulatory and metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavian, Zaynab; Kavousi, Kaveh; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-03-01

    "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", was published in 1948 by Claude Shannon to establish a framework that is now known as information theory. In recent decades, information theory has gained much attention in the area of systems biology. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of those contributions that have applied information theory in inferring or understanding of biological systems. Based on the type of system components and the interactions between them, we classify the biological systems into 4 main classes: gene regulatory, metabolic, protein-protein interaction and signaling networks. In the first part of this review, we attempt to introduce most of the existing studies on two types of biological networks, including gene regulatory and metabolic networks, which are founded on the concepts of information theory.

  4. A Systems’ Biology Approach to Study MicroRNA-Mediated Gene Regulatory Networks

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    Xin Lai

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are potent effectors in gene regulatory networks where aberrant miRNA expression can contribute to human diseases such as cancer. For a better understanding of the regulatory role of miRNAs in coordinating gene expression, we here present a systems biology approach combining data-driven modeling and model-driven experiments. Such an approach is characterized by an iterative process, including biological data acquisition and integration, network construction, mathematical modeling and experimental validation. To demonstrate the application of this approach, we adopt it to investigate mechanisms of collective repression on p21 by multiple miRNAs. We first construct a p21 regulatory network based on data from the literature and further expand it using algorithms that predict molecular interactions. Based on the network structure, a detailed mechanistic model is established and its parameter values are determined using data. Finally, the calibrated model is used to study the effect of different miRNA expression profiles and cooperative target regulation on p21 expression levels in different biological contexts.

  5. Social insect colony as a biological regulatory system: modelling information flow in dominance networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Anjan K; Sumana, Annagiri; Bhattacharya, Kunal

    2014-12-06

    Social insects provide an excellent platform to investigate flow of information in regulatory systems since their successful social organization is essentially achieved by effective information transfer through complex connectivity patterns among the colony members. Network representation of such behavioural interactions offers a powerful tool for structural as well as dynamical analysis of the underlying regulatory systems. In this paper, we focus on the dominance interaction networks in the tropical social wasp Ropalidia marginata-a species where behavioural observations indicate that such interactions are principally responsible for the transfer of information between individuals about their colony needs, resulting in a regulation of their own activities. Our research reveals that the dominance networks of R. marginata are structurally similar to a class of naturally evolved information processing networks, a fact confirmed also by the predominance of a specific substructure-the 'feed-forward loop'-a key functional component in many other information transfer networks. The dynamical analysis through Boolean modelling confirms that the networks are sufficiently stable under small fluctuations and yet capable of more efficient information transfer compared to their randomized counterparts. Our results suggest the involvement of a common structural design principle in different biological regulatory systems and a possible similarity with respect to the effect of selection on the organization levels of such systems. The findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that dominance behaviour has been shaped by natural selection to co-opt the information transfer process in such social insect species, in addition to its primal function of mediation of reproductive competition in the colony.

  6. Formal modeling and analysis of ER-α associated Biological Regulatory Network in breast cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareen, Samar H.K.; Siddiqa, Amnah; Bibi, Zurah; Ahmad, Jamil

    2016-01-01

    Background Breast cancer (BC) is one of the leading cause of death among females worldwide. The increasing incidence of BC is due to various genetic and environmental changes which lead to the disruption of cellular signaling network(s). It is a complex disease in which several interlinking signaling cascades play a crucial role in establishing a complex regulatory network. The logical modeling approach of René Thomas has been applied to analyze the behavior of estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-α) associated Biological Regulatory Network (BRN) for a small part of complex events that leads to BC metastasis. Methods A discrete model was constructed using the kinetic logic formalism and its set of logical parameters were obtained using the model checking technique implemented in the SMBioNet software which is consistent with biological observations. The discrete model was further enriched with continuous dynamics by converting it into an equivalent Petri Net (PN) to analyze the logical parameters of the involved entities. Results In-silico based discrete and continuous modeling of ER-α associated signaling network involved in BC provides information about behaviors and gene-gene interaction in detail. The dynamics of discrete model revealed, imperative behaviors represented as cyclic paths and trajectories leading to pathogenic states such as metastasis. Results suggest that the increased expressions of receptors ER-α, IGF-1R and EGFR slow down the activity of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) such as BRCA1, p53 and Mdm2 which can lead to metastasis. Therefore, IGF-1R and EGFR are considered as important inhibitory targets to control the metastasis in BC. Conclusion The in-silico approaches allow us to increase our understanding of the functional properties of living organisms. It opens new avenues of investigations of multiple inhibitory targets (ER-α, IGF-1R and EGFR) for wet lab experiments as well as provided valuable insights in the treatment of cancers such as BC.

  7. Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, O. C.; Krzywicki, A.; Zagorski, M.

    2016-07-01

    Living cells can maintain their internal states, react to changing environments, grow, differentiate, divide, etc. All these processes are tightly controlled by what can be called a regulatory program. The logic of the underlying control can sometimes be guessed at by examining the network of influences amongst genetic components. Some associated gene regulatory networks have been studied in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, unveiling various structural features ranging from broad distributions of out-degrees to recurrent "motifs", that is small subgraphs having a specific pattern of interactions. To understand what factors may be driving such structuring, a number of groups have introduced frameworks to model the dynamics of gene regulatory networks. In that context, we review here such in silico approaches and show how selection for phenotypes, i.e., network function, can shape network structure.

  8. Recursive random forest algorithm for constructing multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory networks that govern biological pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Kui; Busov, Victor; Wei, Hairong

    2017-01-01

    Background Present knowledge indicates a multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory network (ML-hGRN) often operates above a biological pathway. Although the ML-hGRN is very important for understanding how a pathway is regulated, there is almost no computational algorithm for directly constructing ML-hGRNs. Results A backward elimination random forest (BWERF) algorithm was developed for constructing the ML-hGRN operating above a biological pathway. For each pathway gene, the BWERF used a random forest model to calculate the importance values of all transcription factors (TFs) to this pathway gene recursively with a portion (e.g. 1/10) of least important TFs being excluded in each round of modeling, during which, the importance values of all TFs to the pathway gene were updated and ranked until only one TF was remained in the list. The above procedure, termed BWERF. After that, the importance values of a TF to all pathway genes were aggregated and fitted to a Gaussian mixture model to determine the TF retention for the regulatory layer immediately above the pathway layer. The acquired TFs at the secondary layer were then set to be the new bottom layer to infer the next upper layer, and this process was repeated until a ML-hGRN with the expected layers was obtained. Conclusions BWERF improved the accuracy for constructing ML-hGRNs because it used backward elimination to exclude the noise genes, and aggregated the individual importance values for determining the TFs retention. We validated the BWERF by using it for constructing ML-hGRNs operating above mouse pluripotency maintenance pathway and Arabidopsis lignocellulosic pathway. Compared to GENIE3, BWERF showed an improvement in recognizing authentic TFs regulating a pathway. Compared to the bottom-up Gaussian graphical model algorithm we developed for constructing ML-hGRNs, the BWERF can construct ML-hGRNs with significantly reduced edges that enable biologists to choose the implicit edges for experimental

  9. Computer-assisted curation of a human regulatory core network from the biological literature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thomas, P.; Durek, P.; Solt, I.; Klinger, B.; Witzel, F.; Schulthess, P.; Mayer, Y.; Tikk, D.; Blüthgen, N.; Leser, U.

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: A highly interlinked network of transcription factors (TFs) orchestrates the context-dependent expression of human genes. ChIP-chip experiments that interrogate the binding of particular TFs to genomic regions are used to reconstruct gene regulatory networks at genome-scale, but are plag

  10. A systems biology approach identifies a regulatory network in parotid acinar cell terminal differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa A Metzler

    Full Text Available The transcription factor networks that drive parotid salivary gland progenitor cells to terminally differentiate, remain largely unknown and are vital to understanding the regeneration process.A systems biology approach was taken to measure mRNA and microRNA expression in vivo across acinar cell terminal differentiation in the rat parotid salivary gland. Laser capture microdissection (LCM was used to specifically isolate acinar cell RNA at times spanning the month-long period of parotid differentiation.Clustering of microarray measurements suggests that expression occurs in four stages. mRNA expression patterns suggest a novel role for Pparg which is transiently increased during mid postnatal differentiation in concert with several target gene mRNAs. 79 microRNAs are significantly differentially expressed across time. Profiles of statistically significant changes of mRNA expression, combined with reciprocal correlations of microRNAs and their target mRNAs, suggest a putative network involving Klf4, a differentiation inhibiting transcription factor, which decreases as several targeting microRNAs increase late in differentiation. The network suggests a molecular switch (involving Prdm1, Sox11, Pax5, miR-200a, and miR-30a progressively decreases repression of Xbp1 gene transcription, in concert with decreased translational repression by miR-214. The transcription factor Xbp1 mRNA is initially low, increases progressively, and may be maintained by a positive feedback loop with Atf6. Transfection studies show that Xbp1 activates the Mist1 promoter [corrected]. In addition, Xbp1 and Mist1 each activate the parotid secretory protein (Psp gene, which encodes an abundant salivary protein, and is a marker of terminal differentiation.This study identifies novel expression patterns of Pparg, Klf4, and Sox11 during parotid acinar cell differentiation, as well as numerous differentially expressed microRNAs. Network analysis identifies a novel stemness arm, a

  11. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2016-04-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways.

  12. Networks in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Mark; Caldarelli, Guido; De Los Rios, Paolo; Rao, Francesco; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2010-05-01

    Introduction; 1. Network views of the cell Paolo De Los Rios and Michele Vendruscolo; 2. Transcriptional regulatory networks Sarath Chandra Janga and M. Madan Babu; 3. Transcription factors and gene regulatory networks Matteo Brilli, Elissa Calistri and Pietro Lió; 4. Experimental methods for protein interaction identification Peter Uetz, Björn Titz, Seesandra V. Rajagopala and Gerard Cagney; 5. Modeling protein interaction networks Francesco Rao; 6. Dynamics and evolution of metabolic networks Daniel Segré; 7. Hierarchical modularity in biological networks: the case of metabolic networks Erzsébet Ravasz Regan; 8. Signalling networks Gian Paolo Rossini; Appendix 1. Complex networks: from local to global properties D. Garlaschelli and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 2. Modelling the local structure of networks D. Garlaschelli and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 3. Higher-order topological properties S. Ahnert, T. Fink and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 4. Elementary mathematical concepts A. Gabrielli and G. Caldarelli; References.

  13. Adaptive Dynamics of Regulatory Networks: Size Matters

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    Martinetz Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available To accomplish adaptability, all living organisms are constructed of regulatory networks on different levels which are capable to differentially respond to a variety of environmental inputs. Structure of regulatory networks determines their phenotypical plasticity, that is, the degree of detail and appropriateness of regulatory replies to environmental or developmental challenges. This regulatory network structure is encoded within the genotype. Our conceptual simulation study investigates how network structure constrains the evolution of networks and their adaptive abilities. The focus is on the structural parameter network size. We show that small regulatory networks adapt fast, but not as good as larger networks in the longer perspective. Selection leads to an optimal network size dependent on heterogeneity of the environment and time pressure of adaptation. Optimal mutation rates are higher for smaller networks. We put special emphasis on discussing our simulation results on the background of functional observations from experimental and evolutionary biology.

  14. Adaptive Dynamics of Regulatory Networks: Size Matters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available To accomplish adaptability, all living organisms are constructed of regulatory networks on different levels which are capable to differentially respond to a variety of environmental inputs. Structure of regulatory networks determines their phenotypical plasticity, that is, the degree of detail and appropriateness of regulatory replies to environmental or developmental challenges. This regulatory network structure is encoded within the genotype. Our conceptual simulation study investigates how network structure constrains the evolution of networks and their adaptive abilities. The focus is on the structural parameter network size. We show that small regulatory networks adapt fast, but not as good as larger networks in the longer perspective. Selection leads to an optimal network size dependent on heterogeneity of the environment and time pressure of adaptation. Optimal mutation rates are higher for smaller networks. We put special emphasis on discussing our simulation results on the background of functional observations from experimental and evolutionary biology.

  15. Understanding regulatory networks requires more than computing a multitude of graph statistics. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkačik, Gašper

    2016-07-01

    The article by O. Martin and colleagues provides a much needed systematic review of a body of work that relates the topological structure of genetic regulatory networks to evolutionary selection for function. This connection is very important. Using the current wealth of genomic data, statistical features of regulatory networks (e.g., degree distributions, motif composition, etc.) can be quantified rather easily; it is, however, often unclear how to interpret the results. On a graph theoretic level the statistical significance of the results can be evaluated by comparing observed graphs to "randomized" ones (bravely ignoring the issue of how precisely to randomize!) and comparing the frequency of appearance of a particular network structure relative to a randomized null expectation. While this is a convenient operational test for statistical significance, its biological meaning is questionable. In contrast, an in-silico genotype-to-phenotype model makes explicit the assumptions about the network function, and thus clearly defines the expected network structures that can be compared to the case of no selection for function and, ultimately, to data.

  16. Evolutionary approaches for the reverse-engineering of gene regulatory networks: A study on a biologically realistic dataset

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    Gidrol Xavier

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inferring gene regulatory networks from data requires the development of algorithms devoted to structure extraction. When only static data are available, gene interactions may be modelled by a Bayesian Network (BN that represents the presence of direct interactions from regulators to regulees by conditional probability distributions. We used enhanced evolutionary algorithms to stochastically evolve a set of candidate BN structures and found the model that best fits data without prior knowledge. Results We proposed various evolutionary strategies suitable for the task and tested our choices using simulated data drawn from a given bio-realistic network of 35 nodes, the so-called insulin network, which has been used in the literature for benchmarking. We assessed the inferred models against this reference to obtain statistical performance results. We then compared performances of evolutionary algorithms using two kinds of recombination operators that operate at different scales in the graphs. We introduced a niching strategy that reinforces diversity through the population and avoided trapping of the algorithm in one local minimum in the early steps of learning. We show the limited effect of the mutation operator when niching is applied. Finally, we compared our best evolutionary approach with various well known learning algorithms (MCMC, K2, greedy search, TPDA, MMHC devoted to BN structure learning. Conclusion We studied the behaviour of an evolutionary approach enhanced by niching for the learning of gene regulatory networks with BN. We show that this approach outperforms classical structure learning methods in elucidating the original model. These results were obtained for the learning of a bio-realistic network and, more importantly, on various small datasets. This is a suitable approach for learning transcriptional regulatory networks from real datasets without prior knowledge.

  17. Modeling of hysteresis in gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J; Qin, K R; Xiang, C; Lee, T H

    2012-08-01

    Hysteresis, observed in many gene regulatory networks, has a pivotal impact on biological systems, which enhances the robustness of cell functions. In this paper, a general model is proposed to describe the hysteretic gene regulatory network by combining the hysteresis component and the transient dynamics. The Bouc-Wen hysteresis model is modified to describe the hysteresis component in the mammalian gene regulatory networks. Rigorous mathematical analysis on the dynamical properties of the model is presented to ensure the bounded-input-bounded-output (BIBO) stability and demonstrates that the original Bouc-Wen model can only generate a clockwise hysteresis loop while the modified model can describe both clockwise and counter clockwise hysteresis loops. Simulation studies have shown that the hysteresis loops from our model are consistent with the experimental observations in three mammalian gene regulatory networks and two E.coli gene regulatory networks, which demonstrate the ability and accuracy of the mathematical model to emulate natural gene expression behavior with hysteresis. A comparison study has also been conducted to show that this model fits the experiment data significantly better than previous ones in the literature. The successful modeling of the hysteresis in all the five hysteretic gene regulatory networks suggests that the new model has the potential to be a unified framework for modeling hysteresis in gene regulatory networks and provide better understanding of the general mechanism that drives the hysteretic function.

  18. Mutational robustness of gene regulatory networks.

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    Aalt D J van Dijk

    Full Text Available Mutational robustness of gene regulatory networks refers to their ability to generate constant biological output upon mutations that change network structure. Such networks contain regulatory interactions (transcription factor-target gene interactions but often also protein-protein interactions between transcription factors. Using computational modeling, we study factors that influence robustness and we infer several network properties governing it. These include the type of mutation, i.e. whether a regulatory interaction or a protein-protein interaction is mutated, and in the case of mutation of a regulatory interaction, the sign of the interaction (activating vs. repressive. In addition, we analyze the effect of combinations of mutations and we compare networks containing monomeric with those containing dimeric transcription factors. Our results are consistent with available data on biological networks, for example based on evolutionary conservation of network features. As a novel and remarkable property, we predict that networks are more robust against mutations in monomer than in dimer transcription factors, a prediction for which analysis of conservation of DNA binding residues in monomeric vs. dimeric transcription factors provides indirect evidence.

  19. Transcription regulatory networks analysis using CAGE

    KAUST Repository

    Tegnér, Jesper N.

    2009-10-01

    Mapping out cellular networks in general and transcriptional networks in particular has proved to be a bottle-neck hampering our understanding of biological processes. Integrative approaches fusing computational and experimental technologies for decoding transcriptional networks at a high level of resolution is therefore of uttermost importance. Yet, this is challenging since the control of gene expression in eukaryotes is a complex multi-level process influenced by several epigenetic factors and the fine interplay between regulatory proteins and the promoter structure governing the combinatorial regulation of gene expression. In this chapter we review how the CAGE data can be integrated with other measurements such as expression, physical interactions and computational prediction of regulatory motifs, which together can provide a genome-wide picture of eukaryotic transcriptional regulatory networks at a new level of resolution. © 2010 by Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Overview of methods of reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks: Boolean and Bayesian networks

    OpenAIRE

    Frolova A. O.

    2012-01-01

    Reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks is an intensively studied topic in Systems Biology as it reconstructs regulatory interactions between all genes in the genome in the most complete form. The extreme computational complexity of this problem and lack of thorough reviews on reconstruction methods of gene regulatory network is a significant obstacle to further development of this area. In this article the two most common methods for modeling gene regulatory networks are surveyed: Bo...

  1. Systems Biology Approach to the Dissection of the Complexity of Regulatory Networks in the S. scrofa Cardiocirculatory System

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    Paolo Martini

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Genome-wide experiments are routinely used to increase the understanding of the biological processes involved in the development and maintenance of a variety of pathologies. Although the technical feasibility of this type of experiment has improved in recent years, data analysis remains challenging. In this context, gene set analysis has emerged as a fundamental tool for the interpretation of the results. Here, we review strategies used in the gene set approach, and using datasets for the pig cardiocirculatory system as a case study, we demonstrate how the use of a combination of these strategies can enhance the interpretation of results. Gene set analyses are able to distinguish vessels from the heart and arteries from veins in a manner that is consistent with the different cellular composition of smooth muscle cells. By integrating microRNA elements in the regulatory circuits identified, we find that vessel specificity is maintained through specific miRNAs, such as miR-133a and miR-143, which show anti-correlated expression with their mRNA targets.

  2. Escherichia coli transcriptional regulatory network

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    Agustino Martinez-Antonio

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Escherichia coli is the most well-know bacterial model about the function of its molecular components. In this review are presented several structural and functional aspects of their transcriptional regulatory network constituted by transcription factors and target genes. The network discussed here represent to 1531 genes and 3421 regulatory interactions. This network shows a power-law distribution with a few global regulators and most of genes poorly connected. 176 of genes in the network correspond to transcription factors, which form a sub-network of seven hierarchical layers where global regulators tend to be set in superior layers while local regulators are located in the lower ones. There is a small set of proteins know as nucleoid-associated proteins, which are in a high cellular concentrations and reshape the nucleoid structure to influence the running of global transcriptional programs, to this mode of regulation is named analog regulation. Specific signal effectors assist the activity of most of transcription factors in E. coli. These effectors switch and tune the activity of transcription factors. To this type of regulation, depending of environmental signals is named the digital-precise-regulation. The integration of regulatory programs have place in the promoter region of transcription units where it is common to observe co-regulation among global and local TFs as well as of TFs sensing exogenous and endogenous conditions. The mechanistic logic to understand the harmonious operation of regulatory programs in the network should consider the globalism of TFs, their signal perceived, coregulation, genome position, and cellular concentration. Finally, duplicated TFs and their horizontal transfer influence the evolvability of members of the network. The most duplicated and transferred TFs are located in the network periphery.

  3. Measuring the evolutionary rewiring of biological networks.

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    Chong Shou

    Full Text Available We have accumulated a large amount of biological network data and expect even more to come. Soon, we anticipate being able to compare many different biological networks as we commonly do for molecular sequences. It has long been believed that many of these networks change, or "rewire", at different rates. It is therefore important to develop a framework to quantify the differences between networks in a unified fashion. We developed such a formalism based on analogy to simple models of sequence evolution, and used it to conduct a systematic study of network rewiring on all the currently available biological networks. We found that, similar to sequences, biological networks show a decreased rate of change at large time divergences, because of saturation in potential substitutions. However, different types of biological networks consistently rewire at different rates. Using comparative genomics and proteomics data, we found a consistent ordering of the rewiring rates: transcription regulatory, phosphorylation regulatory, genetic interaction, miRNA regulatory, protein interaction, and metabolic pathway network, from fast to slow. This ordering was found in all comparisons we did of matched networks between organisms. To gain further intuition on network rewiring, we compared our observed rewirings with those obtained from simulation. We also investigated how readily our formalism could be mapped to other network contexts; in particular, we showed how it could be applied to analyze changes in a range of "commonplace" networks such as family trees, co-authorships and linux-kernel function dependencies.

  4. Regulatory Snapshots: integrative mining of regulatory modules from expression time series and regulatory networks.

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    Joana P Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Explaining regulatory mechanisms is crucial to understand complex cellular responses leading to system perturbations. Some strategies reverse engineer regulatory interactions from experimental data, while others identify functional regulatory units (modules under the assumption that biological systems yield a modular organization. Most modular studies focus on network structure and static properties, ignoring that gene regulation is largely driven by stimulus-response behavior. Expression time series are key to gain insight into dynamics, but have been insufficiently explored by current methods, which often (1 apply generic algorithms unsuited for expression analysis over time, due to inability to maintain the chronology of events or incorporate time dependency; (2 ignore local patterns, abundant in most interesting cases of transcriptional activity; (3 neglect physical binding or lack automatic association of regulators, focusing mainly on expression patterns; or (4 limit the discovery to a predefined number of modules. We propose Regulatory Snapshots, an integrative mining approach to identify regulatory modules over time by combining transcriptional control with response, while overcoming the above challenges. Temporal biclustering is first used to reveal transcriptional modules composed of genes showing coherent expression profiles over time. Personalized ranking is then applied to prioritize prominent regulators targeting the modules at each time point using a network of documented regulatory associations and the expression data. Custom graphics are finally depicted to expose the regulatory activity in a module at consecutive time points (snapshots. Regulatory Snapshots successfully unraveled modules underlying yeast response to heat shock and human epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, based on regulations documented in the YEASTRACT and JASPAR databases, respectively, and available expression data. Regulatory players involved in

  5. Information transmission in genetic regulatory networks: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkačik, Gašper; Walczak, Aleksandra M

    2011-04-20

    Genetic regulatory networks enable cells to respond to changes in internal and external conditions by dynamically coordinating their gene expression profiles. Our ability to make quantitative measurements in these biochemical circuits has deepened our understanding of what kinds of computations genetic regulatory networks can perform, and with what reliability. These advances have motivated researchers to look for connections between the architecture and function of genetic regulatory networks. Transmitting information between a network's inputs and outputs has been proposed as one such possible measure of function, relevant in certain biological contexts. Here we summarize recent developments in the application of information theory to gene regulatory networks. We first review basic concepts in information theory necessary for understanding recent work. We then discuss the functional complexity of gene regulation, which arises from the molecular nature of the regulatory interactions. We end by reviewing some experiments that support the view that genetic networks responsible for early development of multicellular organisms might be maximizing transmitted 'positional information'.

  6. Information transmission in genetic regulatory networks: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkačik, Gašper; Walczak, Aleksandra M.

    2011-04-01

    Genetic regulatory networks enable cells to respond to changes in internal and external conditions by dynamically coordinating their gene expression profiles. Our ability to make quantitative measurements in these biochemical circuits has deepened our understanding of what kinds of computations genetic regulatory networks can perform, and with what reliability. These advances have motivated researchers to look for connections between the architecture and function of genetic regulatory networks. Transmitting information between a network's inputs and outputs has been proposed as one such possible measure of function, relevant in certain biological contexts. Here we summarize recent developments in the application of information theory to gene regulatory networks. We first review basic concepts in information theory necessary for understanding recent work. We then discuss the functional complexity of gene regulation, which arises from the molecular nature of the regulatory interactions. We end by reviewing some experiments that support the view that genetic networks responsible for early development of multicellular organisms might be maximizing transmitted 'positional information'.

  7. Inference of Gene Regulatory Network Based on Local Bayesian Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fei; Zhang, Shao-Wu; Guo, Wei-Feng; Wei, Ze-Gang; Chen, Luonan

    2016-08-01

    The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from expression data can mine the direct regulations among genes and gain deep insights into biological processes at a network level. During past decades, numerous computational approaches have been introduced for inferring the GRNs. However, many of them still suffer from various problems, e.g., Bayesian network (BN) methods cannot handle large-scale networks due to their high computational complexity, while information theory-based methods cannot identify the directions of regulatory interactions and also suffer from false positive/negative problems. To overcome the limitations, in this work we present a novel algorithm, namely local Bayesian network (LBN), to infer GRNs from gene expression data by using the network decomposition strategy and false-positive edge elimination scheme. Specifically, LBN algorithm first uses conditional mutual information (CMI) to construct an initial network or GRN, which is decomposed into a number of local networks or GRNs. Then, BN method is employed to generate a series of local BNs by selecting the k-nearest neighbors of each gene as its candidate regulatory genes, which significantly reduces the exponential search space from all possible GRN structures. Integrating these local BNs forms a tentative network or GRN by performing CMI, which reduces redundant regulations in the GRN and thus alleviates the false positive problem. The final network or GRN can be obtained by iteratively performing CMI and local BN on the tentative network. In the iterative process, the false or redundant regulations are gradually removed. When tested on the benchmark GRN datasets from DREAM challenge as well as the SOS DNA repair network in E.coli, our results suggest that LBN outperforms other state-of-the-art methods (ARACNE, GENIE3 and NARROMI) significantly, with more accurate and robust performance. In particular, the decomposition strategy with local Bayesian networks not only effectively reduce

  8. Dominating biological networks.

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    Tijana Milenković

    Full Text Available Proteins are essential macromolecules of life that carry out most cellular processes. Since proteins aggregate to perform function, and since protein-protein interaction (PPI networks model these aggregations, one would expect to uncover new biology from PPI network topology. Hence, using PPI networks to predict protein function and role of protein pathways in disease has received attention. A debate remains open about whether network properties of "biologically central (BC" genes (i.e., their protein products, such as those involved in aging, cancer, infectious diseases, or signaling and drug-targeted pathways, exhibit some topological centrality compared to the rest of the proteins in the human PPI network.To help resolve this debate, we design new network-based approaches and apply them to get new insight into biological function and disease. We hypothesize that BC genes have a topologically central (TC role in the human PPI network. We propose two different concepts of topological centrality. We design a new centrality measure to capture complex wirings of proteins in the network that identifies as TC those proteins that reside in dense extended network neighborhoods. Also, we use the notion of domination and find dominating sets (DSs in the PPI network, i.e., sets of proteins such that every protein is either in the DS or is a neighbor of the DS. Clearly, a DS has a TC role, as it enables efficient communication between different network parts. We find statistically significant enrichment in BC genes of TC nodes and outperform the existing methods indicating that genes involved in key biological processes occupy topologically complex and dense regions of the network and correspond to its "spine" that connects all other network parts and can thus pass cellular signals efficiently throughout the network. To our knowledge, this is the first study that explores domination in the context of PPI networks.

  9. Information transmission in genetic regulatory networks: a review

    CERN Document Server

    Walczak, Aleksandra M

    2011-01-01

    Genetic regulatory networks enable cells to respond to the changes in internal and external conditions by dynamically coordinating their gene expression profiles. Our ability to make quantitative measurements in these biochemical circuits has deepened our understanding of what kinds of computations genetic regulatory networks can perform and with what reliability. These advances have motivated researchers to look for connections between the architecture and function of genetic regulatory networks. Transmitting information between network's inputs and its outputs has been proposed as one such possible measure of function, relevant in certain biological contexts. Here we summarize recent developments in the application of information theory to gene regulatory networks. We first review basic concepts in information theory necessary to understand recent work. We then discuss the functional complexity of gene regulation which arrises from the molecular nature of the regulatory interactions. We end by reviewing som...

  10. Population Dynamics of Genetic Regulatory Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Erez

    2005-03-01

    Unlike common objects in physics, a biological cell processes information. The cell interprets its genome and transforms the genomic information content, through the action of genetic regulatory networks, into proteins which in turn dictate its metabolism, functionality and morphology. Understanding the dynamics of a population of biological cells presents a unique challenge. It requires to link the intracellular dynamics of gene regulation, through the mechanism of cell division, to the level of the population. We present experiments studying adaptive dynamics of populations of genetically homogeneous microorganisms (yeast), grown for long durations under steady conditions. We focus on population dynamics that do not involve random genetic mutations. Our experiments follow the long-term dynamics of the population distributions and allow to quantify the correlations among generations. We focus on three interconnected issues: adaptation of genetically homogeneous populations following environmental changes, selection processes on the population and population variability and expression distributions. We show that while the population exhibits specific short-term responses to environmental inputs, it eventually adapts to a robust steady-state, largely independent of external conditions. Cycles of medium-switch show that the adapted state is imprinted in the population and that this memory is maintained for many generations. To further study population adaptation, we utilize the process of gene recruitment whereby a gene naturally regulated by a specific promoter is placed under a different regulatory system. This naturally occurring process has been recognized as a major driving force in evolution. We have recruited an essential gene to a foreign regulatory network and followed the population long-term dynamics. Rewiring of the regulatory network allows us to expose their complex dynamics and phase space structure.

  11. Genetic flexibility of regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunziker, Alexander; Tuboly, Csaba; Horváth, Péter; Krishna, Sandeep; Semsey, Szabolcs

    2010-07-20

    Gene regulatory networks are based on simple building blocks such as promoters, transcription factors (TFs) and their binding sites on DNA. But how diverse are the functions that can be obtained by different arrangements of promoters and TF binding sites? In this work we constructed synthetic regulatory regions using promoter elements and binding sites of two noninteracting TFs, each sensing a single environmental input signal. We show that simply by combining these three kinds of elements, we can obtain 11 of the 16 Boolean logic gates that integrate two environmental signals in vivo. Further, we demonstrate how combination of logic gates can result in new logic functions. Our results suggest that simple elements of transcription regulation form a highly flexible toolbox that can generate diverse functions under natural selection.

  12. Dynamic simulation of regulatory networks using SQUAD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xenarios Ioannis

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ambition of most molecular biologists is the understanding of the intricate network of molecular interactions that control biological systems. As scientists uncover the components and the connectivity of these networks, it becomes possible to study their dynamical behavior as a whole and discover what is the specific role of each of their components. Since the behavior of a network is by no means intuitive, it becomes necessary to use computational models to understand its behavior and to be able to make predictions about it. Unfortunately, most current computational models describe small networks due to the scarcity of kinetic data available. To overcome this problem, we previously published a methodology to convert a signaling network into a dynamical system, even in the total absence of kinetic information. In this paper we present a software implementation of such methodology. Results We developed SQUAD, a software for the dynamic simulation of signaling networks using the standardized qualitative dynamical systems approach. SQUAD converts the network into a discrete dynamical system, and it uses a binary decision diagram algorithm to identify all the steady states of the system. Then, the software creates a continuous dynamical system and localizes its steady states which are located near the steady states of the discrete system. The software permits to make simulations on the continuous system, allowing for the modification of several parameters. Importantly, SQUAD includes a framework for perturbing networks in a manner similar to what is performed in experimental laboratory protocols, for example by activating receptors or knocking out molecular components. Using this software we have been able to successfully reproduce the behavior of the regulatory network implicated in T-helper cell differentiation. Conclusion The simulation of regulatory networks aims at predicting the behavior of a whole system when subject

  13. Evolutionary algorithms in genetic regulatory networks model

    CERN Document Server

    Raza, Khalid

    2012-01-01

    Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs) plays a vital role in the understanding of complex biological processes. Modeling GRNs is significantly important in order to reveal fundamental cellular processes, examine gene functions and understanding their complex relationships. Understanding the interactions between genes gives rise to develop better method for drug discovery and diagnosis of the disease since many diseases are characterized by abnormal behaviour of the genes. In this paper we have reviewed various evolutionary algorithms-based approach for modeling GRNs and discussed various opportunities and challenges.

  14. The core regulatory network in human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Man-Sun; Kim, Dongsan; Kang, Nam Sook; Kim, Jeong-Rae

    2017-03-04

    In order to discover the common characteristics of various cell types in the human body, many researches have been conducted to find the set of genes commonly expressed in various cell types and tissues. However, the functional characteristics of a cell is determined by the complex regulatory relationships among the genes rather than by expressed genes themselves. Therefore, it is more important to identify and analyze a core regulatory network where all regulatory relationship between genes are active across all cell types to uncover the common features of various cell types. Here, based on hundreds of tissue-specific gene regulatory networks constructed by recent genome-wide experimental data, we constructed the core regulatory network. Interestingly, we found that the core regulatory network is organized by simple cascade and has few complex regulations such as feedback or feed-forward loops. Moreover, we discovered that the regulatory links from genes in the core regulatory network to genes in the peripheral regulatory network are much more abundant than the reverse direction links. These results suggest that the core regulatory network locates at the top of regulatory network and plays a role as a 'hub' in terms of information flow, and the information that is common to all cells can be modified to achieve the tissue-specific characteristics through various types of feedback and feed-forward loops in the peripheral regulatory networks. We also found that the genes in the core regulatory network are evolutionary conserved, essential and non-disease, non-druggable genes compared to the peripheral genes. Overall, our study provides an insight into how all human cells share a common function and generate tissue-specific functional traits by transmitting and processing information through regulatory network.

  15. Dynamics of network motifs in genetic regulatory networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Ying; Liu Zeng-Rong; Zhang Jian-Bao

    2007-01-01

    Network motifs hold a very important status in genetic regulatory networks. This paper aims to analyse the dynamical property of the network motifs in genetic regulatory networks. The main result we obtained is that the dynamical property of a single motif is very simple with only an asymptotically stable equilibrium point, but the combination of several motifs can make more complicated dynamical properties emerge such as limit cycles. The above-mentioned result shows that network motif is a stable substructure in genetic regulatory networks while their combinations make the genetic regulatory network more complicated.

  16. Metabolic constraint-based refinement of transcriptional regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Price, Nathan D

    2013-01-01

    There is a strong need for computational frameworks that integrate different biological processes and data-types to unravel cellular regulation. Current efforts to reconstruct transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) focus primarily on proximal data such as gene co-expression and transcription factor (TF) binding. While such approaches enable rapid reconstruction of TRNs, the overwhelming combinatorics of possible networks limits identification of mechanistic regulatory interactions. Utilizing growth phenotypes and systems-level constraints to inform regulatory network reconstruction is an unmet challenge. We present our approach Gene Expression and Metabolism Integrated for Network Inference (GEMINI) that links a compendium of candidate regulatory interactions with the metabolic network to predict their systems-level effect on growth phenotypes. We then compare predictions with experimental phenotype data to select phenotype-consistent regulatory interactions. GEMINI makes use of the observation that only a small fraction of regulatory network states are compatible with a viable metabolic network, and outputs a regulatory network that is simultaneously consistent with the input genome-scale metabolic network model, gene expression data, and TF knockout phenotypes. GEMINI preferentially recalls gold-standard interactions (p-value = 10(-172)), significantly better than using gene expression alone. We applied GEMINI to create an integrated metabolic-regulatory network model for Saccharomyces cerevisiae involving 25,000 regulatory interactions controlling 1597 metabolic reactions. The model quantitatively predicts TF knockout phenotypes in new conditions (p-value = 10(-14)) and revealed potential condition-specific regulatory mechanisms. Our results suggest that a metabolic constraint-based approach can be successfully used to help reconstruct TRNs from high-throughput data, and highlights the potential of using a biochemically-detailed mechanistic framework to

  17. Network dynamics and systems biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrell, Johannes A.

    The physics of complex systems has grown considerably as a field in recent decades, largely due to improved computational technology and increased availability of systems level data. One area in which physics is of growing relevance is molecular biology. A new field, systems biology, investigates features of biological systems as a whole, a strategy of particular importance for understanding emergent properties that result from a complex network of interactions. Due to the complicated nature of the systems under study, the physics of complex systems has a significant role to play in elucidating the collective behavior. In this dissertation, we explore three problems in the physics of complex systems, motivated in part by systems biology. The first of these concerns the applicability of Boolean models as an approximation of continuous systems. Studies of gene regulatory networks have employed both continuous and Boolean models to analyze the system dynamics, and the two have been found produce similar results in the cases analyzed. We ask whether or not Boolean models can generically reproduce the qualitative attractor dynamics of networks of continuously valued elements. Using a combination of analytical techniques and numerical simulations, we find that continuous networks exhibit two effects---an asymmetry between on and off states, and a decaying memory of events in each element's inputs---that are absent from synchronously updated Boolean models. We show that in simple loops these effects produce exactly the attractors that one would predict with an analysis of the stability of Boolean attractors, but in slightly more complicated topologies, they can destabilize solutions that are stable in the Boolean approximation, and can stabilize new attractors. Second, we investigate ensembles of large, random networks. Of particular interest is the transition between ordered and disordered dynamics, which is well characterized in Boolean systems. Networks at the

  18. Current approaches to gene regulatory network modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brazma Alvis

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many different approaches have been developed to model and simulate gene regulatory networks. We proposed the following categories for gene regulatory network models: network parts lists, network topology models, network control logic models, and dynamic models. Here we will describe some examples for each of these categories. We will study the topology of gene regulatory networks in yeast in more detail, comparing a direct network derived from transcription factor binding data and an indirect network derived from genome-wide expression data in mutants. Regarding the network dynamics we briefly describe discrete and continuous approaches to network modelling, then describe a hybrid model called Finite State Linear Model and demonstrate that some simple network dynamics can be simulated in this model.

  19. Chaotic motifs in gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaoyang; Ye, Weiming; Qian, Yu; Zheng, Zhigang; Huang, Xuhui; Hu, Gang

    2012-01-01

    Chaos should occur often in gene regulatory networks (GRNs) which have been widely described by nonlinear coupled ordinary differential equations, if their dimensions are no less than 3. It is therefore puzzling that chaos has never been reported in GRNs in nature and is also extremely rare in models of GRNs. On the other hand, the topic of motifs has attracted great attention in studying biological networks, and network motifs are suggested to be elementary building blocks that carry out some key functions in the network. In this paper, chaotic motifs (subnetworks with chaos) in GRNs are systematically investigated. The conclusion is that: (i) chaos can only appear through competitions between different oscillatory modes with rivaling intensities. Conditions required for chaotic GRNs are found to be very strict, which make chaotic GRNs extremely rare. (ii) Chaotic motifs are explored as the simplest few-node structures capable of producing chaos, and serve as the intrinsic source of chaos of random few-node GRNs. Several optimal motifs causing chaos with atypically high probability are figured out. (iii) Moreover, we discovered that a number of special oscillators can never produce chaos. These structures bring some advantages on rhythmic functions and may help us understand the robustness of diverse biological rhythms. (iv) The methods of dominant phase-advanced driving (DPAD) and DPAD time fraction are proposed to quantitatively identify chaotic motifs and to explain the origin of chaotic behaviors in GRNs.

  20. Review of biological network data and its applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Donghyeon; Kim, Minsoo; Xiao, Guanghua; Hwang, Tae Hyun

    2013-12-01

    Studying biological networks, such as protein-protein interactions, is key to understanding complex biological activities. Various types of large-scale biological datasets have been collected and analyzed with high-throughput technologies, including DNA microarray, next-generation sequencing, and the two-hybrid screening system, for this purpose. In this review, we focus on network-based approaches that help in understanding biological systems and identifying biological functions. Accordingly, this paper covers two major topics in network biology: reconstruction of gene regulatory networks and network-based applications, including protein function prediction, disease gene prioritization, and network-based genome-wide association study.

  1. Topology of transcriptional regulatory networks: testing and improving.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dicle Hasdemir

    Full Text Available With the increasing amount and complexity of data generated in biological experiments it is becoming necessary to enhance the performance and applicability of existing statistical data analysis methods. This enhancement is needed for the hidden biological information to be better resolved and better interpreted. Towards that aim, systematic incorporation of prior information in biological data analysis has been a challenging problem for systems biology. Several methods have been proposed to integrate data from different levels of information most notably from metabolomics, transcriptomics and proteomics and thus enhance biological interpretation. However, in order not to be misled by the dominance of incorrect prior information in the analysis, being able to discriminate between competing prior information is required. In this study, we show that discrimination between topological information in competing transcriptional regulatory network models is possible solely based on experimental data. We use network topology dependent decomposition of synthetic gene expression data to introduce both local and global discriminating measures. The measures indicate how well the gene expression data can be explained under the constraints of the model network topology and how much each regulatory connection in the model refuses to be constrained. Application of the method to the cell cycle regulatory network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae leads to the prediction of novel regulatory interactions, improving the information content of the hypothesized network model.

  2. Efficient, sparse biological network determination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papachristodoulou Antonis

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Determining the interaction topology of biological systems is a topic that currently attracts significant research interest. Typical models for such systems take the form of differential equations that involve polynomial and rational functions. Such nonlinear models make the problem of determining the connectivity of biochemical networks from time-series experimental data much harder. The use of linear dynamics and linearization techniques that have been proposed in the past can circumvent this, but the general problem of developing efficient algorithms for models that provide more accurate system descriptions remains open. Results We present a network determination algorithm that can treat model descriptions with polynomial and rational functions and which does not make use of linearization. For this purpose, we make use of the observation that biochemical networks are in general 'sparse' and minimize the 1-norm of the decision variables (sum of weighted network connections while constraints keep the error between data and the network dynamics small. The emphasis of our methodology is on determining the interconnection topology rather than the specific reaction constants and it takes into account the necessary properties that a chemical reaction network should have – something that techniques based on linearization can not. The problem can be formulated as a Linear Program, a convex optimization problem, for which efficient algorithms are available that can treat large data sets efficiently and uncertainties in data or model parameters. Conclusion The presented methodology is able to predict with accuracy and efficiency the connectivity structure of a chemical reaction network with mass action kinetics and of a gene regulatory network from simulation data even if the dynamics of these systems are non-polynomial (rational and uncertainties in the data are taken into account. It also produces a network structure that can

  3. Dissecting microregulation of a master regulatory network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaimal Vivek

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The master regulator p53 tumor-suppressor protein through coordination of several downstream target genes and upstream transcription factors controls many pathways important for tumor suppression. While it has been reported that some of the p53's functions are microRNA-mediated, it is not known as to how many other microRNAs might contribute to the p53-mediated tumorigenesis. Results Here, we use bioinformatics-based integrative approach to identify and prioritize putative p53-regulated miRNAs, and unravel the miRNA-based microregulation of the p53 master regulatory network. Specifically, we identify putative microRNA regulators of a transcription factors that are upstream or downstream to p53 and b p53 interactants. The putative p53-miRs and their targets are prioritized using current knowledge of cancer biology and literature-reported cancer-miRNAs. Conclusion Our predicted p53-miRNA-gene networks strongly suggest that coordinated transcriptional and p53-miR mediated networks could be integral to tumorigenesis and the underlying processes and pathways.

  4. Functional alignment of regulatory networks: a study of temperate phages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ala Trusina

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between the design and functionality of molecular networks is now a key issue in biology. Comparison of regulatory networks performing similar tasks can provide insights into how network architecture is constrained by the functions it directs. Here, we discuss methods of network comparison based on network architecture and signaling logic. Introducing local and global signaling scores for the difference between two networks, we quantify similarities between evolutionarily closely and distantly related bacteriophages. Despite the large evolutionary separation between phage lambda and 186, their networks are found to be similar when difference is measured in terms of global signaling. We finally discuss how network alignment can be used to pinpoint protein similarities viewed from the network perspective.

  5. Stability depends on positive autoregulation in Boolean gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Pinho

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Network motifs have been identified as building blocks of regulatory networks, including gene regulatory networks (GRNs. The most basic motif, autoregulation, has been associated with bistability (when positive and with homeostasis and robustness to noise (when negative, but its general importance in network behavior is poorly understood. Moreover, how specific autoregulatory motifs are selected during evolution and how this relates to robustness is largely unknown. Here, we used a class of GRN models, Boolean networks, to investigate the relationship between autoregulation and network stability and robustness under various conditions. We ran evolutionary simulation experiments for different models of selection, including mutation and recombination. Each generation simulated the development of a population of organisms modeled by GRNs. We found that stability and robustness positively correlate with autoregulation; in all investigated scenarios, stable networks had mostly positive autoregulation. Assuming biological networks correspond to stable networks, these results suggest that biological networks should often be dominated by positive autoregulatory loops. This seems to be the case for most studied eukaryotic transcription factor networks, including those in yeast, flies and mammals.

  6. Stability Depends on Positive Autoregulation in Boolean Gene Regulatory Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, Ricardo; Garcia, Victor; Irimia, Manuel; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2014-01-01

    Network motifs have been identified as building blocks of regulatory networks, including gene regulatory networks (GRNs). The most basic motif, autoregulation, has been associated with bistability (when positive) and with homeostasis and robustness to noise (when negative), but its general importance in network behavior is poorly understood. Moreover, how specific autoregulatory motifs are selected during evolution and how this relates to robustness is largely unknown. Here, we used a class of GRN models, Boolean networks, to investigate the relationship between autoregulation and network stability and robustness under various conditions. We ran evolutionary simulation experiments for different models of selection, including mutation and recombination. Each generation simulated the development of a population of organisms modeled by GRNs. We found that stability and robustness positively correlate with autoregulation; in all investigated scenarios, stable networks had mostly positive autoregulation. Assuming biological networks correspond to stable networks, these results suggest that biological networks should often be dominated by positive autoregulatory loops. This seems to be the case for most studied eukaryotic transcription factor networks, including those in yeast, flies and mammals. PMID:25375153

  7. Reconstruction of Gene Regulatory Networks Based on Two-Stage Bayesian Network Structure Learning Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gui-xia Liu; Wei Feng; Han Wang; Lei Liu; Chun-guang Zhou

    2009-01-01

    In the post-genomic biology era, the reconstruction of gene regulatory networks from microarray gene expression data is very important to understand the underlying biological system, and it has been a challenging task in bioinformatics. The Bayesian network model has been used in reconstructing the gene regulatory network for its advantages, but how to determine the network structure and parameters is still important to be explored. This paper proposes a two-stage structure learning algorithm which integrates immune evolution algorithm to build a Bayesian network .The new algorithm is evaluated with the use of both simulated and yeast cell cycle data. The experimental results indicate that the proposed algorithm can find many of the known real regulatory relationships from literature and predict the others unknown with high validity and accuracy.

  8. Overview of methods of reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks: Boolean and Bayesian networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frolova A. O.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks is an intensively studied topic in Systems Biology as it reconstructs regulatory interactions between all genes in the genome in the most complete form. The extreme computational complexity of this problem and lack of thorough reviews on reconstruction methods of gene regulatory network is a significant obstacle to further development of this area. In this article the two most common methods for modeling gene regulatory networks are surveyed: Boolean and Bayesian networks. The mathematical description of each method is given, as well as several algorithmic approaches to modeling gene networks using these methods; the complexity of algorithms and the problems that arise during its implementation are also noted.

  9. Improving gene regulatory network inference using network topology information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Ajay; Chetty, Madhu; Wangikar, Pramod P

    2015-09-01

    Inferring the gene regulatory network (GRN) structure from data is an important problem in computational biology. However, it is a computationally complex problem and approximate methods such as heuristic search techniques, restriction of the maximum-number-of-parents (maxP) for a gene, or an optimal search under special conditions are required. The limitations of a heuristic search are well known but literature on the detailed analysis of the widely used maxP technique is lacking. The optimal search methods require large computational time. We report the theoretical analysis and experimental results of the strengths and limitations of the maxP technique. Further, using an optimal search method, we combine the strengths of the maxP technique and the known GRN topology to propose two novel algorithms. These algorithms are implemented in a Bayesian network framework and tested on biological, realistic, and in silico networks of different sizes and topologies. They overcome the limitations of the maxP technique and show superior computational speed when compared to the current optimal search algorithms.

  10. Noise Control in Gene Regulatory Networks with Negative Feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinczewski, Michael; Thirumalai, D

    2016-07-01

    Genes and proteins regulate cellular functions through complex circuits of biochemical reactions. Fluctuations in the components of these regulatory networks result in noise that invariably corrupts the signal, possibly compromising function. Here, we create a practical formalism based on ideas introduced by Wiener and Kolmogorov (WK) for filtering noise in engineered communications systems to quantitatively assess the extent to which noise can be controlled in biological processes involving negative feedback. Application of the theory, which reproduces the previously proven scaling of the lower bound for noise suppression in terms of the number of signaling events, shows that a tetracycline repressor-based negative-regulatory gene circuit behaves as a WK filter. For the class of Hill-like nonlinear regulatory functions, this type of filter provides the optimal reduction in noise. Our theoretical approach can be readily combined with experimental measurements of response functions in a wide variety of genetic circuits, to elucidate the general principles by which biological networks minimize noise.

  11. Network benchmarking: a happy marriage between systems and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minty, Jeremy J; Varedi K, S Marjan; Nina Lin, Xiaoxia

    2009-03-27

    In their new Cell paper, Cantone et al. (2009) present exciting results on constructing and utilizing a small synthetic gene regulatory network in yeast that draws from two rapidly developing fields of systems and synthetic biology.

  12. Inferring latent gene regulatory network kinetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    González, Javier; Vujačić, Ivan; Wit, Ernst

    2013-01-01

    Regulatory networks consist of genes encoding transcription factors (TFs) and the genes they activate or repress. Various types of systems of ordinary differential equations (ODE) have been proposed to model these networks, ranging from linear to Michaelis-Menten approaches. In practice, a serious d

  13. The incorporation of epigenetics in artificial gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Alexander P; Lones, Michael A; Fuente, Luis A; Stepney, Susan; Caves, Leo S D; Tyrrell, Andy M

    2013-05-01

    Artificial gene regulatory networks are computational models that draw inspiration from biological networks of gene regulation. Since their inception they have been used to infer knowledge about gene regulation and as methods of computation. These computational models have been shown to possess properties typically found in the biological world, such as robustness and self organisation. Recently, it has become apparent that epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in gene regulation. This paper describes a new model, the Artificial Epigenetic Regulatory Network (AERN) which builds upon existing models by adding an epigenetic control layer. Our results demonstrate that AERNs are more adept at controlling multiple opposing trajectories when applied to a chaos control task within a conservative dynamical system, suggesting that AERNs are an interesting area for further investigation.

  14. Logical impossibilities in biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monendra Grover

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological networks are complex and involve several kinds of molecules. For proper biological function it is important for these biomolecules to act at an individual level and act at the level of interaction of these molecules. In this paper some of the logical impossibilities that may arise in the biological networks and their possible solutions are discussed. It may be important to understand these paradoxes and their possible solutions in order to develop a holistic view of biological function.

  15. Linking network topology to function. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki and M. Zagorski

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Bernardo, Diego

    2016-07-01

    The review by Martin et al. deals with a long standing problem at the interface of complex systems and molecular biology, that is the relationship between the topology of a complex network and its function. In biological terms the problem translates to relating the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) to specific cellular functions. GRNs control the spatial and temporal activity of the genes encoded in the cell's genome by means of specialised proteins called Transcription Factors (TFs). A TF is able to recognise and bind specifically to a sequence (TF biding site) of variable length (order of magnitude of 10) found upstream of the sequence encoding one or more genes (at least in prokaryotes) and thus activating or repressing their transcription. TFs can thus be distinguished in activator and repressor. The picture can become more complex since some classes of TFs can form hetero-dimers consisting of a protein complex whose subunits are the individual TFs. Heterodimers can have completely different binding sites and activity compared to their individual parts. In this review the authors limit their attention to prokaryotes where the complexity of GRNs is somewhat reduced. Moreover they exploit a unique feature of living systems, i.e. evolution, to understand whether function can shape network topology. Indeed, prokaryotes such as bacteria are among the oldest living systems that have become perfectly adapted to their environment over geological scales and thus have reached an evolutionary steady-state where the fitness of the population has reached a plateau. By integrating in silico analysis and comparative evolution, the authors show that indeed function does tend to shape the structure of a GRN, however this trend is not always present and depends on the properties of the network being examined. Interestingly, the trend is more apparent for sparse networks, i.e. where the density of edges is very low. Sparsity is indeed one of the most prominent features

  16. Evolution of evolvability in gene regulatory networks.

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    Anton Crombach

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory networks are perhaps the most important organizational level in the cell where signals from the cell state and the outside environment are integrated in terms of activation and inhibition of genes. For the last decade, the study of such networks has been fueled by large-scale experiments and renewed attention from the theoretical field. Different models have been proposed to, for instance, investigate expression dynamics, explain the network topology we observe in bacteria and yeast, and for the analysis of evolvability and robustness of such networks. Yet how these gene regulatory networks evolve and become evolvable remains an open question. An individual-oriented evolutionary model is used to shed light on this matter. Each individual has a genome from which its gene regulatory network is derived. Mutations, such as gene duplications and deletions, alter the genome, while the resulting network determines the gene expression pattern and hence fitness. With this protocol we let a population of individuals evolve under Darwinian selection in an environment that changes through time. Our work demonstrates that long-term evolution of complex gene regulatory networks in a changing environment can lead to a striking increase in the efficiency of generating beneficial mutations. We show that the population evolves towards genotype-phenotype mappings that allow for an orchestrated network-wide change in the gene expression pattern, requiring only a few specific gene indels. The genes involved are hubs of the networks, or directly influencing the hubs. Moreover, throughout the evolutionary trajectory the networks maintain their mutational robustness. In other words, evolution in an alternating environment leads to a network that is sensitive to a small class of beneficial mutations, while the majority of mutations remain neutral: an example of evolution of evolvability.

  17. Inferring slowly-changing dynamic gene-regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wit, Ernst C; Abbruzzo, Antonino

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic gene-regulatory networks are complex since the interaction patterns between their components mean that it is impossible to study parts of the network in separation. This holistic character of gene-regulatory networks poses a real challenge to any type of modelling. Graphical models are a class of models that connect the network with a conditional independence relationships between random variables. By interpreting these random variables as gene activities and the conditional independence relationships as functional non-relatedness, graphical models have been used to describe gene-regulatory networks. Whereas the literature has been focused on static networks, most time-course experiments are designed in order to tease out temporal changes in the underlying network. It is typically reasonable to assume that changes in genomic networks are few, because biological systems tend to be stable. We introduce a new model for estimating slow changes in dynamic gene-regulatory networks, which is suitable for high-dimensional data, e.g. time-course microarray data. Our aim is to estimate a dynamically changing genomic network based on temporal activity measurements of the genes in the network. Our method is based on the penalized likelihood with l1-norm, that penalizes conditional dependencies between genes as well as differences between conditional independence elements across time points. We also present a heuristic search strategy to find optimal tuning parameters. We re-write the penalized maximum likelihood problem into a standard convex optimization problem subject to linear equality constraints. We show that our method performs well in simulation studies. Finally, we apply the proposed model to a time-course T-cell dataset.

  18. HIDEN: Hierarchical decomposition of regulatory networks

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    Gülsoy Günhan

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transcription factors regulate numerous cellular processes by controlling the rate of production of each gene. The regulatory relations are modeled using transcriptional regulatory networks. Recent studies have shown that such networks have an underlying hierarchical organization. We consider the problem of discovering the underlying hierarchy in transcriptional regulatory networks. Results We first transform this problem to a mixed integer programming problem. We then use existing tools to solve the resulting problem. For larger networks this strategy does not work due to rapid increase in running time and space usage. We use divide and conquer strategy for such networks. We use our method to analyze the transcriptional regulatory networks of E. coli, H. sapiens and S. cerevisiae. Conclusions Our experiments demonstrate that: (i Our method gives statistically better results than three existing state of the art methods; (ii Our method is robust against errors in the data and (iii Our method’s performance is not affected by the different topologies in the data.

  19. Gene Regulatory Networks from Multifactorial Perturbations Using Graphical Lasso: Application to the DREAM4 Challenge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menéndez, P.; Kourmpetis, Y.I.A.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Eeuwijk, van F.A.

    2010-01-01

    A major challenge in the field of systems biology consists of predicting gene regulatory networks based on different training data. Within the DREAM4 initiative, we took part in the multifactorial sub-challenge that aimed to predict gene regulatory networks of size 100 from training data consisting

  20. Querying Large Biological Network Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulsoy, Gunhan

    2013-01-01

    New experimental methods has resulted in increasing amount of genetic interaction data to be generated every day. Biological networks are used to store genetic interaction data gathered. Increasing amount of data available requires fast large scale analysis methods. Therefore, we address the problem of querying large biological network datasets.…

  1. A stochastic differential equation model for transcriptional regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quirk Michelle D

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This work explores the quantitative characteristics of the local transcriptional regulatory network based on the availability of time dependent gene expression data sets. The dynamics of the gene expression level are fitted via a stochastic differential equation model, yielding a set of specific regulators and their contribution. Results We show that a beta sigmoid function that keeps track of temporal parameters is a novel prototype of a regulatory function, with the effect of improving the performance of the profile prediction. The stochastic differential equation model follows well the dynamic of the gene expression levels. Conclusion When adapted to biological hypotheses and combined with a promoter analysis, the method proposed here leads to improved models of the transcriptional regulatory networks.

  2. Gene Regulatory Network Reconstruction Using Conditional Mutual Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodong Wang

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The inference of gene regulatory network from expression data is an important area of research that provides insight to the inner workings of a biological system. The relevance-network-based approaches provide a simple and easily-scalable solution to the understanding of interaction between genes. Up until now, most works based on relevance network focus on the discovery of direct regulation using correlation coefficient or mutual information. However, some of the more complicated interactions such as interactive regulation and coregulation are not easily detected. In this work, we propose a relevance network model for gene regulatory network inference which employs both mutual information and conditional mutual information to determine the interactions between genes. For this purpose, we propose a conditional mutual information estimator based on adaptive partitioning which allows us to condition on both discrete and continuous random variables. We provide experimental results that demonstrate that the proposed regulatory network inference algorithm can provide better performance when the target network contains coregulated and interactively regulated genes.

  3. Master regulators, regulatory networks, and pathways of glioblastoma subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozdag, Serdar; Li, Aiguo; Baysan, Mehmet; Fine, Howard A

    2014-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor. GBM samples are classified into subtypes based on their transcriptomic and epigenetic profiles. Despite numerous studies to better characterize GBM biology, a comprehensive study to identify GBM subtype- specific master regulators, gene regulatory networks, and pathways is missing. Here, we used FastMEDUSA to compute master regulators and gene regulatory networks for each GBM subtype. We also ran Gene Set Enrichment Analysis and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis on GBM expression dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas Project to compute GBM- and GBM subtype-specific pathways. Our analysis was able to recover some of the known master regulators and pathways in GBM as well as some putative novel regulators and pathways, which will aide in our understanding of the unique biology of GBM subtypes.

  4. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyunghoon Cho

    Full Text Available Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs, which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments.

  5. Correlation Effects in Biological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A. Bagdasaryan

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Review of the complex network theory is presented and classification of such networks in accordance with the main statistical characteristics is considered. For the adjacency matrix of a real neural network the shortest distances for each pair of nodes as well as the node degree distribution and cluster coefficients are calculated. Comparison of the main statistical parameters with the random network is performed, and based on this, the conclusions about the correlation phenomena in biological system are made.

  6. Shaping Formal Networks throug the Regulatory Process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hall, Thad E.; O'Toole, Laurence J.

    2004-01-01

    Recent research has shown that, at the federal level, new or amended programs typically create networks consisting of multiactor structures spanning governments, sectors, and/or agencies. This study examines the implementation structures created through the regulatory process. We find that in a majo

  7. Topological effects of data incompleteness of gene regulatory networks

    CERN Document Server

    Sanz, J; Borge-Holthoefer, J; Moreno, Y

    2012-01-01

    The topological analysis of biological networks has been a prolific topic in network science during the last decade. A persistent problem with this approach is the inherent uncertainty and noisy nature of the data. One of the cases in which this situation is more marked is that of transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) in bacteria. The datasets are incomplete because regulatory pathways associated to a relevant fraction of bacterial genes remain unknown. Furthermore, direction, strengths and signs of the links are sometimes unknown or simply overlooked. Finally, the experimental approaches to infer the regulations are highly heterogeneous, in a way that induces the appearance of systematic experimental-topological correlations. And yet, the quality of the available data increases constantly. In this work we capitalize on these advances to point out the influence of data (in)completeness and quality on some classical results on topological analysis of TRNs, specially regarding modularity at different level...

  8. The comprehensive updated regulatory network of Escherichia coli K-12

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karp Peter D

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Escherichia coli is the model organism for which our knowledge of its regulatory network is the most extensive. Over the last few years, our project has been collecting and curating the literature concerning E. coli transcription initiation and operons, providing in both the RegulonDB and EcoCyc databases the largest electronically encoded network available. A paper published recently by Ma et al. (2004 showed several differences in the versions of the network present in these two databases. Discrepancies have been corrected, annotations from this and other groups (Shen-Orr et al., 2002 have been added, making the RegulonDB and EcoCyc databases the largest comprehensive and constantly curated regulatory network of E. coli K-12. Results Several groups have been using these curated data as part of their bioinformatics and systems biology projects, in combination with external data obtained from other sources, thus enlarging the dataset initially obtained from either RegulonDB or EcoCyc of the E. coli K12 regulatory network. We kindly obtained from the groups of Uri Alon and Hong-Wu Ma the interactions they have added to enrich their public versions of the E. coli regulatory network. These were used to search for original references and curate them with the same standards we use regularly, adding in several cases the original references (instead of reviews or missing references, as well as adding the corresponding experimental evidence codes. We also corrected all discrepancies in the two databases available as explained below. Conclusion One hundred and fifty new interactions have been added to our databases as a result of this specific curation effort, in addition to those added as a result of our continuous curation work. RegulonDB gene names are now based on those of EcoCyc to avoid confusion due to gene names and synonyms, and the public releases of RegulonDB and EcoCyc are henceforth synchronized to avoid confusion due to

  9. Modeling Emergence in Neuroprotective Regulatory Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanfilippo, Antonio P.; Haack, Jereme N.; McDermott, Jason E.; Stevens, S.L.; Stenzel-Poore, Mary

    2013-01-05

    The use of predictive modeling in the analysis of gene expression data can greatly accelerate the pace of scientific discovery in biomedical research by enabling in silico experimentation to test disease triggers and potential drug therapies. Techniques that focus on modeling emergence, such as agent-based modeling and multi-agent simulations, are of particular interest as they support the discovery of pathways that may have never been observed in the past. Thus far, these techniques have been primarily applied at the multi-cellular level, or have focused on signaling and metabolic networks. We present an approach where emergence modeling is extended to regulatory networks and demonstrate its application to the discovery of neuroprotective pathways. An initial evaluation of the approach indicates that emergence modeling provides novel insights for the analysis of regulatory networks that can advance the discovery of acute treatments for stroke and other diseases.

  10. Dynamics of regulatory networks in gastrin-treated adenocarcinoma cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naresh Doni Jayavelu

    Full Text Available Understanding gene transcription regulatory networks is critical to deciphering the molecular mechanisms of different cellular states. Most studies focus on static transcriptional networks. In the current study, we used the gastrin-regulated system as a model to understand the dynamics of transcriptional networks composed of transcription factors (TFs and target genes (TGs. The hormone gastrin activates and stimulates signaling pathways leading to various cellular states through transcriptional programs. Dysregulation of gastrin can result in cancerous tumors, for example. However, the regulatory networks involving gastrin are highly complex, and the roles of most of the components of these networks are unknown. We used time series microarray data of AR42J adenocarcinoma cells treated with gastrin combined with static TF-TG relationships integrated from different sources, and we reconstructed the dynamic activities of TFs using network component analysis (NCA. Based on the peak expression of TGs and activity of TFs, we created active sub-networks at four time ranges after gastrin treatment, namely immediate-early (IE, mid-early (ME, mid-late (ML and very late (VL. Network analysis revealed that the active sub-networks were topologically different at the early and late time ranges. Gene ontology analysis unveiled that each active sub-network was highly enriched in a particular biological process. Interestingly, network motif patterns were also distinct between the sub-networks. This analysis can be applied to other time series microarray datasets, focusing on smaller sub-networks that are activated in a cascade, allowing better overview of the mechanisms involved at each time range.

  11. Exploration of biological network centralities with CentiBiN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schreiber Falk

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The elucidation of whole-cell regulatory, metabolic, interaction and other biological networks generates the need for a meaningful ranking of network elements. Centrality analysis ranks network elements according to their importance within the network structure and different centrality measures focus on different importance concepts. Central elements of biological networks have been found to be, for example, essential for viability. Results CentiBiN (Centralities in Biological Networks is a tool for the computation and exploration of centralities in biological networks such as protein-protein interaction networks. It computes 17 different centralities for directed or undirected networks, ranging from local measures, that is, measures that only consider the direct neighbourhood of a network element, to global measures. CentiBiN supports the exploration of the centrality distribution by visualising central elements within the network and provides several layout mechanisms for the automatic generation of graphical representations of a network. It supports different input formats, especially for biological networks, and the export of the computed centralities to other tools. Conclusion CentiBiN helps systems biology researchers to identify crucial elements of biological networks. CentiBiN including a user guide and example data sets is available free of charge at http://centibin.ipk-gatersleben.de/. CentiBiN is available in two different versions: a Java Web Start application and an installable Windows application.

  12. Automated Identification of Core Regulatory Genes in Human Gene Regulatory Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vipin Narang

    Full Text Available Human gene regulatory networks (GRN can be difficult to interpret due to a tangle of edges interconnecting thousands of genes. We constructed a general human GRN from extensive transcription factor and microRNA target data obtained from public databases. In a subnetwork of this GRN that is active during estrogen stimulation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells, we benchmarked automated algorithms for identifying core regulatory genes (transcription factors and microRNAs. Among these algorithms, we identified K-core decomposition, pagerank and betweenness centrality algorithms as the most effective for discovering core regulatory genes in the network evaluated based on previously known roles of these genes in MCF-7 biology as well as in their ability to explain the up or down expression status of up to 70% of the remaining genes. Finally, we validated the use of K-core algorithm for organizing the GRN in an easier to interpret layered hierarchy where more influential regulatory genes percolate towards the inner layers. The integrated human gene and miRNA network and software used in this study are provided as supplementary materials (S1 Data accompanying this manuscript.

  13. Compressed Adjacency Matrices: Untangling Gene Regulatory Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinkla, K; Westenberg, M A; van Wijk, J J

    2012-12-01

    We present a novel technique-Compressed Adjacency Matrices-for visualizing gene regulatory networks. These directed networks have strong structural characteristics: out-degrees with a scale-free distribution, in-degrees bound by a low maximum, and few and small cycles. Standard visualization techniques, such as node-link diagrams and adjacency matrices, are impeded by these network characteristics. The scale-free distribution of out-degrees causes a high number of intersecting edges in node-link diagrams. Adjacency matrices become space-inefficient due to the low in-degrees and the resulting sparse network. Compressed adjacency matrices, however, exploit these structural characteristics. By cutting open and rearranging an adjacency matrix, we achieve a compact and neatly-arranged visualization. Compressed adjacency matrices allow for easy detection of subnetworks with a specific structure, so-called motifs, which provide important knowledge about gene regulatory networks to domain experts. We summarize motifs commonly referred to in the literature, and relate them to network analysis tasks common to the visualization domain. We show that a user can easily find the important motifs in compressed adjacency matrices, and that this is hard in standard adjacency matrix and node-link diagrams. We also demonstrate that interaction techniques for standard adjacency matrices can be used for our compressed variant. These techniques include rearrangement clustering, highlighting, and filtering.

  14. Differential Regulatory Analysis Based on Coexpression Network in Cancer Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junyi Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With rapid development of high-throughput techniques and accumulation of big transcriptomic data, plenty of computational methods and algorithms such as differential analysis and network analysis have been proposed to explore genome-wide gene expression characteristics. These efforts are aiming to transform underlying genomic information into valuable knowledges in biological and medical research fields. Recently, tremendous integrative research methods are dedicated to interpret the development and progress of neoplastic diseases, whereas differential regulatory analysis (DRA based on gene coexpression network (GCN increasingly plays a robust complement to regular differential expression analysis in revealing regulatory functions of cancer related genes such as evading growth suppressors and resisting cell death. Differential regulatory analysis based on GCN is prospective and shows its essential role in discovering the system properties of carcinogenesis features. Here we briefly review the paradigm of differential regulatory analysis based on GCN. We also focus on the applications of differential regulatory analysis based on GCN in cancer research and point out that DRA is necessary and extraordinary to reveal underlying molecular mechanism in large-scale carcinogenesis studies.

  15. [Network structures in biological systems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleskin, A V

    2013-01-01

    Network structures (networks) that have been extensively studied in the humanities are characterized by cohesion, a lack of a central control unit, and predominantly fractal properties. They are contrasted with structures that contain a single centre (hierarchies) as well as with those whose elements predominantly compete with one another (market-type structures). As far as biological systems are concerned, their network structures can be subdivided into a number of types involving different organizational mechanisms. Network organization is characteristic of various structural levels of biological systems ranging from single cells to integrated societies. These networks can be classified into two main subgroups: (i) flat (leaderless) network structures typical of systems that are composed of uniform elements and represent modular organisms or at least possess manifest integral properties and (ii) three-dimensional, partly hierarchical structures characterized by significant individual and/or intergroup (intercaste) differences between their elements. All network structures include an element that performs structural, protective, and communication-promoting functions. By analogy to cell structures, this element is denoted as the matrix of a network structure. The matrix includes a material and an immaterial component. The material component comprises various structures that belong to the whole structure and not to any of its elements per se. The immaterial (ideal) component of the matrix includes social norms and rules regulating network elements' behavior. These behavioral rules can be described in terms of algorithms. Algorithmization enables modeling the behavior of various network structures, particularly of neuron networks and their artificial analogs.

  16. Computational Genetic Regulatory Networks Evolvable, Self-organizing Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Knabe, Johannes F

    2013-01-01

    Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs) in biological organisms are primary engines for cells to enact their engagements with environments, via incessant, continually active coupling. In differentiated multicellular organisms, tremendous complexity has arisen in the course of evolution of life on earth. Engineering and science have so far achieved no working system that can compare with this complexity, depth and scope of organization. Abstracting the dynamics of genetic regulatory control to a computational framework in which artificial GRNs in artificial simulated cells differentiate while connected in a changing topology, it is possible to apply Darwinian evolution in silico to study the capacity of such developmental/differentiated GRNs to evolve. In this volume an evolutionary GRN paradigm is investigated for its evolvability and robustness in models of biological clocks, in simple differentiated multicellularity, and in evolving artificial developing 'organisms' which grow and express an ontogeny starting fr...

  17. Gene regulatory networks governing pancreas development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arda, H Efsun; Benitez, Cecil M; Kim, Seung K

    2013-04-15

    Elucidation of cellular and gene regulatory networks (GRNs) governing organ development will accelerate progress toward tissue replacement. Here, we have compiled reference GRNs underlying pancreas development from data mining that integrates multiple approaches, including mutant analysis, lineage tracing, cell purification, gene expression and enhancer analysis, and biochemical studies of gene regulation. Using established computational tools, we integrated and represented these networks in frameworks that should enhance understanding of the surging output of genomic-scale genetic and epigenetic studies of pancreas development and diseases such as diabetes and pancreatic cancer. We envision similar approaches would be useful for understanding the development of other organs.

  18. Adaptation by Plasticity of Genetic Regulatory Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Naama

    2007-03-01

    Genetic regulatory networks have an essential role in adaptation and evolution of cell populations. This role is strongly related to their dynamic properties over intermediate-to-long time scales. We have used the budding yeast as a model Eukaryote to study the long-term dynamics of the genetic regulatory system and its significance in evolution. A continuous cell growth technique (chemostat) allows us to monitor these systems over long times under controlled condition, enabling a quantitative characterization of dynamics: steady states and their stability, transients and relaxation. First, we have demonstrated adaptive dynamics in the GAL system, a classic model for a Eukaryotic genetic switch, induced and repressed by different carbon sources in the environment. We found that both induction and repression are only transient responses; over several generations, the system converges to a single robust steady state, independent of external conditions. Second, we explored the functional significance of such plasticity of the genetic regulatory network in evolution. We used genetic engineering to mimic the natural process of gene recruitment, placing the gene HIS3 under the regulation of the GAL system. Such genetic rewiring events are important in the evolution of gene regulation, but little is known about the physiological processes supporting them and the dynamics of their assimilation in a cell population. We have shown that cells carrying the rewired genome adapted to a demanding change of environment and stabilized a population, maintaining the adaptive state for hundreds of generations. Using genome-wide expression arrays we showed that underlying the observed adaptation is a global transcriptional programming that allowed tuning expression of the recruited gene to demands. Our results suggest that non-specific properties reflecting the natural plasticity of the regulatory network support adaptation of cells to novel challenges and enhance their evolvability.

  19. Modeling gene regulatory networks: A network simplification algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Luiz Henrique O.; de Castro, Maria Clicia S.; da Silva, Fabricio A. B.

    2016-12-01

    Boolean networks have been used for some time to model Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs), which describe cell functions. Those models can help biologists to make predictions, prognosis and even specialized treatment when some disturb on the GRN lead to a sick condition. However, the amount of information related to a GRN can be huge, making the task of inferring its boolean network representation quite a challenge. The method shown here takes into account information about the interactome to build a network, where each node represents a protein, and uses the entropy of each node as a key to reduce the size of the network, allowing the further inferring process to focus only on the main protein hubs, the ones with most potential to interfere in overall network behavior.

  20. Modeling regulatory cascades using Artificial Neural Networks: the case of transcriptional regulatory networks shaped during the yeast stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manioudaki, Maria E; Poirazi, Panayiota

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decade, numerous computational methods have been developed in order to infer and model biological networks. Transcriptional networks in particular have attracted significant attention due to their critical role in cell survival. The majority of network inference methods use genome-wide experimental data to search for modules of genes with coherent expression profiles and common regulators, often ignoring the multi-layer structure of transcriptional cascades. Modeling methodologies on the other hand assume a given network structure and vary significantly in their algorithmic approach, ranging from over-simplified representations (e.g., Boolean networks) to detailed -but computationally expensive-network simulations (e.g., with differential equations). In this work we use Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to model transcriptional regulatory cascades that emerge during the stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and extend in three layers. We confine the structure of the ANNs to match the structure of the biological networks as determined by gene expression, DNA-protein interaction and experimental evidence provided in publicly available databases. Trained ANNs are able to predict the expression profile of 11 target genes across multiple experimental conditions with a correlation coefficient >0.7. When time-dependent interactions between upstream transcription factors (TFs) and their indirect targets are also included in the ANNs, accurate predictions are achieved for 30/34 target genes. Moreover, heterodimer formation is taken into account. We show that ANNs can be used to (1) accurately predict the expression of downstream genes in a 3-layer transcriptional cascade based on the expression of their indirect regulators and (2) infer the condition- and time-dependent activity of various TFs as well as during heterodimer formation. We show that a three-layer regulatory cascade whose structure is determined by co-expressed gene modules and their

  1. Modeling genomic regulatory networks with big data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolouri, Hamid

    2014-05-01

    High-throughput sequencing, large-scale data generation projects, and web-based cloud computing are changing how computational biology is performed, who performs it, and what biological insights it can deliver. I review here the latest developments in available data, methods, and software, focusing on the modeling and analysis of the gene regulatory interactions in cells. Three key findings are: (i) although sophisticated computational resources are increasingly available to bench biologists, tailored ongoing education is necessary to avoid the erroneous use of these resources. (ii) Current models of the regulation of gene expression are far too simplistic and need updating. (iii) Integrative computational analysis of large-scale datasets is becoming a fundamental component of molecular biology. I discuss current and near-term opportunities and challenges related to these three points.

  2. RMOD: a tool for regulatory motif detection in signaling network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinki Kim

    Full Text Available Regulatory motifs are patterns of activation and inhibition that appear repeatedly in various signaling networks and that show specific regulatory properties. However, the network structures of regulatory motifs are highly diverse and complex, rendering their identification difficult. Here, we present a RMOD, a web-based system for the identification of regulatory motifs and their properties in signaling networks. RMOD finds various network structures of regulatory motifs by compressing the signaling network and detecting the compressed forms of regulatory motifs. To apply it into a large-scale signaling network, it adopts a new subgraph search algorithm using a novel data structure called path-tree, which is a tree structure composed of isomorphic graphs of query regulatory motifs. This algorithm was evaluated using various sizes of signaling networks generated from the integration of various human signaling pathways and it showed that the speed and scalability of this algorithm outperforms those of other algorithms. RMOD includes interactive analysis and auxiliary tools that make it possible to manipulate the whole processes from building signaling network and query regulatory motifs to analyzing regulatory motifs with graphical illustration and summarized descriptions. As a result, RMOD provides an integrated view of the regulatory motifs and mechanism underlying their regulatory motif activities within the signaling network. RMOD is freely accessible online at the following URL: http://pks.kaist.ac.kr/rmod.

  3. Recombinant biologic products versus nutraceuticals from plants - a regulatory choice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Pascal M W; Szeto, Tim H; Paul, Mathew J; Teh, Audrey Y-H; Ma, Julian K-C

    2017-01-01

    Biotechnology has transformed the potential for plants to be a manufacturing source of pharmaceutical compounds. Now, with transgenic and transient expression techniques, virtually any biologic, including vaccines and therapeutics, could be manufactured in plants. However, uncertainty over the regulatory path for such new pharmaceuticals has been a deterrent. Consideration has been given to using alternative regulatory paths, including those for nutraceuticals or cosmetic agents. This review will consider these possibilities, and discuss the difficulties in establishing regulatory guidelines for new pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies.

  4. A parallel attractor-finding algorithm based on Boolean satisfiability for genetic regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wensheng Guo

    Full Text Available In biological systems, the dynamic analysis method has gained increasing attention in the past decade. The Boolean network is the most common model of a genetic regulatory network. The interactions of activation and inhibition in the genetic regulatory network are modeled as a set of functions of the Boolean network, while the state transitions in the Boolean network reflect the dynamic property of a genetic regulatory network. A difficult problem for state transition analysis is the finding of attractors. In this paper, we modeled the genetic regulatory network as a Boolean network and proposed a solving algorithm to tackle the attractor finding problem. In the proposed algorithm, we partitioned the Boolean network into several blocks consisting of the strongly connected components according to their gradients, and defined the connection between blocks as decision node. Based on the solutions calculated on the decision nodes and using a satisfiability solving algorithm, we identified the attractors in the state transition graph of each block. The proposed algorithm is benchmarked on a variety of genetic regulatory networks. Compared with existing algorithms, it achieved similar performance on small test cases, and outperformed it on larger and more complex ones, which happens to be the trend of the modern genetic regulatory network. Furthermore, while the existing satisfiability-based algorithms cannot be parallelized due to their inherent algorithm design, the proposed algorithm exhibits a good scalability on parallel computing architectures.

  5. A parallel attractor-finding algorithm based on Boolean satisfiability for genetic regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Wensheng; Yang, Guowu; Wu, Wei; He, Lei; Sun, Mingyu

    2014-01-01

    In biological systems, the dynamic analysis method has gained increasing attention in the past decade. The Boolean network is the most common model of a genetic regulatory network. The interactions of activation and inhibition in the genetic regulatory network are modeled as a set of functions of the Boolean network, while the state transitions in the Boolean network reflect the dynamic property of a genetic regulatory network. A difficult problem for state transition analysis is the finding of attractors. In this paper, we modeled the genetic regulatory network as a Boolean network and proposed a solving algorithm to tackle the attractor finding problem. In the proposed algorithm, we partitioned the Boolean network into several blocks consisting of the strongly connected components according to their gradients, and defined the connection between blocks as decision node. Based on the solutions calculated on the decision nodes and using a satisfiability solving algorithm, we identified the attractors in the state transition graph of each block. The proposed algorithm is benchmarked on a variety of genetic regulatory networks. Compared with existing algorithms, it achieved similar performance on small test cases, and outperformed it on larger and more complex ones, which happens to be the trend of the modern genetic regulatory network. Furthermore, while the existing satisfiability-based algorithms cannot be parallelized due to their inherent algorithm design, the proposed algorithm exhibits a good scalability on parallel computing architectures.

  6. Analysis of deterministic cyclic gene regulatory network models with delays

    CERN Document Server

    Ahsen, Mehmet Eren; Niculescu, Silviu-Iulian

    2015-01-01

    This brief examines a deterministic, ODE-based model for gene regulatory networks (GRN) that incorporates nonlinearities and time-delayed feedback. An introductory chapter provides some insights into molecular biology and GRNs. The mathematical tools necessary for studying the GRN model are then reviewed, in particular Hill functions and Schwarzian derivatives. One chapter is devoted to the analysis of GRNs under negative feedback with time delays and a special case of a homogenous GRN is considered. Asymptotic stability analysis of GRNs under positive feedback is then considered in a separate chapter, in which conditions leading to bi-stability are derived. Graduate and advanced undergraduate students and researchers in control engineering, applied mathematics, systems biology and synthetic biology will find this brief to be a clear and concise introduction to the modeling and analysis of GRNs.

  7. Integrating Transcriptomic and Proteomic Data Using Predictive Regulatory Network Models of Host Response to Pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah Chasman

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian host response to pathogenic infections is controlled by a complex regulatory network connecting regulatory proteins such as transcription factors and signaling proteins to target genes. An important challenge in infectious disease research is to understand molecular similarities and differences in mammalian host response to diverse sets of pathogens. Recently, systems biology studies have produced rich collections of omic profiles measuring host response to infectious agents such as influenza viruses at multiple levels. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory network driving host response to multiple infectious agents, we integrated host transcriptomes and proteomes using a network-based approach. Our approach combines expression-based regulatory network inference, structured-sparsity based regression, and network information flow to infer putative physical regulatory programs for expression modules. We applied our approach to identify regulatory networks, modules and subnetworks that drive host response to multiple influenza infections. The inferred regulatory network and modules are significantly enriched for known pathways of immune response and implicate apoptosis, splicing, and interferon signaling processes in the differential response of viral infections of different pathogenicities. We used the learned network to prioritize regulators and study virus and time-point specific networks. RNAi-based knockdown of predicted regulators had significant impact on viral replication and include several previously unknown regulators. Taken together, our integrated analysis identified novel module level patterns that capture strain and pathogenicity-specific patterns of expression and helped identify important regulators of host response to influenza infection.

  8. Integrating Transcriptomic and Proteomic Data Using Predictive Regulatory Network Models of Host Response to Pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasman, Deborah; Walters, Kevin B; Lopes, Tiago J S; Eisfeld, Amie J; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Roy, Sushmita

    2016-07-01

    Mammalian host response to pathogenic infections is controlled by a complex regulatory network connecting regulatory proteins such as transcription factors and signaling proteins to target genes. An important challenge in infectious disease research is to understand molecular similarities and differences in mammalian host response to diverse sets of pathogens. Recently, systems biology studies have produced rich collections of omic profiles measuring host response to infectious agents such as influenza viruses at multiple levels. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory network driving host response to multiple infectious agents, we integrated host transcriptomes and proteomes using a network-based approach. Our approach combines expression-based regulatory network inference, structured-sparsity based regression, and network information flow to infer putative physical regulatory programs for expression modules. We applied our approach to identify regulatory networks, modules and subnetworks that drive host response to multiple influenza infections. The inferred regulatory network and modules are significantly enriched for known pathways of immune response and implicate apoptosis, splicing, and interferon signaling processes in the differential response of viral infections of different pathogenicities. We used the learned network to prioritize regulators and study virus and time-point specific networks. RNAi-based knockdown of predicted regulators had significant impact on viral replication and include several previously unknown regulators. Taken together, our integrated analysis identified novel module level patterns that capture strain and pathogenicity-specific patterns of expression and helped identify important regulators of host response to influenza infection.

  9. Dynamical modeling and analysis of large cellular regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bérenguier, D.; Chaouiya, C.; Monteiro, P. T.; Naldi, A.; Remy, E.; Thieffry, D.; Tichit, L.

    2013-06-01

    The dynamical analysis of large biological regulatory networks requires the development of scalable methods for mathematical modeling. Following the approach initially introduced by Thomas, we formalize the interactions between the components of a network in terms of discrete variables, functions, and parameters. Model simulations result in directed graphs, called state transition graphs. We are particularly interested in reachability properties and asymptotic behaviors, which correspond to terminal strongly connected components (or "attractors") in the state transition graph. A well-known problem is the exponential increase of the size of state transition graphs with the number of network components, in particular when using the biologically realistic asynchronous updating assumption. To address this problem, we have developed several complementary methods enabling the analysis of the behavior of large and complex logical models: (i) the definition of transition priority classes to simplify the dynamics; (ii) a model reduction method preserving essential dynamical properties, (iii) a novel algorithm to compact state transition graphs and directly generate compressed representations, emphasizing relevant transient and asymptotic dynamical properties. The power of an approach combining these different methods is demonstrated by applying them to a recent multilevel logical model for the network controlling CD4+ T helper cell response to antigen presentation and to a dozen cytokines. This model accounts for the differentiation of canonical Th1 and Th2 lymphocytes, as well as of inflammatory Th17 and regulatory T cells, along with many hybrid subtypes. All these methods have been implemented into the software GINsim, which enables the definition, the analysis, and the simulation of logical regulatory graphs.

  10. SAGA: a hybrid search algorithm for Bayesian Network structure learning of transcriptional regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adabor, Emmanuel S; Acquaah-Mensah, George K; Oduro, Francis T

    2015-02-01

    Bayesian Networks have been used for the inference of transcriptional regulatory relationships among genes, and are valuable for obtaining biological insights. However, finding optimal Bayesian Network (BN) is NP-hard. Thus, heuristic approaches have sought to effectively solve this problem. In this work, we develop a hybrid search method combining Simulated Annealing with a Greedy Algorithm (SAGA). SAGA explores most of the search space by undergoing a two-phase search: first with a Simulated Annealing search and then with a Greedy search. Three sets of background-corrected and normalized microarray datasets were used to test the algorithm. BN structure learning was also conducted using the datasets, and other established search methods as implemented in BANJO (Bayesian Network Inference with Java Objects). The Bayesian Dirichlet Equivalence (BDe) metric was used to score the networks produced with SAGA. SAGA predicted transcriptional regulatory relationships among genes in networks that evaluated to higher BDe scores with high sensitivities and specificities. Thus, the proposed method competes well with existing search algorithms for Bayesian Network structure learning of transcriptional regulatory networks.

  11. Modular reorganization of the global network of gene regulatory interactions during perinatal human brain development

    OpenAIRE

    Monzón-Sandoval, Jimena; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Urrutia, Araxi O.; Gutierrez, Humberto

    2016-01-01

    Background During early development of the nervous system, gene expression patterns are known to vary widely depending on the specific developmental trajectories of different structures. Observable changes in gene expression profiles throughout development are determined by an underlying network of precise regulatory interactions between individual genes. Elucidating the organizing principles that shape this gene regulatory network is one of the central goals of developmental biology. Whether...

  12. On the Interplay between Entropy and Robustness of Gene Regulatory Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bor-Sen Chen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The interplay between entropy and robustness of gene network is a core mechanism of systems biology. The entropy is a measure of randomness or disorder of a physical system due to random parameter fluctuation and environmental noises in gene regulatory networks. The robustness of a gene regulatory network, which can be measured as the ability to tolerate the random parameter fluctuation and to attenuate the effect of environmental noise, will be discussed from the robust H∞ stabilization and filtering perspective. In this review, we will also discuss their balancing roles in evolution and potential applications in systems and synthetic biology.

  13. Research of Gene Regulatory Network with Multi-Time Delay Based on Bayesian Network

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Bei; MENG Fanjiang; LI Yong; LIU Liyan

    2008-01-01

    The gene regulatory network was reconstructed according to time-series microarray data getting from hybridization at different time between gene chips to analyze coordination and restriction between genes. An algorithm for controlling the gene expression regulatory network of the whole cell was designed using Bayesian network which provides an effective aided analysis for gene regulatory network.

  14. Non-transcriptional regulatory processes shape transcriptional network dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Ray, J. Christian J; Tabor, Jeffrey J.; Igoshin, Oleg A.

    2011-01-01

    Information about the extra- or intracellular environment is often captured as biochemical signals propagating through regulatory networks. These signals eventually drive phenotypic changes, typically by altering gene expression programs in the cell. Reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks has given a compelling picture of bacterial physiology, but transcriptional network maps alone often fail to describe phenotypes. In many cases, the dynamical performance of transcriptional re...

  15. Inferring slowly-changing dynamic gene-regulatory networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, Ernst C.; Abbruzzo, Antonino

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic gene-regulatory networks are complex since the interaction patterns between their components mean that it is impossible to study parts of the network in separation. This holistic character of gene-regulatory networks poses a real challenge to any type of modelling. Graphical models are a cla

  16. Network modeling reveals prevalent negative regulatory relationships between signaling sectors in Arabidopsis immune signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masanao Sato

    Full Text Available Biological signaling processes may be mediated by complex networks in which network components and network sectors interact with each other in complex ways. Studies of complex networks benefit from approaches in which the roles of individual components are considered in the context of the network. The plant immune signaling network, which controls inducible responses to pathogen attack, is such a complex network. We studied the Arabidopsis immune signaling network upon challenge with a strain of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae expressing the effector protein AvrRpt2 (Pto DC3000 AvrRpt2. This bacterial strain feeds multiple inputs into the signaling network, allowing many parts of the network to be activated at once. mRNA profiles for 571 immune response genes of 22 Arabidopsis immunity mutants and wild type were collected 6 hours after inoculation with Pto DC3000 AvrRpt2. The mRNA profiles were analyzed as detailed descriptions of changes in the network state resulting from the genetic perturbations. Regulatory relationships among the genes corresponding to the mutations were inferred by recursively applying a non-linear dimensionality reduction procedure to the mRNA profile data. The resulting static network model accurately predicted 23 of 25 regulatory relationships reported in the literature, suggesting that predictions of novel regulatory relationships are also accurate. The network model revealed two striking features: (i the components of the network are highly interconnected; and (ii negative regulatory relationships are common between signaling sectors. Complex regulatory relationships, including a novel negative regulatory relationship between the early microbe-associated molecular pattern-triggered signaling sectors and the salicylic acid sector, were further validated. We propose that prevalent negative regulatory relationships among the signaling sectors make the plant immune signaling network a "sector

  17. Bottom-up GGM algorithm for constructing multiple layered hierarchical gene regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory networks (ML-hGRNs) are very important for understanding genetics regulation of biological pathways. However, there are currently no computational algorithms available for directly building ML-hGRNs that regulate biological pathways. A bottom-up graphic Gaus...

  18. Discovering Study-Specific Gene Regulatory Networks

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund. This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund. Microarrays are commonly used in biology because of their ability to simultaneously measure thousands of genes under different conditions. Due to their structure, typically containing a high amount of variables but far fewer samples, scalable network analysis techniques are often employed. In particular, consensus appro...

  19. Evolution of regulatory networks towards adaptability and stability in a changing environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Deok-Sun

    2014-11-01

    Diverse biological networks exhibit universal features distinguished from those of random networks, calling much attention to their origins and implications. Here we propose a minimal evolution model of Boolean regulatory networks, which evolve by selectively rewiring links towards enhancing adaptability to a changing environment and stability against dynamical perturbations. We find that sparse and heterogeneous connectivity patterns emerge, which show qualitative agreement with real transcriptional regulatory networks and metabolic networks. The characteristic scaling behavior of stability reflects the balance between robustness and flexibility. The scaling of fluctuation in the perturbation spread shows a dynamic crossover, which is analyzed by investigating separately the stochasticity of internal dynamics and the network structure differences depending on the evolution pathways. Our study delineates how the ambivalent pressure of evolution shapes biological networks, which can be helpful for studying general complex systems interacting with environments.

  20. Comparison of evolutionary algorithms in gene regulatory network model inference.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The evolution of high throughput technologies that measure gene expression levels has created a data base for inferring GRNs (a process also known as reverse engineering of GRNs). However, the nature of these data has made this process very difficult. At the moment, several methods of discovering qualitative causal relationships between genes with high accuracy from microarray data exist, but large scale quantitative analysis on real biological datasets cannot be performed, to date, as existing approaches are not suitable for real microarray data which are noisy and insufficient. RESULTS: This paper performs an analysis of several existing evolutionary algorithms for quantitative gene regulatory network modelling. The aim is to present the techniques used and offer a comprehensive comparison of approaches, under a common framework. Algorithms are applied to both synthetic and real gene expression data from DNA microarrays, and ability to reproduce biological behaviour, scalability and robustness to noise are assessed and compared. CONCLUSIONS: Presented is a comparison framework for assessment of evolutionary algorithms, used to infer gene regulatory networks. Promising methods are identified and a platform for development of appropriate model formalisms is established.

  1. Gene regulatory network inference using fused LASSO on multiple data sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omranian, Nooshin; Eloundou-Mbebi, Jeanne M O; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2016-02-11

    Devising computational methods to accurately reconstruct gene regulatory networks given gene expression data is key to systems biology applications. Here we propose a method for reconstructing gene regulatory networks by simultaneous consideration of data sets from different perturbation experiments and corresponding controls. The method imposes three biologically meaningful constraints: (1) expression levels of each gene should be explained by the expression levels of a small number of transcription factor coding genes, (2) networks inferred from different data sets should be similar with respect to the type and number of regulatory interactions, and (3) relationships between genes which exhibit similar differential behavior over the considered perturbations should be favored. We demonstrate that these constraints can be transformed in a fused LASSO formulation for the proposed method. The comparative analysis on transcriptomics time-series data from prokaryotic species, Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as a eukaryotic species, mouse, demonstrated that the proposed method has the advantages of the most recent approaches for regulatory network inference, while obtaining better performance and assigning higher scores to the true regulatory links. The study indicates that the combination of sparse regression techniques with other biologically meaningful constraints is a promising framework for gene regulatory network reconstructions.

  2. Non-transcriptional regulatory processes shape transcriptional network dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, J Christian J; Tabor, Jeffrey J; Igoshin, Oleg A

    2011-10-11

    Information about the extra- or intracellular environment is often captured as biochemical signals that propagate through regulatory networks. These signals eventually drive phenotypic changes, typically by altering gene expression programmes in the cell. Reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks has given a compelling picture of bacterial physiology, but transcriptional network maps alone often fail to describe phenotypes. Cellular response dynamics are ultimately determined by interactions between transcriptional and non-transcriptional networks, with dramatic implications for physiology and evolution. Here, we provide an overview of non-transcriptional interactions that can affect the performance of natural and synthetic bacterial regulatory networks.

  3. Differential network analysis reveals dysfunctional regulatory networks in gastric carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Mu-Shui; Liu, Bing-Ya; Dai, Wen-Tao; Zhou, Wei-Xin; Li, Yi-Xue; Li, Yuan-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Gastric Carcinoma is one of the most common cancers in the world. A large number of differentially expressed genes have been identified as being associated with gastric cancer progression, however, little is known about the underlying regulatory mechanisms. To address this problem, we developed a differential networking approach that is characterized by including a nascent methodology, differential coexpression analysis (DCEA), and two novel quantitative methods for differential regulation analysis. We first applied DCEA to a gene expression dataset of gastric normal mucosa, adenoma and carcinoma samples to identify gene interconnection changes during cancer progression, based on which we inferred normal, adenoma, and carcinoma-specific gene regulation networks by using linear regression model. It was observed that cancer genes and drug targets were enriched in each network. To investigate the dynamic changes of gene regulation during carcinogenesis, we then designed two quantitative methods to prioritize differentially regulated genes (DRGs) and gene pairs or links (DRLs) between adjacent stages. It was found that known cancer genes and drug targets are significantly higher ranked. The top 4% normal vs. adenoma DRGs (36 genes) and top 6% adenoma vs. carcinoma DRGs (56 genes) proved to be worthy of further investigation to explore their association with gastric cancer. Out of the 16 DRGs involved in two top-10 DRG lists of normal vs. adenoma and adenoma vs. carcinoma comparisons, 15 have been reported to be gastric cancer or cancer related. Based on our inferred differential networking information and known signaling pathways, we generated testable hypotheses on the roles of GATA6, ESRRG and their signaling pathways in gastric carcinogenesis. Compared with established approaches which build genome-scale GRNs, or sub-networks around differentially expressed genes, the present one proved to be better at enriching cancer genes and drug targets, and prioritizing

  4. iSLIM: a comprehensive approach to mapping and characterizing gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockel, Sylvie; Geertz, Marcel; Hens, Korneel; Deplancke, Bart; Maerkl, Sebastian J

    2013-02-01

    Mapping gene regulatory networks is a significant challenge in systems biology, yet only a few methods are currently capable of systems-level identification of transcription factors (TFs) that bind a specific regulatory element. We developed a microfluidic method for integrated systems-level interaction mapping of TF-DNA interactions, generating and interrogating an array of 423 full-length Drosophila TFs. With integrated systems-level interaction mapping, it is now possible to rapidly and quantitatively map gene regulatory networks of higher eukaryotes.

  5. Regulatory network operations in the Pathway Tools software

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paley Suzanne M

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biologists are elucidating complex collections of genetic regulatory data for multiple organisms. Software is needed for such regulatory network data. Results The Pathway Tools software supports storage and manipulation of regulatory information through a variety of strategies. The Pathway Tools regulation ontology captures transcriptional and translational regulation, substrate-level regulation of enzyme activity, post-translational modifications, and regulatory pathways. Regulatory visualizations include a novel diagram that summarizes all regulatory influences on a gene; a transcription-unit diagram, and an interactive visualization of a full transcriptional regulatory network that can be painted with gene expression data to probe correlations between gene expression and regulatory mechanisms. We introduce a novel type of enrichment analysis that asks whether a gene-expression dataset is over-represented for known regulators. We present algorithms for ranking the degree of regulatory influence of genes, and for computing the net positive and negative regulatory influences on a gene. Conclusions Pathway Tools provides a comprehensive environment for manipulating molecular regulatory interactions that integrates regulatory data with an organism’s genome and metabolic network. Curated collections of regulatory data authored using Pathway Tools are available for Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Shewanella oneidensis.

  6. Duplication: a Mechanism Producing Disassortative Mixing Networks in Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Dan; LIU Zeng-Rong; WANG Jia-Zeng

    2007-01-01

    Assortative/disassortative mixing is an important topological property of a network. A network is called assortative mixing if the nodes in the network tend to connect to their connectivity peers, or disassortative mixing if nodes with low degrees are more likely to connect with high-degree nodes. We have known that biological networks such as protein-protein interaction networks (PPI), gene regulatory networks, and metabolic networks tend to be disassortative. On the other hand, in biological evolution, duplication and divergence are two fundamental processes. In order to make the relationship between the property of disassortative mixing and the two basic biological principles clear and to study the cause of the disassortative mixing property in biological networks, we present a random duplication model and an anti-preference duplication model. Our results show that disassortative mixing networks can be obtained by both kinds of models from uncorrelated initial networks.Moreover, with the growth of the network size, the disassortative mixing property becomes more obvious.

  7. Passing messages between biological networks to refine predicted interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly Glass

    Full Text Available Regulatory network reconstruction is a fundamental problem in computational biology. There are significant limitations to such reconstruction using individual datasets, and increasingly people attempt to construct networks using multiple, independent datasets obtained from complementary sources, but methods for this integration are lacking. We developed PANDA (Passing Attributes between Networks for Data Assimilation, a message-passing model using multiple sources of information to predict regulatory relationships, and used it to integrate protein-protein interaction, gene expression, and sequence motif data to reconstruct genome-wide, condition-specific regulatory networks in yeast as a model. The resulting networks were not only more accurate than those produced using individual data sets and other existing methods, but they also captured information regarding specific biological mechanisms and pathways that were missed using other methodologies. PANDA is scalable to higher eukaryotes, applicable to specific tissue or cell type data and conceptually generalizable to include a variety of regulatory, interaction, expression, and other genome-scale data. An implementation of the PANDA algorithm is available at www.sourceforge.net/projects/panda-net.

  8. Passing messages between biological networks to refine predicted interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Kimberly; Huttenhower, Curtis; Quackenbush, John; Yuan, Guo-Cheng

    2013-01-01

    Regulatory network reconstruction is a fundamental problem in computational biology. There are significant limitations to such reconstruction using individual datasets, and increasingly people attempt to construct networks using multiple, independent datasets obtained from complementary sources, but methods for this integration are lacking. We developed PANDA (Passing Attributes between Networks for Data Assimilation), a message-passing model using multiple sources of information to predict regulatory relationships, and used it to integrate protein-protein interaction, gene expression, and sequence motif data to reconstruct genome-wide, condition-specific regulatory networks in yeast as a model. The resulting networks were not only more accurate than those produced using individual data sets and other existing methods, but they also captured information regarding specific biological mechanisms and pathways that were missed using other methodologies. PANDA is scalable to higher eukaryotes, applicable to specific tissue or cell type data and conceptually generalizable to include a variety of regulatory, interaction, expression, and other genome-scale data. An implementation of the PANDA algorithm is available at www.sourceforge.net/projects/panda-net.

  9. Programming and engineering biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Jason W

    2006-08-01

    Synthetic biology aims to build new functions in living organisms. Recent work has addressed the creation of synthetic epigenetic switches in mammalian cells and synthetic intracellular communication. Fundamentally new, and potentially scaleable, modes of gene regulation have been created that enable expansion of the scope of synthetic circuits. Increasingly sophisticated models of gene regulation that include stochastic effects are beginning to predict the behaviour of small synthetic networks. Overall, these advances suggest that a combination of molecular engineering and systems engineering should allow the creation of living matter capable of performing many useful and novel functions.

  10. Extended evolution: A conceptual framework for integrating regulatory networks and niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Renn, Jürgen

    2015-11-01

    This paper introduces a conceptual framework for the evolution of complex systems based on the integration of regulatory network and niche construction theories. It is designed to apply equally to cases of biological, social and cultural evolution. Within the conceptual framework we focus especially on the transformation of complex networks through the linked processes of externalization and internalization of causal factors between regulatory networks and their corresponding niches and argue that these are an important part of evolutionary explanations. This conceptual framework extends previous evolutionary models and focuses on several challenges, such as the path-dependent nature of evolutionary change, the dynamics of evolutionary innovation and the expansion of inheritance systems.

  11. Delay-independent stability of genetic regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Fang-Xiang

    2011-11-01

    Genetic regulatory networks can be described by nonlinear differential equations with time delays. In this paper, we study both locally and globally delay-independent stability of genetic regulatory networks, taking messenger ribonucleic acid alternative splicing into consideration. Based on nonnegative matrix theory, we first develop necessary and sufficient conditions for locally delay-independent stability of genetic regulatory networks with multiple time delays. Compared to the previous results, these conditions are easy to verify. Then we develop sufficient conditions for global delay-independent stability for genetic regulatory networks. Compared to the previous results, this sufficient condition is less conservative. To illustrate theorems developed in this paper, we analyze delay-independent stability of two genetic regulatory networks: a real-life repressilatory network with three genes and three proteins, and a synthetic gene regulatory network with five genes and seven proteins. The simulation results show that the theorems developed in this paper can effectively determine the delay-independent stability of genetic regulatory networks.

  12. Mapping biological systems to network systems

    CERN Document Server

    Rathore, Heena

    2016-01-01

    The book presents the challenges inherent in the paradigm shift of network systems from static to highly dynamic distributed systems – it proposes solutions that the symbiotic nature of biological systems can provide into altering networking systems to adapt to these changes. The author discuss how biological systems – which have the inherent capabilities of evolving, self-organizing, self-repairing and flourishing with time – are inspiring researchers to take opportunities from the biology domain and map them with the problems faced in network domain. The book revolves around the central idea of bio-inspired systems -- it begins by exploring why biology and computer network research are such a natural match. This is followed by presenting a broad overview of biologically inspired research in network systems -- it is classified by the biological field that inspired each topic and by the area of networking in which that topic lies. Each case elucidates how biological concepts have been most successfully ...

  13. Systems biology of plant molecular networks: from networks to models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valentim, F.L.

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes are controlled by regulatory networks (GRNs), which are tightly coordinated networks of transcription factors (TFs) that activate and repress gene expression within a spatial and temporal context. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the key components and network structures of the GRNs

  14. Regulatory networks contributing to psoriasis susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Kornélia; Bata-Csörgő, Zsuzsanna; Dallos, Attila; Bebes, Attila; Francziszti, László; Dobozy, Attila; Kemény, Lajos; Széll, Márta

    2014-07-01

    The non-involved, healthy-looking skin of psoriatic patients displays inherent characteristics that make it prone to develop typical psoriatic symptoms. Our primary aim was to identify genes and proteins that are differentially regulated in the non-involved psoriatic and the normal epidermis, and to discover regulatory networks responsible for these differences. A cDNA microarray experiment was performed to compare the gene expression profiles of 4 healthy and 4 psoriatic non-involved epidermis samples in response to T-cell lymphokine induction in organotypic cultures. We identified 61 annotated genes and another 11 expressed transcripts that were differentially regulated in the psoriatic tissues. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that the regulation of cell morphology, development and cell death is abnormal, and that the metabolism of small molecules and lipids is differentially regulated in psoriatic epidermis. Our results indicate that one of the early steps of psoriasis pathogenesis may be the abnormal regulation of IL-23A and IL-1B genes in psoriatic keratinocytes.

  15. Small Rna Regulatory Networks In Pseudomonas Putida

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojanovic, Klara; Long, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    chemicals and has a potential to be used as an efficient cell factory for various products. P. putida KT2240 is a genome-sequenced strain and a well characterized pseudomonad. Our major aim is to identify small RNA molecules (sRNAs) and their regulatory networks. A previous study has identified 37 sRNAs...... in this strain, while in other pseudomonads many more sRNAs have been found so far.P. putida KT2440 has been grown in different conditions which are likely to be encountered in industrial fermentations with the aim of using sRNAs for generation of improved cell factories. For that, cells have been grown in LB...... and harvested in different growth phases, as well as osmotic, membrane and oxidative stress conditions. RNA sequencing data has been analysed with the open source software system Rockhopper, and it has revealed over 180 putative sRNAs. Most of them (86%) seem to be novel and uncharacterized. The majority...

  16. How difficult is inference of mammalian causal gene regulatory networks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djordjevic, Djordje; Yang, Andrian; Zadoorian, Armella; Rungrugeecharoen, Kevin; Ho, Joshua W K

    2014-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play a central role in systems biology, especially in the study of mammalian organ development. One key question remains largely unanswered: Is it possible to infer mammalian causal GRNs using observable gene co-expression patterns alone? We assembled two mouse GRN datasets (embryonic tooth and heart) and matching microarray gene expression profiles to systematically investigate the difficulties of mammalian causal GRN inference. The GRNs were assembled based on > 2,000 pieces of experimental genetic perturbation evidence from manually reading > 150 primary research articles. Each piece of perturbation evidence records the qualitative change of the expression of one gene following knock-down or over-expression of another gene. Our data have thorough annotation of tissue types and embryonic stages, as well as the type of regulation (activation, inhibition and no effect), which uniquely allows us to estimate both sensitivity and specificity of the inference of tissue specific causal GRN edges. Using these unprecedented datasets, we found that gene co-expression does not reliably distinguish true positive from false positive interactions, making inference of GRN in mammalian development very difficult. Nonetheless, if we have expression profiling data from genetic or molecular perturbation experiments, such as gene knock-out or signalling stimulation, it is possible to use the set of differentially expressed genes to recover causal regulatory relationships with good sensitivity and specificity. Our result supports the importance of using perturbation experimental data in causal network reconstruction. Furthermore, we showed that causal gene regulatory relationship can be highly cell type or developmental stage specific, suggesting the importance of employing expression profiles from homogeneous cell populations. This study provides essential datasets and empirical evidence to guide the development of new GRN inference methods for

  17. Global analysis of photosynthesis transcriptional regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imam, Saheed; Noguera, Daniel R; Donohue, Timothy J

    2014-12-01

    Photosynthesis is a crucial biological process that depends on the interplay of many components. This work analyzed the gene targets for 4 transcription factors: FnrL, PrrA, CrpK and MppG (RSP_2888), which are known or predicted to control photosynthesis in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) identified 52 operons under direct control of FnrL, illustrating its regulatory role in photosynthesis, iron homeostasis, nitrogen metabolism and regulation of sRNA synthesis. Using global gene expression analysis combined with ChIP-seq, we mapped the regulons of PrrA, CrpK and MppG. PrrA regulates ∼34 operons encoding mainly photosynthesis and electron transport functions, while CrpK, a previously uncharacterized Crp-family protein, regulates genes involved in photosynthesis and maintenance of iron homeostasis. Furthermore, CrpK and FnrL share similar DNA binding determinants, possibly explaining our observation of the ability of CrpK to partially compensate for the growth defects of a ΔFnrL mutant. We show that the Rrf2 family protein, MppG, plays an important role in photopigment biosynthesis, as part of an incoherent feed-forward loop with PrrA. Our results reveal a previously unrealized, high degree of combinatorial regulation of photosynthetic genes and significant cross-talk between their transcriptional regulators, while illustrating previously unidentified links between photosynthesis and the maintenance of iron homeostasis.

  18. State Observer Design for Delayed Genetic Regulatory Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Ping Tian

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetic regulatory networks are dynamic systems which describe the interactions among gene products (mRNAs and proteins. The internal states of a genetic regulatory network consist of the concentrations of mRNA and proteins involved in it, which are very helpful in understanding its dynamic behaviors. However, because of some limitations such as experiment techniques, not all internal states of genetic regulatory network can be effectively measured. Therefore it becomes an important issue to estimate the unmeasured states via the available measurements. In this study, we design a state observer to estimate the states of genetic regulatory networks with time delays from available measurements. Furthermore, based on linear matrix inequality (LMI approach, a criterion is established to guarantee that the dynamic of estimation error is globally asymptotically stable. A gene repressillatory network is employed to illustrate the effectiveness of our design approach.

  19. Large-scale modeling of condition-specific gene regulatory networks by information integration and inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellwanger, Daniel Christian; Leonhardt, Jörn Florian; Mewes, Hans-Werner

    2014-12-01

    Understanding how regulatory networks globally coordinate the response of a cell to changing conditions, such as perturbations by shifting environments, is an elementary challenge in systems biology which has yet to be met. Genome-wide gene expression measurements are high dimensional as these are reflecting the condition-specific interplay of thousands of cellular components. The integration of prior biological knowledge into the modeling process of systems-wide gene regulation enables the large-scale interpretation of gene expression signals in the context of known regulatory relations. We developed COGERE (http://mips.helmholtz-muenchen.de/cogere), a method for the inference of condition-specific gene regulatory networks in human and mouse. We integrated existing knowledge of regulatory interactions from multiple sources to a comprehensive model of prior information. COGERE infers condition-specific regulation by evaluating the mutual dependency between regulator (transcription factor or miRNA) and target gene expression using prior information. This dependency is scored by the non-parametric, nonlinear correlation coefficient η(2) (eta squared) that is derived by a two-way analysis of variance. We show that COGERE significantly outperforms alternative methods in predicting condition-specific gene regulatory networks on simulated data sets. Furthermore, by inferring the cancer-specific gene regulatory network from the NCI-60 expression study, we demonstrate the utility of COGERE to promote hypothesis-driven clinical research.

  20. Structure learning for Bayesian networks as models of biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larjo, Antti; Shmulevich, Ilya; Lähdesmäki, Harri

    2013-01-01

    Bayesian networks are probabilistic graphical models suitable for modeling several kinds of biological systems. In many cases, the structure of a Bayesian network represents causal molecular mechanisms or statistical associations of the underlying system. Bayesian networks have been applied, for example, for inferring the structure of many biological networks from experimental data. We present some recent progress in learning the structure of static and dynamic Bayesian networks from data.

  1. Harnessing diversity towards the reconstructing of large scale gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Hase

    Full Text Available Elucidating gene regulatory network (GRN from large scale experimental data remains a central challenge in systems biology. Recently, numerous techniques, particularly consensus driven approaches combining different algorithms, have become a potentially promising strategy to infer accurate GRNs. Here, we develop a novel consensus inference algorithm, TopkNet that can integrate multiple algorithms to infer GRNs. Comprehensive performance benchmarking on a cloud computing framework demonstrated that (i a simple strategy to combine many algorithms does not always lead to performance improvement compared to the cost of consensus and (ii TopkNet integrating only high-performance algorithms provide significant performance improvement compared to the best individual algorithms and community prediction. These results suggest that a priori determination of high-performance algorithms is a key to reconstruct an unknown regulatory network. Similarity among gene-expression datasets can be useful to determine potential optimal algorithms for reconstruction of unknown regulatory networks, i.e., if expression-data associated with known regulatory network is similar to that with unknown regulatory network, optimal algorithms determined for the known regulatory network can be repurposed to infer the unknown regulatory network. Based on this observation, we developed a quantitative measure of similarity among gene-expression datasets and demonstrated that, if similarity between the two expression datasets is high, TopkNet integrating algorithms that are optimal for known dataset perform well on the unknown dataset. The consensus framework, TopkNet, together with the similarity measure proposed in this study provides a powerful strategy towards harnessing the wisdom of the crowds in reconstruction of unknown regulatory networks.

  2. Biological transportation networks: Modeling and simulation

    KAUST Repository

    Albi, Giacomo

    2015-09-15

    We present a model for biological network formation originally introduced by Cai and Hu [Adaptation and optimization of biological transport networks, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2013) 138701]. The modeling of fluid transportation (e.g., leaf venation and angiogenesis) and ion transportation networks (e.g., neural networks) is explained in detail and basic analytical features like the gradient flow structure of the fluid transportation network model and the impact of the model parameters on the geometry and topology of network formation are analyzed. We also present a numerical finite-element based discretization scheme and discuss sample cases of network formation simulations.

  3. Graphlet Based Metrics for the Comparison of Gene Regulatory Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Alberto J. M.; Dominguez, Calixto; Contreras-Riquelme, Sebastián; Holmes, David S.; Perez-Acle, Tomas

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the control of gene expression remains one of the main challenges in the post-genomic era. Accordingly, a plethora of methods exists to identify variations in gene expression levels. These variations underlay almost all relevant biological phenomena, including disease and adaptation to environmental conditions. However, computational tools to identify how regulation changes are scarce. Regulation of gene expression is usually depicted in the form of a gene regulatory network (GRN). Structural changes in a GRN over time and conditions represent variations in the regulation of gene expression. Like other biological networks, GRNs are composed of basic building blocks called graphlets. As a consequence, two new metrics based on graphlets are proposed in this work: REConstruction Rate (REC) and REC Graphlet Degree (RGD). REC determines the rate of graphlet similarity between different states of a network and RGD identifies the subset of nodes with the highest topological variation. In other words, RGD discerns how th GRN was rewired. REC and RGD were used to compare the local structure of nodes in condition-specific GRNs obtained from gene expression data of Escherichia coli, forming biofilms and cultured in suspension. According to our results, most of the network local structure remains unaltered in the two compared conditions. Nevertheless, changes reported by RGD necessarily imply that a different cohort of regulators (i.e. transcription factors (TFs)) appear on the scene, shedding light on how the regulation of gene expression occurs when E. coli transits from suspension to biofilm. Consequently, we propose that both metrics REC and RGD should be adopted as a quantitative approach to conduct differential analyses of GRNs. A tool that implements both metrics is available as an on-line web server (http://dlab.cl/loto). PMID:27695050

  4. Network systems biology for targeted cancer therapies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ting-Ting Zhou

    2012-01-01

    The era of targeted cancer therapies has arrived.However,due to the complexity of biological systems,the current progress is far from enough.From biological network modeling to structural/dynamic network analysis,network systems biology provides unique insight into the potential mechanisms underlying the growth and progression of cancer cells.It has also introduced great changes into the research paradigm of cancer-associated drug discovery and drug resistance.

  5. Reconstruction of large-scale gene regulatory networks using Bayesian model averaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Haseong; Gelenbe, Erol

    2012-09-01

    Gene regulatory networks provide the systematic view of molecular interactions in a complex living system. However, constructing large-scale gene regulatory networks is one of the most challenging problems in systems biology. Also large burst sets of biological data require a proper integration technique for reliable gene regulatory network construction. Here we present a new reverse engineering approach based on Bayesian model averaging which attempts to combine all the appropriate models describing interactions among genes. This Bayesian approach with a prior based on the Gibbs distribution provides an efficient means to integrate multiple sources of biological data. In a simulation study with maximum of 2000 genes, our method shows better sensitivity than previous elastic-net and Gaussian graphical models, with a fixed specificity of 0.99. The study also shows that the proposed method outperforms the other standard methods for a DREAM dataset generated by nonlinear stochastic models. In brain tumor data analysis, three large-scale networks consisting of 4422 genes were built using the gene expression of non-tumor, low and high grade tumor mRNA expression samples, along with DNA-protein binding affinity information. We found that genes having a large variation of degree distribution among the three tumor networks are the ones that see most involved in regulatory and developmental processes, which possibly gives a novel insight concerning conventional differentially expressed gene analysis.

  6. Reconstruction of the Regulatory Network for Bacillus subtilis and Reconciliation with Gene Expression Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, José P.; Overbeek, Ross; Taylor, Ronald C.; Conrad, Neal; Vonstein, Veronika; Goelzer, Anne; Fromion, Vincent; Rocha, Miguel; Rocha, Isabel; Henry, Christopher S.

    2016-01-01

    We introduce a manually constructed and curated regulatory network model that describes the current state of knowledge of transcriptional regulation of Bacillus subtilis. The model corresponds to an updated and enlarged version of the regulatory model of central metabolism originally proposed in 2008. We extended the original network to the whole genome by integration of information from DBTBS, a compendium of regulatory data that includes promoters, transcription factors (TFs), binding sites, motifs, and regulated operons. Additionally, we consolidated our network with all the information on regulation included in the SporeWeb and Subtiwiki community-curated resources on B. subtilis. Finally, we reconciled our network with data from RegPrecise, which recently released their own less comprehensive reconstruction of the regulatory network for B. subtilis. Our model describes 275 regulators and their target genes, representing 30 different mechanisms of regulation such as TFs, RNA switches, Riboswitches, and small regulatory RNAs. Overall, regulatory information is included in the model for ∼2500 of the ∼4200 genes in B. subtilis 168. In an effort to further expand our knowledge of B. subtilis regulation, we reconciled our model with expression data. For this process, we reconstructed the Atomic Regulons (ARs) for B. subtilis, which are the sets of genes that share the same “ON” and “OFF” gene expression profiles across multiple samples of experimental data. We show how ARs for B. subtilis are able to capture many sets of genes corresponding to regulated operons in our manually curated network. Additionally, we demonstrate how ARs can be used to help expand or validate the knowledge of the regulatory networks by looking at highly correlated genes in the ARs for which regulatory information is lacking. During this process, we were also able to infer novel stimuli for hypothetical genes by exploring the genome expression metadata relating to experimental

  7. Reconstruction of the Regulatory Network for Bacillus subtilis and Reconciliation with Gene Expression Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faria, José P.; Overbeek, Ross; Taylor, Ronald C.; Conrad, Neal; Vonstein, Veronika; Goelzer, Anne; Fromion, Vincent; Rocha, Miguel; Rocha, Isabel; Henry, Christopher S.

    2016-03-18

    We introduce a manually constructed and curated regulatory network model that describes the current state of knowledge of transcriptional regulation of B. subtilis. The model corresponds to an updated and enlarged version of the regulatory model of central metabolism originally proposed in 2008. We extended the original network to the whole genome by integration of information from DBTBS, a compendium of regulatory data that includes promoters, transcription factors (TFs), binding sites, motifs and regulated operons. Additionally, we consolidated our network with all the information on regulation included in the SporeWeb and Subtiwiki community-curated resources on B. subtilis. Finally, we reconciled our network with data from RegPrecise, which recently released their own less comprehensive reconstruction of the regulatory network for B. subtilis. Our model describes 275 regulators and their target genes, representing 30 different mechanisms of regulation such as TFs, RNA switches, Riboswitches and small regulatory RNAs. Overall, regulatory information is included in the model for approximately 2500 of the ~4200 genes in B. subtilis 168. In an effort to further expand our knowledge of B. subtilis regulation, we reconciled our model with expression data. For this process, we reconstructed the Atomic Regulons (ARs) for B. subtilis, which are the sets of genes that share the same “ON” and “OFF” gene expression profiles across multiple samples of experimental data. We show how atomic regulons for B. subtilis are able to capture many sets of genes corresponding to regulated operons in our manually curated network. Additionally, we demonstrate how atomic regulons can be used to help expand or validate the knowledge of the regulatory networks by looking at highly correlated genes in the ARs for which regulatory information is lacking. During this process, we were also able to infer novel stimuli for hypothetical genes by exploring the genome expression metadata

  8. Attentional Networks and Biological Motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandramouli Chandrasekaran

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to see meaningful actions when presented with pointlight traces of human movement is commonly referred to as the perception of biological motion. While traditionalexplanations have emphasized the spontaneous and automatic nature of this ability, morerecent findings suggest that attention may play a larger role than is typically assumed. Intwo studies we show that the speed and accuracy of responding to point-light stimuli is highly correlated with the ability to control selective attention. In our first experiment we measured thresholds for determining the walking direction of a masked point-light figure, and performance on a range of attention-related tasks in the same set of observers. Mask-density thresholds for the direction discrimination task varied quite considerably from observer to observer and this variation was highly correlated with performance on both Stroop and flanker interference tasks. Other components of attention, such as orienting, alerting and visual search efficiency, showed no such relationship. In a second experiment, we examined the relationship between the ability to determine the orientation of unmasked point-light actions and Stroop interference, again finding a strong correlation. Our results are consistent with previous research suggesting that biological motion processing may requite attention, and specifically implicate networks of attention related to executive control and selection.

  9. Dynamical Analysis of Protein Regulatory Network in Budding Yeast Nucleus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Fang-Ting; JIA Xun

    2006-01-01

    @@ Recent progresses in the protein regulatory network of budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have provided a global picture of its protein network for further dynamical research. We simplify and modularize the protein regulatory networks in yeast nucleus, and study the dynamical properties of the core 37-node network by a Boolean network model, especially the evolution steps and final fixed points. Our simulation results show that the number of fixed points N(k) for a given size of the attraction basin k obeys a power-law distribution N(k)∝k-2.024. The yeast network is more similar to a scale-free network than a random network in the above dynamical properties.

  10. Integrated Approach to Reconstruction of Microbial Regulatory Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodionov, Dmitry A [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Novichkov, Pavel S [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    2013-11-04

    This project had the goal(s) of development of integrated bioinformatics platform for genome-scale inference and visualization of transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) in bacterial genomes. The work was done in Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (SBMRI, P.I. D.A. Rodionov) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, co-P.I. P.S. Novichkov). The developed computational resources include: (1) RegPredict web-platform for TRN inference and regulon reconstruction in microbial genomes, and (2) RegPrecise database for collection, visualization and comparative analysis of transcriptional regulons reconstructed by comparative genomics. These analytical resources were selected as key components in the DOE Systems Biology KnowledgeBase (SBKB). The high-quality data accumulated in RegPrecise will provide essential datasets of reference regulons in diverse microbes to enable automatic reconstruction of draft TRNs in newly sequenced genomes. We outline our progress toward the three aims of this grant proposal, which were: Develop integrated platform for genome-scale regulon reconstruction; Infer regulatory annotations in several groups of bacteria and building of reference collections of microbial regulons; and Develop KnowledgeBase on microbial transcriptional regulation.

  11. Biologically inspired self-organizing networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Naoki WAKAMIYA; Kenji LEIBNITZ; Masayuki MURATA

    2009-01-01

    Information networks are becoming more and more complex to accommodate a continuously increasing amount of traffic and networked devices, as well as having to cope with a growing diversity of operating environments and applications. Therefore, it is foreseeable that future information networks will frequently face unexpected problems, some of which could lead to the complete collapse of a network. To tackle this problem, recent attempts have been made to design novel network architectures which achieve a high level of scalability, adaptability, and robustness by taking inspiration from self-organizing biological systems. The objective of this paper is to discuss biologically inspired networking technologies.

  12. The impact of measurement errors in the identification of regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sato João R

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are several studies in the literature depicting measurement error in gene expression data and also, several others about regulatory network models. However, only a little fraction describes a combination of measurement error in mathematical regulatory networks and shows how to identify these networks under different rates of noise. Results This article investigates the effects of measurement error on the estimation of the parameters in regulatory networks. Simulation studies indicate that, in both time series (dependent and non-time series (independent data, the measurement error strongly affects the estimated parameters of the regulatory network models, biasing them as predicted by the theory. Moreover, when testing the parameters of the regulatory network models, p-values computed by ignoring the measurement error are not reliable, since the rate of false positives are not controlled under the null hypothesis. In order to overcome these problems, we present an improved version of the Ordinary Least Square estimator in independent (regression models and dependent (autoregressive models data when the variables are subject to noises. Moreover, measurement error estimation procedures for microarrays are also described. Simulation results also show that both corrected methods perform better than the standard ones (i.e., ignoring measurement error. The proposed methodologies are illustrated using microarray data from lung cancer patients and mouse liver time series data. Conclusions Measurement error dangerously affects the identification of regulatory network models, thus, they must be reduced or taken into account in order to avoid erroneous conclusions. This could be one of the reasons for high biological false positive rates identified in actual regulatory network models.

  13. An integer optimization algorithm for robust identification of non-linear gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chemmangattuvalappil Nishanth

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reverse engineering gene networks and identifying regulatory interactions are integral to understanding cellular decision making processes. Advancement in high throughput experimental techniques has initiated innovative data driven analysis of gene regulatory networks. However, inherent noise associated with biological systems requires numerous experimental replicates for reliable conclusions. Furthermore, evidence of robust algorithms directly exploiting basic biological traits are few. Such algorithms are expected to be efficient in their performance and robust in their prediction. Results We have developed a network identification algorithm to accurately infer both the topology and strength of regulatory interactions from time series gene expression data in the presence of significant experimental noise and non-linear behavior. In this novel formulism, we have addressed data variability in biological systems by integrating network identification with the bootstrap resampling technique, hence predicting robust interactions from limited experimental replicates subjected to noise. Furthermore, we have incorporated non-linearity in gene dynamics using the S-system formulation. The basic network identification formulation exploits the trait of sparsity of biological interactions. Towards that, the identification algorithm is formulated as an integer-programming problem by introducing binary variables for each network component. The objective function is targeted to minimize the network connections subjected to the constraint of maximal agreement between the experimental and predicted gene dynamics. The developed algorithm is validated using both in silico and experimental data-sets. These studies show that the algorithm can accurately predict the topology and connection strength of the in silico networks, as quantified by high precision and recall, and small discrepancy between the actual and predicted kinetic parameters

  14. CoryneRegNet 4.0 – A reference database for corynebacterial gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumbach Jan

    2007-11-01

    transcriptional regulatory networks to predict putative contradictions or further gene regulatory interactions. Furthermore, it integrates protein clusters by means of heuristically solving the weighted graph cluster editing problem. In addition, it provides Web Service based access to up to date gene annotation data from GenDB. Conclusion The release 4.0 of CoryneRegNet is a comprehensive system for the integrated analysis of procaryotic gene regulatory networks. It is a versatile systems biology platform to support the efficient and large-scale analysis of transcriptional regulation of gene expression in microorganisms. It is publicly available at http://www.CoryneRegNet.DE.

  15. Network news: innovations in 21st century systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkin, Adam P; Schaffer, David V

    2011-03-18

    A decade ago, seminal perspectives and papers set a strong vision for the field of systems biology, and a number of these themes have flourished. Here, we describe key technologies and insights that have elucidated the evolution, architecture, and function of cellular networks, ultimately leading to the first predictive genome-scale regulatory and metabolic models of organisms. Can systems approaches bridge the gap between correlative analysis and mechanistic insights?

  16. Canalization and symmetry in Boolean models for genetic regulatory networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reichhardt, C J Olson [Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Bassler, Kevin E [Department of Physics, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)

    2007-04-20

    Canalization of genetic regulatory networks has been argued to be favoured by evolutionary processes due to the stability that it can confer to phenotype expression. We explore whether a significant amount of canalization and partial canalization can arise in purely random networks in the absence of evolutionary pressures. We use a mapping of the Boolean functions in the Kauffman N-K model for genetic regulatory networks onto a k-dimensional Ising hypercube (where k = K) to show that the functions can be divided into different classes strictly due to geometrical constraints. The classes can be counted and their properties determined using results from group theory and isomer chemistry. We demonstrate that partially canalizing functions completely dominate all possible Boolean functions, particularly for higher k. This indicates that partial canalization is extremely common, even in randomly chosen networks, and has implications for how much information can be obtained in experiments on native state genetic regulatory networks.

  17. 4th IEA International CCS Regulatory Network Meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-01

    On 9 and 10 May 2012, the IEA International CCS Regulatory Network (Network), launched in Paris in May 2008 to provide a neutral forum for CCS regulators, policy makers and stakeholders to share updates and views on CCS regulatory developments, held its fourth meeting at the International Energy Agency (IEA) offices in Paris, France. The aim of the meeting was to: provide an update on government efforts to develop and implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) legal and regulatory frameworks; and consider ways in which governments are dealing with some of the more difficult or complex aspects of CCS regulation. This report summarises the proceedings of the meeting.

  18. Identification of transcriptional regulatory networks specific to pilocytic astrocytoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutmann David H

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pilocytic Astrocytomas (PAs are common low-grade central nervous system malignancies for which few recurrent and specific genetic alterations have been identified. In an effort to better understand the molecular biology underlying the pathogenesis of these pediatric brain tumors, we performed higher-order transcriptional network analysis of a large gene expression dataset to identify gene regulatory pathways that are specific to this tumor type, relative to other, more aggressive glial or histologically distinct brain tumours. Methods RNA derived from frozen human PA tumours was subjected to microarray-based gene expression profiling, using Affymetrix U133Plus2 GeneChip microarrays. This data set was compared to similar data sets previously generated from non-malignant human brain tissue and other brain tumour types, after appropriate normalization. Results In this study, we examined gene expression in 66 PA tumors compared to 15 non-malignant cortical brain tissues, and identified 792 genes that demonstrated consistent differential expression between independent sets of PA and non-malignant specimens. From this entire 792 gene set, we used the previously described PAP tool to assemble a core transcriptional regulatory network composed of 6 transcription factor genes (TFs and 24 target genes, for a total of 55 interactions. A similar analysis of oligodendroglioma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM gene expression data sets identified distinct, but overlapping, networks. Most importantly, comparison of each of the brain tumor type-specific networks revealed a network unique to PA that included repressed expression of ONECUT2, a gene frequently methylated in other tumor types, and 13 other uniquely predicted TF-gene interactions. Conclusions These results suggest specific transcriptional pathways that may operate to create the unique molecular phenotype of PA and thus opportunities for corresponding targeted therapeutic

  19. Comparing genomes to computer operating systems in terms of the topology and evolution of their regulatory control networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Koon-Kiu; Fang, Gang; Bhardwaj, Nitin; Alexander, Roger P; Gerstein, Mark

    2010-05-18

    The genome has often been called the operating system (OS) for a living organism. A computer OS is described by a regulatory control network termed the call graph, which is analogous to the transcriptional regulatory network in a cell. To apply our firsthand knowledge of the architecture of software systems to understand cellular design principles, we present a comparison between the transcriptional regulatory network of a well-studied bacterium (Escherichia coli) and the call graph of a canonical OS (Linux) in terms of topology and evolution. We show that both networks have a fundamentally hierarchical layout, but there is a key difference: The transcriptional regulatory network possesses a few global regulators at the top and many targets at the bottom; conversely, the call graph has many regulators controlling a small set of generic functions. This top-heavy organization leads to highly overlapping functional modules in the call graph, in contrast to the relatively independent modules in the regulatory network. We further develop a way to measure evolutionary rates comparably between the two networks and explain this difference in terms of network evolution. The process of biological evolution via random mutation and subsequent selection tightly constrains the evolution of regulatory network hubs. The call graph, however, exhibits rapid evolution of its highly connected generic components, made possible by designers' continual fine-tuning. These findings stem from the design principles of the two systems: robustness for biological systems and cost effectiveness (reuse) for software systems.

  20. Systematic Approach to Computational Design of Gene Regulatory Networks with Information Processing Capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskon, Miha; Mraz, Miha

    2014-01-01

    We present several measures that can be used in de novo computational design of biological systems with information processing capabilities. Their main purpose is to objectively evaluate the behavior and identify the biological information processing structures with the best dynamical properties. They can be used to define constraints that allow one to simplify the design of more complex biological systems. These measures can be applied to existent computational design approaches in synthetic biology, i.e., rational and automatic design approaches. We demonstrate their use on a) the computational models of several basic information processing structures implemented with gene regulatory networks and b) on a modular design of a synchronous toggle switch.

  1. Comparing biological networks via graph compression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayashida Morihiro

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparison of various kinds of biological data is one of the main problems in bioinformatics and systems biology. Data compression methods have been applied to comparison of large sequence data and protein structure data. Since it is still difficult to compare global structures of large biological networks, it is reasonable to try to apply data compression methods to comparison of biological networks. In existing compression methods, the uniqueness of compression results is not guaranteed because there is some ambiguity in selection of overlapping edges. Results This paper proposes novel efficient methods, CompressEdge and CompressVertices, for comparing large biological networks. In the proposed methods, an original network structure is compressed by iteratively contracting identical edges and sets of connected edges. Then, the similarity of two networks is measured by a compression ratio of the concatenated networks. The proposed methods are applied to comparison of metabolic networks of several organisms, H. sapiens, M. musculus, A. thaliana, D. melanogaster, C. elegans, E. coli, S. cerevisiae, and B. subtilis, and are compared with an existing method. These results suggest that our methods can efficiently measure the similarities between metabolic networks. Conclusions Our proposed algorithms, which compress node-labeled networks, are useful for measuring the similarity of large biological networks.

  2. Regulatory network modelling of iron acquisition by a fungal pathogen in contact with epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guthke Reinhard

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks can be used to predict regulatory interactions of an organism faced with environmental changes, but can prove problematic, especially when focusing on complicated multi-factorial processes. Candida albicans is a major human fungal pathogen. During the infection process, this fungus is able to adapt to conditions of very low iron availability. Such adaptation is an important virulence attribute of virtually all pathogenic microbes. Understanding the regulation of iron acquisition genes will extend our knowledge of the complex regulatory changes during the infection process and might identify new potential drug targets. Thus, there is a need for efficient modelling approaches predicting key regulatory events of iron acquisition genes during the infection process. Results This study deals with the regulation of C. albicans iron uptake genes during adhesion to and invasion into human oral epithelial cells. A reverse engineering strategy is presented, which is able to infer regulatory networks on the basis of gene expression data, making use of relevant selection criteria such as sparseness and robustness. An exhaustive use of available knowledge from different data sources improved the network prediction. The predicted regulatory network proposes a number of new target genes for the transcriptional regulators Rim101, Hap3, Sef1 and Tup1. Furthermore, the molecular mode of action for Tup1 is clarified. Finally, regulatory interactions between the transcription factors themselves are proposed. This study presents a model describing how C. albicans may regulate iron acquisition during contact with and invasion of human oral epithelial cells. There is evidence that some of the proposed regulatory interactions might also occur during oral infection. Conclusions This study focuses on a typical problem in Systems Biology where an interesting biological phenomenon is studied using a small

  3. Optimal finite horizon control in gene regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qiuli

    2013-06-01

    As a paradigm for modeling gene regulatory networks, probabilistic Boolean networks (PBNs) form a subclass of Markov genetic regulatory networks. To date, many different stochastic optimal control approaches have been developed to find therapeutic intervention strategies for PBNs. A PBN is essentially a collection of constituent Boolean networks via a probability structure. Most of the existing works assume that the probability structure for Boolean networks selection is known. Such an assumption cannot be satisfied in practice since the presence of noise prevents the probability structure from being accurately determined. In this paper, we treat a case in which we lack the governing probability structure for Boolean network selection. Specifically, in the framework of PBNs, the theory of finite horizon Markov decision process is employed to find optimal constituent Boolean networks with respect to the defined objective functions. In order to illustrate the validity of our proposed approach, an example is also displayed.

  4. Inference of gene regulatory networks with the strong-inhibition Boolean model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xia Qinzhi; Liu Lulu; Ye Weiming; Hu Gang, E-mail: ganghu@bnu.edu.cn [Department of Physics, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2011-08-15

    The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is an important topic in biology. In this paper, a logic-based algorithm that infers the strong-inhibition Boolean genetic regulatory networks (where regulation by any single repressor can definitely suppress the expression of the gene regulated) from time series is discussed. By properly ordering various computation steps, we derive for the first time explicit formulae for the probabilities at which different interactions can be inferred given a certain number of data. With the formulae, we can predict the precision of reconstructions of regulation networks when the data are insufficient. Numerical simulations coincide well with the analytical results. The method and results are expected to be applicable to a wide range of general dynamic networks, where logic algorithms play essential roles in the network dynamics and the probabilities of various logics can be estimated well.

  5. Electricity distribution networks: Changing regulatory approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambini, Carlo

    2016-09-01

    Increasing the penetration of distributed generation and smart grid technologies requires substantial investments. A study proposes an innovative approach that combines four regulatory tools to provide economic incentives for distribution system operators to facilitate these innovative practices.

  6. MicroRNA-regulated networks: the perfect storm for classical molecular biology, the ideal scenario for systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vera, Julio; Lai, Xin; Schmitz, Ulf; Wolkenhauer, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in many regulatory pathways some of which are complex networks enriched in regulatory motifs like positive or negative feedback loops or coherent and incoherent feedforward loops. Their complexity makes the understanding of their regulation difficult and the interpretation of experimental data cumbersome. In this book chapter we claim that systems biology is the appropriate approach to investigate the regulation of these miRNA-regulated networks. Systems biology is an interdisciplinary approach by which biomedical questions on biochemical networks are addressed by integrating experiments with mathematical modelling and simulation. We here introduce the foundations of the systems biology approach, the basic theoretical and computational tools used to perform model-based analyses of miRNA-regulated networks and review the scientific literature in systems biology of miRNA regulation, with a focus on cancer.

  7. Stochastic Boolean networks: An efficient approach to modeling gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Jinghang

    2012-08-01

    network inferred from a T cell immune response dataset. An SBN can also implement the function of an asynchronous PBN and is potentially useful in a hybrid approach in combination with a continuous or single-molecule level stochastic model. Conclusions Stochastic Boolean networks (SBNs are proposed as an efficient approach to modelling gene regulatory networks (GRNs. The SBN approach is able to recover biologically-proven regulatory behaviours, such as the oscillatory dynamics of the p53-Mdm2 network and the dynamic attractors in a T cell immune response network. The proposed approach can further predict the network dynamics when the genes are under perturbation, thus providing biologically meaningful insights for a better understanding of the dynamics of GRNs. The algorithms and methods described in this paper have been implemented in Matlab packages, which are attached as Additional files.

  8. Experimental design for parameter estimation of gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Steiert

    Full Text Available Systems biology aims for building quantitative models to address unresolved issues in molecular biology. In order to describe the behavior of biological cells adequately, gene regulatory networks (GRNs are intensively investigated. As the validity of models built for GRNs depends crucially on the kinetic rates, various methods have been developed to estimate these parameters from experimental data. For this purpose, it is favorable to choose the experimental conditions yielding maximal information. However, existing experimental design principles often rely on unfulfilled mathematical assumptions or become computationally demanding with growing model complexity. To solve this problem, we combined advanced methods for parameter and uncertainty estimation with experimental design considerations. As a showcase, we optimized three simulated GRNs in one of the challenges from the Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM. This article presents our approach, which was awarded the best performing procedure at the DREAM6 Estimation of Model Parameters challenge. For fast and reliable parameter estimation, local deterministic optimization of the likelihood was applied. We analyzed identifiability and precision of the estimates by calculating the profile likelihood. Furthermore, the profiles provided a way to uncover a selection of most informative experiments, from which the optimal one was chosen using additional criteria at every step of the design process. In conclusion, we provide a strategy for optimal experimental design and show its successful application on three highly nonlinear dynamic models. Although presented in the context of the GRNs to be inferred for the DREAM6 challenge, the approach is generic and applicable to most types of quantitative models in systems biology and other disciplines.

  9. Comparative analysis of module-based versus direct methods for reverse-engineering transcriptional regulatory networks

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    Joshi Anagha

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A myriad of methods to reverse-engineer transcriptional regulatory networks have been developed in recent years. Direct methods directly reconstruct a network of pairwise regulatory interactions while module-based methods predict a set of regulators for modules of coexpressed genes treated as a single unit. To date, there has been no systematic comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of both types of methods. Results We have compared a recently developed module-based algorithm, LeMoNe (Learning Module Networks, to a mutual information based direct algorithm, CLR (Context Likelihood of Relatedness, using benchmark expression data and databases of known transcriptional regulatory interactions for Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A global comparison using recall versus precision curves hides the topologically distinct nature of the inferred networks and is not informative about the specific subtasks for which each method is most suited. Analysis of the degree distributions and a regulator specific comparison show that CLR is 'regulator-centric', making true predictions for a higher number of regulators, while LeMoNe is 'target-centric', recovering a higher number of known targets for fewer regulators, with limited overlap in the predicted interactions between both methods. Detailed biological examples in E. coli and S. cerevisiae are used to illustrate these differences and to prove that each method is able to infer parts of the network where the other fails. Biological validation of the inferred networks cautions against over-interpreting recall and precision values computed using incomplete reference networks. Conclusion Our results indicate that module-based and direct methods retrieve largely distinct parts of the underlying transcriptional regulatory networks. The choice of algorithm should therefore be based on the particular biological problem of interest and not on global metrics which cannot be

  10. Ethical and regulatory challenges posed by synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rager-Zisman, Bracha

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new science with tremendous potential to change how we view and know the life sciences, but like many developing technologies, it has provoked ethical concerns from the scientific community and the public and confronts demands for new regulatory measures. The concerns raised involve the danger of "dual use," in which results for improving human well-being and the environment may be misappropriated for bioterror. To counteract these dangers, many governments, but the United States and Israel in particular, have introduced new laws and redoubled measures for biosafety and biosecurity. In the United States, the recent H5N1 results achieved by two groups of NIH-funded investigators highlighted the dilemma of balancing the risk of dual-use research and the freedom of science. In Israel, concern for unconventional terrorism is long-standing, and the country is constantly engaged in improving biosecurity and biodefense measures. In 2008, the Israeli parliament passed the Regulation of Research into Biological Disease Agents Law, a legislative framework for safeguarding research into biological disease agents. This article summarizes and analyzes the current state of affairs in the United States and Israel, ethical attitudes, and regulatory responses to synthetic biology.

  11. Architecture of transcriptional regulatory circuits is knitted over the topology of bio-molecular interaction networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nielsen Jens

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uncovering the operating principles underlying cellular processes by using 'omics' data is often a difficult task due to the high-dimensionality of the solution space that spans all interactions among the bio-molecules under consideration. A rational way to overcome this problem is to use the topology of bio-molecular interaction networks in order to constrain the solution space. Such approaches systematically integrate the existing biological knowledge with the 'omics' data. Results Here we introduce a hypothesis-driven method that integrates bio-molecular network topology with transcriptome data, thereby allowing the identification of key biological features (Reporter Features around which transcriptional changes are significantly concentrated. We have combined transcriptome data with different biological networks in order to identify Reporter Gene Ontologies, Reporter Transcription Factors, Reporter Proteins and Reporter Complexes, and use this to decipher the logic of regulatory circuits playing a key role in yeast glucose repression and human diabetes. Conclusion Reporter Features offer the opportunity to identify regulatory hot-spots in bio-molecular interaction networks that are significantly affected between or across conditions. Results of the Reporter Feature analysis not only provide a snapshot of the transcriptional regulatory program but also are biologically easy to interpret and provide a powerful way to generate new hypotheses. Our Reporter Features analyses of yeast glucose repression and human diabetes data brings hints towards the understanding of the principles of transcriptional regulation controlling these two important and potentially closely related systems.

  12. Optimal Control of Gene Regulatory Networks with Effectiveness of Multiple Drugs: A Boolean Network Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Koichi; Hiraishi, Kunihiko

    2013-01-01

    Developing control theory of gene regulatory networks is one of the significant topics in the field of systems biology, and it is expected to apply the obtained results to gene therapy technologies in the future. In this paper, a control method using a Boolean network (BN) is studied. A BN is widely used as a model of gene regulatory networks, and gene expression is expressed by a binary value (0 or 1). In the control problem, we assume that the concentration level of a part of genes is arbitrarily determined as the control input. However, there are cases that no gene satisfying this assumption exists, and it is important to consider structural control via external stimuli. Furthermore, these controls are realized by multiple drugs, and it is also important to consider multiple effects such as duration of effect and side effects. In this paper, we propose a BN model with two types of the control inputs and an optimal control method with duration of drug effectiveness. First, a BN model and duration of drug effectiveness are discussed. Next, the optimal control problem is formulated and is reduced to an integer linear programming problem. Finally, numerical simulations are shown. PMID:24058904

  13. Mapping Transcriptional Networks in Plants: Data-Driven Discovery of Novel Biological Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudinier, Allison; Brady, Siobhan M

    2016-04-29

    In plants, systems biology approaches have led to the generation of a variety of large data sets. Many of these data are created to elucidate gene expression profiles and their corresponding transcriptional regulatory mechanisms across a range of tissue types, organs, and environmental conditions. In an effort to map the complexity of this transcriptional regulatory control, several types of experimental assays have been used to map transcriptional regulatory networks. In this review, we discuss how these methods can be best used to identify novel biological mechanisms by focusing on the appropriate biological context. Translating network biology back to gene function in the plant, however, remains a challenge. We emphasize the need for validation and insight into the underlying biological processes to successfully exploit systems approaches in an effort to determine the emergent properties revealed by network analyses.

  14. CyTargetLinker: a cytoscape app to integrate regulatory interactions in network analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Kutmon

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The high complexity and dynamic nature of the regulation of gene expression, protein synthesis, and protein activity pose a challenge to fully understand the cellular machinery. By deciphering the role of important players, including transcription factors, microRNAs, or small molecules, a better understanding of key regulatory processes can be obtained. Various databases contain information on the interactions of regulators with their targets for different organisms, data recently being extended with the results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project. A systems biology approach integrating our understanding on different regulators is essential in interpreting the regulation of molecular biological processes. IMPLEMENTATION: We developed CyTargetLinker (http://projects.bigcat.unimaas.nl/cytargetlinker, a Cytoscape app, for integrating regulatory interactions in network analysis. Recently we released CyTargetLinker as one of the first apps for Cytoscape 3. It provides a user-friendly and flexible interface to extend biological networks with regulatory interactions, such as microRNA-target, transcription factor-target and/or drug-target. Importantly, CyTargetLinker employs identifier mapping to combine various interaction data resources that use different types of identifiers. RESULTS: Three case studies demonstrate the strength and broad applicability of CyTargetLinker, (i extending a mouse molecular interaction network, containing genes linked to diabetes mellitus, with validated and predicted microRNAs, (ii enriching a molecular interaction network, containing DNA repair genes, with ENCODE transcription factor and (iii building a regulatory meta-network in which a biological process is extended with information on transcription factor, microRNA and drug regulation. CONCLUSIONS: CyTargetLinker provides a simple and extensible framework for biologists and bioinformaticians to integrate different regulatory interactions

  15. Understanding biological functions through molecular networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing-Dong Jackie Han

    2008-01-01

    The completion of genome sequences and subsequent high-throughput mapping of molecular networks have allowed us to study biology from the network perspective. Experimental, statistical and mathematical modeling approaches have been employed to study the structure, function and dynamics of molecular networks, and begin to reveal important links of various network properties to the functions of the biological systems. In agreement with these functional links, evolutionary selection of a network is apparently based on the function, rather than directly on the structure of the network. Dynamic modularity is one of the prominent features of molecular networks. Taking advantage of such a feature may simplify network-based biological studies through construction of process-specific modular networks and provide functional and mechanistic insights linking genotypic variations to complex traits or diseases, which is likely to be a key approach in the next wave of understanding complex human diseases. With the development of ready-to-use network analysis and modeling tools the networks approaches will be infused into everyday biological research in the near future.

  16. Rigidity and flexibility of biological networks

    CERN Document Server

    Gaspar, Merse E

    2012-01-01

    The network approach became a widely used tool to understand the behaviour of complex systems in the last decade. We start from a short description of structural rigidity theory. A detailed account on the combinatorial rigidity analysis of protein structures, as well as local flexibility measures of proteins and their applications in explaining allostery and thermostability is given. We also briefly discuss the network aspects of cytoskeletal tensegrity. Finally, we show the importance of the balance between functional flexibility and rigidity in protein-protein interaction, metabolic, gene regulatory and neuronal networks. Our summary raises the possibility that the concepts of flexibility and rigidity can be generalized to all networks.

  17. Modular genetic regulatory networks increase organization during pattern formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamadlou, Hamid; Podgorski, Gregory J; Flann, Nicholas S

    2016-08-01

    Studies have shown that genetic regulatory networks (GRNs) consist of modules that are densely connected subnetworks that function quasi-autonomously. Modules may be recognized motifs that comprise of two or three genes with particular regulatory functions and connectivity or be purely structural and identified through connection density. It is unclear what evolutionary and developmental advantages modular structure and in particular motifs provide that have led to this enrichment. This study seeks to understand how modules within developmental GRNs influence the complexity of multicellular patterns that emerge from the dynamics of the regulatory networks. We apply an algorithmic complexity to measure the organization of the patterns. A computational study was performed by creating Boolean intracellular networks within a simulated epithelial field of embryonic cells, where each cell contains the same network and communicates with adjacent cells using contact-mediated signaling. Intracellular networks with random connectivity were compared to those with modular connectivity and with motifs. Results show that modularity effects network dynamics and pattern organization significantly. In particular: (1) modular connectivity alone increases complexity in network dynamics and patterns; (2) bistable switch motifs simplify both the pattern and network dynamics; (3) all other motifs with feedback loops increase multicellular pattern complexity while simplifying the network dynamics; (4) negative feedback loops affect the dynamics complexity more significantly than positive feedback loops.

  18. Construction of Gene Regulatory Networks Using Recurrent Neural Networks and Swarm Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Abhinandan; Mandal, Sudip; Pal, Rajat Kumar; Saha, Goutam

    2016-01-01

    We have proposed a methodology for the reverse engineering of biologically plausible gene regulatory networks from temporal genetic expression data. We have used established information and the fundamental mathematical theory for this purpose. We have employed the Recurrent Neural Network formalism to extract the underlying dynamics present in the time series expression data accurately. We have introduced a new hybrid swarm intelligence framework for the accurate training of the model parameters. The proposed methodology has been first applied to a small artificial network, and the results obtained suggest that it can produce the best results available in the contemporary literature, to the best of our knowledge. Subsequently, we have implemented our proposed framework on experimental (in vivo) datasets. Finally, we have investigated two medium sized genetic networks (in silico) extracted from GeneNetWeaver, to understand how the proposed algorithm scales up with network size. Additionally, we have implemented our proposed algorithm with half the number of time points. The results indicate that a reduction of 50% in the number of time points does not have an effect on the accuracy of the proposed methodology significantly, with a maximum of just over 15% deterioration in the worst case.

  19. Design of artificial genetic regulatory networks with multiple delayed adaptive responses

    CERN Document Server

    Kaluza, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Genetic regulatory networks with adaptive responses are widely studied in biology. Usually, models consisting only of a few nodes have been considered. They present one input receptor for activation and one output node where the adaptive response is computed. In this work, we design genetic regulatory networks with many receptors and many output nodes able to produce delayed adaptive responses. This design is performed by using an evolutionary algorithm of mutations and selections that minimizes an error function defined by the adaptive response in signal shapes. We present several examples of network constructions with a predefined required set of adaptive delayed responses. We show that an output node can have different kinds of responses as a function of the activated receptor. Additionally, complex network structures are presented since processing nodes can be involved in several input-output pathways.

  20. T Regulatory Cell Biology in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroqi, Fayhan J; Chatila, Talal A

    2016-04-01

    Regulatory T (Treg) cells that express the transcription factor forkhead box protein P3 (FOXP3) play an essential role in enforcing immune tolerance to self tissues, regulating host-commensal flora interaction, and facilitating tissue repair. Their deficiency and/or dysfunction trigger unbridled autoimmunity and inflammation. A growing number of monogenic defects have been recognized that adversely impact Treg cell development, differentiation, and/or function, leading to heritable diseases of immune dysregulation and autoimmunity. In this article, we review recent insights into Treg cell biology and function, with particular attention to lessons learned from newly recognized clinical disorders of Treg cell deficiency.

  1. A consensus network of gene regulatory factors in the human frontal lobe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano eBerto

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive abilities, such as memory, learning, language, problem solving, and planning, involve the frontal lobe and other brain areas. Not much is known yet about the molecular basis of cognitive abilities, but it seems clear that cognitive abilities are determined by the interplay of many genes. One approach for analyzing the genetic networks involved in cognitive functions is to study the coexpression networks of genes with known importance for proper cognitive functions, such as genes that have been associated with cognitive disorders like intellectual disability (ID or autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Because many of these genes are gene regulatory factors (GRFs we aimed to provide insights into the gene regulatory networks active in the human frontal lobe. Using genome wide human frontal lobe expression data from 10 independent data sets, we first derived 10 individual coexpression networks for all GRFs including their potential target genes. We observed a high level of variability among these 10 independently derived networks, pointing out that relying on results from a single study can only provide limited biological insights. To instead focus on the most confident information from these 10 networks we developed a method for integrating such independently derived networks into a consensus network. This consensus network revealed robust GRF interactions that are conserved across the frontal lobes of different healthy human individuals. Within this network, we detected a strong central module that is enriched for 166 GRFs known to be involved in brain development and/or cognitive disorders. Interestingly, several hubs of the consensus network encode for GRFs that have not yet been associated with brain functions. Their central role in the network suggests them as excellent new candidates for playing an essential role in the regulatory network of the human frontal lobe, which should be investigated in future studies.

  2. A Consensus Network of Gene Regulatory Factors in the Human Frontal Lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berto, Stefano; Perdomo-Sabogal, Alvaro; Gerighausen, Daniel; Qin, Jing; Nowick, Katja

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive abilities, such as memory, learning, language, problem solving, and planning, involve the frontal lobe and other brain areas. Not much is known yet about the molecular basis of cognitive abilities, but it seems clear that cognitive abilities are determined by the interplay of many genes. One approach for analyzing the genetic networks involved in cognitive functions is to study the coexpression networks of genes with known importance for proper cognitive functions, such as genes that have been associated with cognitive disorders like intellectual disability (ID) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Because many of these genes are gene regulatory factors (GRFs) we aimed to provide insights into the gene regulatory networks active in the human frontal lobe. Using genome wide human frontal lobe expression data from 10 independent data sets, we first derived 10 individual coexpression networks for all GRFs including their potential target genes. We observed a high level of variability among these 10 independently derived networks, pointing out that relying on results from a single study can only provide limited biological insights. To instead focus on the most confident information from these 10 networks we developed a method for integrating such independently derived networks into a consensus network. This consensus network revealed robust GRF interactions that are conserved across the frontal lobes of different healthy human individuals. Within this network, we detected a strong central module that is enriched for 166 GRFs known to be involved in brain development and/or cognitive disorders. Interestingly, several hubs of the consensus network encode for GRFs that have not yet been associated with brain functions. Their central role in the network suggests them as excellent new candidates for playing an essential role in the regulatory network of the human frontal lobe, which should be investigated in future studies.

  3. Identifying communities from multiplex biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Didier

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Various biological networks can be constructed, each featuring gene/protein relationships of different meanings (e.g., protein interactions or gene co-expression. However, this diversity is classically not considered and the different interaction categories are usually aggregated in a single network. The multiplex framework, where biological relationships are represented by different network layers reflecting the various nature of interactions, is expected to retain more information. Here we assessed aggregation, consensus and multiplex-modularity approaches to detect communities from multiple network sources. By simulating random networks, we demonstrated that the multiplex-modularity method outperforms the aggregation and consensus approaches when network layers are incomplete or heterogeneous in density. Application to a multiplex biological network containing 4 layers of physical or functional interactions allowed recovering communities more accurately annotated than their aggregated counterparts. Overall, taking into account the multiplexity of biological networks leads to better-defined functional modules. A user-friendly graphical software to detect communities from multiplex networks, and corresponding C source codes, are available at GitHub (https://github.com/gilles-didier/MolTi.

  4. Mosaic gene network modelling identified new regulatory mechanisms in HCV infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popik, Olga V; Petrovskiy, Evgeny D; Mishchenko, Elena L; Lavrik, Inna N; Ivanisenko, Vladimir A

    2016-06-15

    Modelling of gene networks is widely used in systems biology to study the functioning of complex biological systems. Most of the existing mathematical modelling techniques are useful for analysis of well-studied biological processes, for which information on rates of reactions is available. However, complex biological processes such as those determining the phenotypic traits of organisms or pathological disease processes, including pathogen-host interactions, involve complicated cross-talk between interacting networks. Furthermore, the intrinsic details of the interactions between these networks are often missing. In this study, we developed an approach, which we call mosaic network modelling, that allows the combination of independent mathematical models of gene regulatory networks and, thereby, description of complex biological systems. The advantage of this approach is that it allows us to generate the integrated model despite the fact that information on molecular interactions between parts of the model (so-called mosaic fragments) might be missing. To generate a mosaic mathematical model, we used control theory and mathematical models, written in the form of a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). In the present study, we investigated the efficiency of this method in modelling the dynamics of more than 10,000 simulated mosaic regulatory networks consisting of two pieces. Analysis revealed that this approach was highly efficient, as the mean deviation of the dynamics of mosaic network elements from the behaviour of the initial parts of the model was less than 10%. It turned out that for construction of the control functional, data on perturbation of one or two vertices of the mosaic piece are sufficient. Further, we used the developed method to construct a mosaic gene regulatory network including hepatitis C virus (HCV) as the first piece and the tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-induced apoptosis and NF-κB induction pathways as the second piece. Thus

  5. Discovering large network motifs from a complex biological network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terada, Aika; Sese, Jun, E-mail: terada@sel.is.ocha.ac.j, E-mail: sesejun@is.ocha.ac.j [Department of Computer Science, Ochanomizu University, 2-1-1 Ohtsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8610 (Japan)

    2009-12-01

    Graph structures representing relationships between entries have been studied in statistical analysis, and the results of these studies have been applied to biological networks, whose nodes and edges represent proteins and the relationships between them, respectively. Most of the studies have focused on only graph structures such as scale-free properties and cliques, but the relationships between nodes are also important features since most of the proteins perform their functions by connecting to other proteins. In order to determine such relationships, the problem of network motif discovery has been addressed; network motifs are frequently appearing graph structures in a given graph. However, the methods for network motif discovery are highly restrictive for the application to biological network because they can only be used to find small network motifs or they do not consider noise and uncertainty in observations. In this study, we introduce a new index to measure network motifs called AR index and develop a novel algorithm called ARIANA for finding large motifs even when the network has noise. Experiments using a synthetic network verify that our method can find better network motifs than an existing algorithm. By applying ARIANA to a real complex biological network, we find network motifs associated with regulations of start time of cell functions and generation of cell energies and discover that the cell cycle proteins can be categorized into two different groups.

  6. Propagation of genetic variation in gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plahte, Erik; Gjuvsland, Arne B; Omholt, Stig W

    2013-08-01

    A future quantitative genetics theory should link genetic variation to phenotypic variation in a causally cohesive way based on how genes actually work and interact. We provide a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the manifestation of genetic variation in haploid and diploid regulatory networks with arbitrary feedback structures and intra-locus and inter-locus functional dependencies. Using results from network and graph theory, we define propagation functions describing how genetic variation in a locus is propagated through the network, and show how their derivatives are related to the network's feedback structure. Similarly, feedback functions describe the effect of genotypic variation of a locus on itself, either directly or mediated by the network. A simple sign rule relates the sign of the derivative of the feedback function of any locus to the feedback loops involving that particular locus. We show that the sign of the phenotypically manifested interaction between alleles at a diploid locus is equal to the sign of the dominant feedback loop involving that particular locus, in accordance with recent results for a single locus system. Our results provide tools by which one can use observable equilibrium concentrations of gene products to disclose structural properties of the network architecture. Our work is a step towards a theory capable of explaining the pleiotropy and epistasis features of genetic variation in complex regulatory networks as functions of regulatory anatomy and functional location of the genetic variation.

  7. Iterative reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks: an algorithmic approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian L Barrett

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The number of complete, publicly available genome sequences is now greater than 200, and this number is expected to rapidly grow in the near future as metagenomic and environmental sequencing efforts escalate and the cost of sequencing drops. In order to make use of this data for understanding particular organisms and for discerning general principles about how organisms function, it will be necessary to reconstruct their various biochemical reaction networks. Principal among these will be transcriptional regulatory networks. Given the physical and logical complexity of these networks, the various sources of (often noisy data that can be utilized for their elucidation, the monetary costs involved, and the huge number of potential experiments approximately 10(12 that can be performed, experiment design algorithms will be necessary for synthesizing the various computational and experimental data to maximize the efficiency of regulatory network reconstruction. This paper presents an algorithm for experimental design to systematically and efficiently reconstruct transcriptional regulatory networks. It is meant to be applied iteratively in conjunction with an experimental laboratory component. The algorithm is presented here in the context of reconstructing transcriptional regulation for metabolism in Escherichia coli, and, through a retrospective analysis with previously performed experiments, we show that the produced experiment designs conform to how a human would design experiments. The algorithm is able to utilize probability estimates based on a wide range of computational and experimental sources to suggest experiments with the highest potential of discovering the greatest amount of new regulatory knowledge.

  8. Stochastic Oscillations in Genetic Regulatory Networks: Application to Microarray Experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosenfeld Simon

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the stochastic dynamics of genetic regulatory networks using a system of nonlinear differential equations. The system of -functions is applied to capture the role of RNA polymerase in the transcription-translation mechanism. Using probabilistic properties of chemical rate equations, we derive a system of stochastic differential equations which are analytically tractable despite the high dimension of the regulatory network. Using stationary solutions of these equations, we explain the apparently paradoxical results of some recent time-course microarray experiments where mRNA transcription levels are found to only weakly correlate with the corresponding transcription rates. Combining analytical and simulation approaches, we determine the set of relationships between the size of the regulatory network, its structural complexity, chemical variability, and spectrum of oscillations. In particular, we show that temporal variability of chemical constituents may decrease while complexity of the network is increasing. This finding provides an insight into the nature of "functional determinism" of such an inherently stochastic system as genetic regulatory network.

  9. MAPPING OF NATURAL KAPOSI SARCOMA INHIBITOR USING NETWORK BIOLOGY APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayadeepa R. M.

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Identification of protein-ligand interaction networks on a proteome scale is crucial to address a wide range of biological problems such as correlating molecular functions to physiological processes and designing safe and efficient therapeutics. In this study we have developed a novel computational strategy to identify ligand binding profiles of proteins across gene families and applied it to predicting protein functions, elucidating molecular mechanisms of drug adverse effects, and repositioning safe pharmaceuticals to treat different diseases The resultant network is then extrapolated to proteomics level to sort out the genes only expressed in the specific cancer types. The network is statistically analyzed and represented by the graphical interpretation to encounter the hub nodes. The objective of developing a biological networking is for the evaluation and validation of cancer drugs and their targets. In the field of cancer biology, the drug and their targets holds a role of paramount importance. With the work conducted here it shows the study of relation between drug target networks. Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS is a systemic disease which can present with cutaneous lesions with or without internal involvement. Genes belonging to the group of proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressors are best targeted for cancer studies. Biological networks like gene regulatory networks, protein interaction network is usually created to simplify the studies. In the present study, 26 proteins as receptor were selected for the study; all the receptors were responsible for the cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Also, 121 natural anti-Kaposi Sarcoma compounds were selected from different sources the natural components were the best component for blocking of abnormal activity.

  10. Genetic Regulatory Networks that count to 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehmann, Martin; Sneppen, K.

    2013-01-01

    Sensing a graded input and differentiating between its different levels is at the core of many developmental decisions. Here, we want to examine how this can be realized for a simple system. We model gene regulatory circuits that reach distinct states when setting the underlying gene copy number ...... in the vertebrate neural tube in a development governed by the sonic hedgehog morphogen and the more robust design of a repressilator supplemented with a weak repressilator acting in the opposite direction. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd....

  11. Partially observed bipartite network analysis to identify predictive connections in transcriptional regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woolf Peter J

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Messenger RNA expression is regulated by a complex interplay of different regulatory proteins. Unfortunately, directly measuring the individual activity of these regulatory proteins is difficult, leaving us with only the resulting gene expression pattern as a marker for the underlying regulatory network or regulator-gene associations. Furthermore, traditional methods to predict these regulator-gene associations do not define the relative importance of each association, leading to a large number of connections in the global regulatory network that, although true, are not useful. Results Here we present a Bayesian method that identifies which known transcriptional relationships in a regulatory network are consistent with a given body of static gene expression data by eliminating the non-relevant ones. The Partially Observed Bipartite Network (POBN approach developed here is tested using E. coli expression data and a transcriptional regulatory network derived from RegulonDB. When the regulatory network for E. coli was integrated with 266 E. coli gene chip observations, POBN identified 93 out of 570 connections that were either inconsistent or not adequately supported by the expression data. Conclusion POBN provides a systematic way to integrate known transcriptional networks with observed gene expression data to better identify which transcriptional pathways are likely responsible for the observed gene expression pattern.

  12. Validation of Gene Regulatory Network Inference Based on Controllability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward eDougherty

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available There are two distinct issues regarding network validation: (1 Does an inferred network provide good predictions relative to experimental data? (2 Does a network inference algorithm applied within a certain network model framework yield networks that are accurate relative to some criterion of goodness? The first issue concerns scientific validation and the second concerns algorithm validation. In this paper we consider inferential validation relative to controllability; that is, if an inference procedure is applied to synthetic data generated from a gene regulatory network and an intervention procedure is designed on the inferred network, how well does it perform on the true network? The reasoning behind such a criterion is that, if our purpose is to use gene regulatory networks to design therapeutic intervention strategies, then we are not concerned with network fidelity, per se, but only with our ability to design effective interventions based on the inferred network. We will consider the problem from the perspectives of stationary control, which involves designing a control policy to be applied over time based on the current state of the network, with the decision procedure itself being time independent. {The objective of a control policy is to optimally reduce the total steady-state probability mass of the undesirable states (phenotypes, which is equivalent to optimally increasing the total steady-state mass of the desirable states. Based on this criterion we compare several proposed network inference procedures. We will see that inference procedure psi may perform poorer than inference procedure xi relative to inferring the full network structure but perform better than xi relative to controllability. Hence, when one is aiming at a specific application, it may be wise to use an objective-based measure of inference validity.

  13. Communication on the structure of biological networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Deyasi Krishanu; Upadhyay Shashankaditya; Banerjee Anirban

    2016-03-01

    Networks are widely used to represent interaction pattern among the components in complex systems. Structures of real networks from different domains may vary quite significantly. As there is an interplay between network architecture and dynamics, structure plays an important role in communication and spreading of information in a network. Here we investigate the underlying undirected topology of different biological networks which support faster spreading of information and are better in communication. We analyse the good expansion property by using the spectral gap and communicability between nodes. Different epidemic models are also used to study the transmission of information in terms of spreading of disease through individuals (nodes)in those networks. Moreover, we explore the structural conformation and properties which may be responsible for better communication. Among all biological networks studied here, the undirected structure of neuronal networks not only possesses the small-world property but the same is also expressed remarkably to a higher degree compared to any randomly generated network which possesses the same degree sequence. A relatively high percentage of nodes, in neuronal networks, form a higher core in their structure. Our study shows that the underlying undirected topology in neuronal networks, in a significant way, is qualitatively different from the same in other biologicalnetworks and that they may have evolved in such a way that they inherit a (undirected) structure which is excellent and robust in communication.

  14. Characterizing regulatory path motifs in integrated networks using perturbational data

    OpenAIRE

    Joshi, Anagha Madhusudan; Van Parys, Thomas; de Peer, Yves Van; Michoel, Tom

    2010-01-01

    We introduce Pathicular http://bioinformatics.psb.ugent.be/software/details/Pathicular, a Cytoscape plugin for studying the cellular response to perturbations of transcription factors by integrating perturbational expression data with transcriptional, protein-protein and phosphorylation networks. Pathicular searches for 'regulatory path motifs', short paths in the integrated physical networks which occur significantly more often than expected between transcription factors and their targets in...

  15. A parallel implementation of the network identification by multiple regression (NIR algorithm to reverse-engineer regulatory gene networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Gregoretti

    Full Text Available The reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks using gene expression profile data has become crucial to gain novel biological knowledge. Large amounts of data that need to be analyzed are currently being produced due to advances in microarray technologies. Using current reverse engineering algorithms to analyze large data sets can be very computational-intensive. These emerging computational requirements can be met using parallel computing techniques. It has been shown that the Network Identification by multiple Regression (NIR algorithm performs better than the other ready-to-use reverse engineering software. However it cannot be used with large networks with thousands of nodes--as is the case in biological networks--due to the high time and space complexity. In this work we overcome this limitation by designing and developing a parallel version of the NIR algorithm. The new implementation of the algorithm reaches a very good accuracy even for large gene networks, improving our understanding of the gene regulatory networks that is crucial for a wide range of biomedical applications.

  16. Intrinsic noise and deviations from criticality in Boolean gene-regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas, Pablo; Ruiz-Franco, José; Hidalgo, Jorge; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks can be successfully modeled as Boolean networks. A much discussed hypothesis says that such model networks reproduce empirical findings the best if they are tuned to operate at criticality, i.e. at the borderline between their ordered and disordered phases. Critical networks have been argued to lead to a number of functional advantages such as maximal dynamical range, maximal sensitivity to environmental changes, as well as to an excellent tradeoff between stability and flexibility. Here, we study the effect of noise within the context of Boolean networks trained to learn complex tasks under supervision. We verify that quasi-critical networks are the ones learning in the fastest possible way –even for asynchronous updating rules– and that the larger the task complexity the smaller the distance to criticality. On the other hand, when additional sources of intrinsic noise in the network states and/or in its wiring pattern are introduced, the optimally performing networks become clearly subcritical. These results suggest that in order to compensate for inherent stochasticity, regulatory and other type of biological networks might become subcritical rather than being critical, all the most if the task to be performed has limited complexity. PMID:27713479

  17. Intrinsic noise and deviations from criticality in Boolean gene-regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas, Pablo; Ruiz-Franco, José; Hidalgo, Jorge; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2016-10-01

    Gene regulatory networks can be successfully modeled as Boolean networks. A much discussed hypothesis says that such model networks reproduce empirical findings the best if they are tuned to operate at criticality, i.e. at the borderline between their ordered and disordered phases. Critical networks have been argued to lead to a number of functional advantages such as maximal dynamical range, maximal sensitivity to environmental changes, as well as to an excellent tradeoff between stability and flexibility. Here, we study the effect of noise within the context of Boolean networks trained to learn complex tasks under supervision. We verify that quasi-critical networks are the ones learning in the fastest possible way –even for asynchronous updating rules– and that the larger the task complexity the smaller the distance to criticality. On the other hand, when additional sources of intrinsic noise in the network states and/or in its wiring pattern are introduced, the optimally performing networks become clearly subcritical. These results suggest that in order to compensate for inherent stochasticity, regulatory and other type of biological networks might become subcritical rather than being critical, all the most if the task to be performed has limited complexity.

  18. Predicting biological networks from genomic data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harrington, Eoghan D; Jensen, Lars J; Bork, Peer

    2008-01-01

    Continuing improvements in DNA sequencing technologies are providing us with vast amounts of genomic data from an ever-widening range of organisms. The resulting challenge for bioinformatics is to interpret this deluge of data and place it back into its biological context. Biological networks pro...... to high-throughput experimental methods....... provide a conceptual framework with which we can describe part of this context, namely the different interactions that occur between the molecular components of a cell. Here, we review the computational methods available to predict biological networks from genomic sequence data and discuss how they relate...

  19. Stable Gene Regulatory Network Modeling From Steady-State Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy Edward Larvie

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory networks represent an abstract mapping of gene regulations in living cells. They aim to capture dependencies among molecular entities such as transcription factors, proteins and metabolites. In most applications, the regulatory network structure is unknown, and has to be reverse engineered from experimental data consisting of expression levels of the genes usually measured as messenger RNA concentrations in microarray experiments. Steady-state gene expression data are obtained from measurements of the variations in expression activity following the application of small perturbations to equilibrium states in genetic perturbation experiments. In this paper, the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator-vector autoregressive (LASSO-VAR originally proposed for the analysis of economic time series data is adapted to include a stability constraint for the recovery of a sparse and stable regulatory network that describes data obtained from noisy perturbation experiments. The approach is applied to real experimental data obtained for the SOS pathway in Escherichia coli and the cell cycle pathway for yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Significant features of this method are the ability to recover networks without inputting prior knowledge of the network topology, and the ability to be efficiently applied to large scale networks due to the convex nature of the method.

  20. Design principles for the analysis and construction of robustly homeostatic biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhe F; McMillen, David R

    2016-11-07

    Homeostatic biological systems resist external disturbances, allowing cells and organisms to maintain a constant internal state despite perturbations from their surroundings. Many biological regulatory networks are known to act homeostatically, with examples including thermal adaptation, osmoregulation, and chemotaxis. Understanding the network topologies (sets of regulatory interactions) and biological parameter regimes that can yield homeostasis in a biological system is of interest both for the study of natural biological system, and in the context of designing new biological control schemes for use in synthetic biology. Here, we examine the mathematical properties of a function that maps a biological system's inputs to its outputs, we have formulated a novel criterion (the "cofactor condition") that compactly describes the conditions for homeostasis. We further analyze the problem of robust homeostasis, wherein the system is required to maintain homeostatic behavior when its parameter values are slightly altered. We use the cofactor condition to examine previously reported examples of robust homeostasis, showing that it is a useful way to unify a number of seemingly different analyses into a single framework. Based on the observation that all previous robustly homeostatic examples fall into one of three classes, we propose a "strong cofactor condition" and use it to provide an algorithm for designing new robustly homeostatic biological networks, giving both their topologies and constraints on their parameter values. Applying the design algorithm to a three-node biological network, we construct several robustly homeostatic genetic networks, uncovering network topologies not previously identified as candidates for exhibiting robust homeostasis.

  1. Learning Gene Regulatory Networks Computationally from Gene Expression Data Using Weighted Consensus

    KAUST Repository

    Fujii, Chisato

    2015-04-16

    Gene regulatory networks analyze the relationships between genes allowing us to un- derstand the gene regulatory interactions in systems biology. Gene expression data from the microarray experiments is used to obtain the gene regulatory networks. How- ever, the microarray data is discrete, noisy and non-linear which makes learning the networks a challenging problem and existing gene network inference methods do not give consistent results. Current state-of-the-art study uses the average-ranking-based consensus method to combine and average the ranked predictions from individual methods. However each individual method has an equal contribution to the consen- sus prediction. We have developed a linear programming-based consensus approach which uses learned weights from linear programming among individual methods such that the methods have di↵erent weights depending on their performance. Our result reveals that assigning di↵erent weights to individual methods rather than giving them equal weights improves the performance of the consensus. The linear programming- based consensus method is evaluated and it had the best performance on in silico and Saccharomyces cerevisiae networks, and the second best on the Escherichia coli network outperformed by Inferelator Pipeline method which gives inconsistent results across a wide range of microarray data sets.

  2. Hidden Markov induced Dynamic Bayesian Network for recovering time evolving gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Shijia; Wang, Yadong

    2015-12-18

    Dynamic Bayesian Networks (DBN) have been widely used to recover gene regulatory relationships from time-series data in computational systems biology. Its standard assumption is 'stationarity', and therefore, several research efforts have been recently proposed to relax this restriction. However, those methods suffer from three challenges: long running time, low accuracy and reliance on parameter settings. To address these problems, we propose a novel non-stationary DBN model by extending each hidden node of Hidden Markov Model into a DBN (called HMDBN), which properly handles the underlying time-evolving networks. Correspondingly, an improved structural EM algorithm is proposed to learn the HMDBN. It dramatically reduces searching space, thereby substantially improving computational efficiency. Additionally, we derived a novel generalized Bayesian Information Criterion under the non-stationary assumption (called BWBIC), which can help significantly improve the reconstruction accuracy and largely reduce over-fitting. Moreover, the re-estimation formulas for all parameters of our model are derived, enabling us to avoid reliance on parameter settings. Compared to the state-of-the-art methods, the experimental evaluation of our proposed method on both synthetic and real biological data demonstrates more stably high prediction accuracy and significantly improved computation efficiency, even with no prior knowledge and parameter settings.

  3. Glucocorticoid receptor-dependent gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip Phuc Le

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available While the molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid regulation of transcription have been studied in detail, the global networks regulated by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR remain unknown. To address this question, we performed an orthogonal analysis to identify direct targets of the GR. First, we analyzed the expression profile of mouse livers in the presence or absence of exogenous glucocorticoid, resulting in over 1,300 differentially expressed genes. We then executed genome-wide location analysis on chromatin from the same livers, identifying more than 300 promoters that are bound by the GR. Intersecting the two lists yielded 53 genes whose expression is functionally dependent upon the ligand-bound GR. Further network and sequence analysis of the functional targets enabled us to suggest interactions between the GR and other transcription factors at specific target genes. Together, our results further our understanding of the GR and its targets, and provide the basis for more targeted glucocorticoid therapies.

  4. Quantifying evolvability in small biological networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nemenman, Ilya [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Mugler, Andrew [COLUMBIA UNIV; Ziv, Etay [COLUMBIA UNIV; Wiggins, Chris H [COLUMBIA UNIV

    2008-01-01

    The authors introduce a quantitative measure of the capacity of a small biological network to evolve. The measure is applied to a stochastic description of the experimental setup of Guet et al. (Science 2002, 296, pp. 1466), treating chemical inducers as functional inputs to biochemical networks and the expression of a reporter gene as the functional output. The authors take an information-theoretic approach, allowing the system to set parameters that optimise signal processing ability, thus enumerating each network's highest-fidelity functions. All networks studied are highly evolvable by the measure, meaning that change in function has little dependence on change in parameters. Moreover, each network's functions are connected by paths in the parameter space along which information is not significantly lowered, meaning a network may continuously change its functionality without completely losing it along the way. This property further underscores the evolvability of the networks.

  5. Information theoretical methods to deconvolute genetic regulatory networks applied to thyroid neoplasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Velázquez-Fernández, David; Estrada-Gil, Jesús K.; Silva-Zolezzi, Irma; Herrera-Hernández, Miguel F.; Jiménez-Sánchez, Gerardo

    2009-12-01

    Most common pathologies in humans are not caused by the mutation of a single gene, rather they are complex diseases that arise due to the dynamic interaction of many genes and environmental factors. This plethora of interacting genes generates a complexity landscape that masks the real effects associated with the disease. To construct dynamic maps of gene interactions (also called genetic regulatory networks) we need to understand the interplay between thousands of genes. Several issues arise in the analysis of experimental data related to gene function: on the one hand, the nature of measurement processes generates highly noisy signals; on the other hand, there are far more variables involved (number of genes and interactions among them) than experimental samples. Another source of complexity is the highly nonlinear character of the underlying biochemical dynamics. To overcome some of these limitations, we generated an optimized method based on the implementation of a Maximum Entropy Formalism (MaxEnt) to deconvolute a genetic regulatory network based on the most probable meta-distribution of gene-gene interactions. We tested the methodology using experimental data for Papillary Thyroid Cancer (PTC) and Thyroid Goiter tissue samples. The optimal MaxEnt regulatory network was obtained from a pool of 25,593,993 different probability distributions. The group of observed interactions was validated by several (mostly in silico) means and sources. For the associated Papillary Thyroid Cancer Gene Regulatory Network (PTC-GRN) the majority of the nodes (genes) have very few links (interactions) whereas a small number of nodes are highly connected. PTC-GRN is also characterized by high clustering coefficients and network heterogeneity. These properties have been recognized as characteristic of topological robustness, and they have been largely described in relation to biological networks. A number of biological validity outcomes are discussed with regard to both the

  6. Development of Bioinformatic and Experimental Technologies for Identification of Prokaryotic Regulatory Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lawrence, Charles E; McCue, Lee Ann

    2008-07-31

    The transcription regulatory network is arguably the most important foundation of cellular function, since it exerts the most fundamental control over the abundance of virtually all of a cell’s functional macromolecules. The two major components of a prokaryotic cell’s transcription regulation network are the transcription factors (TFs) and the transcription factor binding sites (TFBS); these components are connected by the binding of TFs to their cognate TFBS under appropriate environmental conditions. Comparative genomics has proven to be a powerful bioinformatics method with which to study transcription regulation on a genome-wide level. We have further extended comparative genomics technologies that we introduced over the last several years. Specifically, we developed and applied statistical approaches to analysis of correlated sequence data (i.e., sequences from closely related species). We also combined these technologies with functional genomic, proteomic and sequence data from multiple species, and developed computational technologies that provide inferences on the regulatory network connections, identifying the cognate transcription factor for predicted regulatory sites. Arguably the most important contribution of this work emerged in the course of the project. Specifically, the development of novel procedures of estimation and prediction in discrete high-D settings has broad implications for biology, genomics and well beyond. We showed that these procedures enjoy advantages over existing technologies in the identification of TBFS. These efforts are aimed toward identifying a cell’s complete transcription regulatory network and underlying molecular mechanisms.

  7. Ground rules of the pluripotency gene regulatory network.

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Mo

    2017-01-03

    Pluripotency is a state that exists transiently in the early embryo and, remarkably, can be recapitulated in vitro by deriving embryonic stem cells or by reprogramming somatic cells to become induced pluripotent stem cells. The state of pluripotency, which is stabilized by an interconnected network of pluripotency-associated genes, integrates external signals and exerts control over the decision between self-renewal and differentiation at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic levels. Recent evidence of alternative pluripotency states indicates the regulatory flexibility of this network. Insights into the underlying principles of the pluripotency network may provide unprecedented opportunities for studying development and for regenerative medicine.

  8. Modeling of regulatory networks: theory and applications in the study of the Drosophila circadian clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scribner, Elizabeth Y; Fathallah-Shaykh, Hassan M

    2011-01-01

    Biological networks can be very complex. Mathematical modeling and simulation of regulatory networks can assist in resolving unanswered questions about these complex systems, which are often impossible to explore experimentally. The network regulating the Drosophila circadian clock is particularly amenable to such modeling given its complexity and what we call the clockwork orange (CWO) anomaly. CWO is a protein whose function in the network as an indirect activator of genes per, tim, vri, and pdp1 is counterintuitive--in isolated experiments, CWO inhibits transcription of these genes. Although many different types of modeling frameworks have recently been applied to the Drosophila circadian network, this chapter focuses on the application of continuous deterministic dynamic modeling to this network. In particular, we present three unique systems of ordinary differential equations that have been used to successfully model different aspects of the circadian network. The last model incorporates the newly identified protein CWO, and we explain how this model's unique mathematical equations can be used to explore and resolve the CWO anomaly. Finally, analysis of these equations gives rise to a new network regulatory rule, which clarifies the unusual role of CWO in this dynamical system.

  9. Toward an orofacial gene regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kousa, Youssef A; Schutte, Brian C

    2016-03-01

    Orofacial clefting is a common birth defect with significant morbidity. A panoply of candidate genes have been discovered through synergy of animal models and human genetics. Among these, variants in interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) cause syndromic orofacial clefting and contribute risk toward isolated cleft lip and palate (1/700 live births). Rare variants in IRF6 can lead to Van der Woude syndrome (1/35,000 live births) and popliteal pterygium syndrome (1/300,000 live births). Furthermore, IRF6 regulates GRHL3 and rare variants in this downstream target can also lead to Van der Woude syndrome. In addition, a common variant (rs642961) in the IRF6 locus is found in 30% of the world's population and contributes risk for isolated orofacial clefting. Biochemical studies revealed that rs642961 abrogates one of four AP-2alpha binding sites. Like IRF6 and GRHL3, rare variants in TFAP2A can also lead to syndromic orofacial clefting with lip pits (branchio-oculo-facial syndrome). The literature suggests that AP-2alpha, IRF6 and GRHL3 are part of a pathway that is essential for lip and palate development. In addition to updating the pathways, players and pursuits, this review will highlight some of the current questions in the study of orofacial clefting.

  10. Statins as Modulators of Regulatory T-Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Forero-Peña

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Statins are pharmacological inhibitors of the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR, an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol. Some recent experimental studies have shown that besides their effects on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, statins may also have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects through diverse mechanisms. On the other hand, the induction and activity of regulatory T cells (Treg are key processes in the prevention of pathology during chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Hence, strategies oriented towards the therapeutic expansion of Tregs are gaining special attention among biomedical researchers. The potential effects of statins on the biology of Treg are of particular importance because of their eventual application as in vivo inducers of Treg in the treatment of multiple conditions. In this paper we review the experimental evidence pointing out to a potential effect of statins on the role of regulatory T cells in different conditions and discuss its potential clinical significance.

  11. myGRN: a database and visualisation system for the storage and analysis of developmental genetic regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bacha Jamil

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biological processes are regulated by complex interactions between transcription factors and signalling molecules, collectively described as Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs. The characterisation of these networks to reveal regulatory mechanisms is a long-term goal of many laboratories. However compiling, visualising and interacting with such networks is non-trivial. Current tools and databases typically focus on GRNs within simple, single celled organisms. However, data is available within the literature describing regulatory interactions in multi-cellular organisms, although not in any systematic form. This is particularly true within the field of developmental biology, where regulatory interactions should also be tagged with information about the time and anatomical location of development in which they occur. Description We have developed myGRN (http://www.myGRN.org, a web application for storing and interrogating interaction data, with an emphasis on developmental processes. Users can submit interaction and gene expression data, either curated from published sources or derived from their own unpublished data. All interactions associated with publications are publicly visible, and unpublished interactions can only be shared between collaborating labs prior to publication. Users can group interactions into discrete networks based on specific biological processes. Various filters allow dynamic production of network diagrams based on a range of information including tissue location, developmental stage or basic topology. Individual networks can be viewed using myGRV, a tool focused on displaying developmental networks, or exported in a range of formats compatible with third party tools. Networks can also be analysed for the presence of common network motifs. We demonstrate the capabilities of myGRN using a network of zebrafish interactions integrated with expression data from the zebrafish database, ZFIN. Conclusion Here we

  12. Reverse engineering gene regulatory networks related to quorum sensing in the plant pathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Kuang; Husmeier, Dirk; Dondelinger, Frank; Mayer, Claus D; Liu, Hui; Prichard, Leighton; Salmond, George P C; Toth, Ian K; Birch, Paul R J

    2010-01-01

    The objective of the project reported in the present chapter was the reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks related to quorum sensing in the plant pathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum from micorarray gene expression profiles, obtained from the wild-type and eight knockout strains. To this end, we have applied various recent methods from multivariate statistics and machine learning: graphical Gaussian models, sparse Bayesian regression, LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator), Bayesian networks, and nested effects models. We have investigated the degree of similarity between the predictions obtained with the different approaches, and we have assessed the consistency of the reconstructed networks in terms of global topological network properties, based on the node degree distribution. The chapter concludes with a biological evaluation of the predicted network structures.

  13. Network biology methods integrating biological data for translational science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebek, Gurkan; Koyutürk, Mehmet; Price, Nathan D; Chance, Mark R

    2012-07-01

    The explosion of biomedical data, both on the genomic and proteomic side as well as clinical data, will require complex integration and analysis to provide new molecular variables to better understand the molecular basis of phenotype. Currently, much data exist in silos and is not analyzed in frameworks where all data are brought to bear in the development of biomarkers and novel functional targets. This is beginning to change. Network biology approaches, which emphasize the interactions between genes, proteins and metabolites provide a framework for data integration such that genome, proteome, metabolome and other -omics data can be jointly analyzed to understand and predict disease phenotypes. In this review, recent advances in network biology approaches and results are identified. A common theme is the potential for network analysis to provide multiplexed and functionally connected biomarkers for analyzing the molecular basis of disease, thus changing our approaches to analyzing and modeling genome- and proteome-wide data.

  14. Characterizing disease states from topological properties of transcriptional regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kluger Harriet M

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background High throughput gene expression experiments yield large amounts of data that can augment our understanding of disease processes, in addition to classifying samples. Here we present new paradigms of data Separation based on construction of transcriptional regulatory networks for normal and abnormal cells using sequence predictions, literature based data and gene expression studies. We analyzed expression datasets from a number of diseased and normal cells, including different types of acute leukemia, and breast cancer with variable clinical outcome. Results We constructed sample-specific regulatory networks to identify links between transcription factors (TFs and regulated genes that differentiate between healthy and diseased states. This approach carries the advantage of identifying key transcription factor-gene pairs with differential activity between healthy and diseased states rather than merely using gene expression profiles, thus alluding to processes that may be involved in gene deregulation. We then generalized this approach by studying simultaneous changes in functionality of multiple regulatory links pointing to a regulated gene or emanating from one TF (or changes in gene centrality defined by its in-degree or out-degree measures, respectively. We found that samples can often be separated based on these measures of gene centrality more robustly than using individual links. We examined distributions of distances (the number of links needed to traverse the path between each pair of genes in the transcriptional networks for gene subsets whose collective expression profiles could best separate each dataset into predefined groups. We found that genes that optimally classify samples are concentrated in neighborhoods in the gene regulatory networks. This suggests that genes that are deregulated in diseased states exhibit a remarkable degree of connectivity. Conclusion Transcription factor-regulated gene links and

  15. Discriminative topological features reveal biological network mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levovitz Chaya

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent genomic and bioinformatic advances have motivated the development of numerous network models intending to describe graphs of biological, technological, and sociological origin. In most cases the success of a model has been evaluated by how well it reproduces a few key features of the real-world data, such as degree distributions, mean geodesic lengths, and clustering coefficients. Often pairs of models can reproduce these features with indistinguishable fidelity despite being generated by vastly different mechanisms. In such cases, these few target features are insufficient to distinguish which of the different models best describes real world networks of interest; moreover, it is not clear a priori that any of the presently-existing algorithms for network generation offers a predictive description of the networks inspiring them. Results We present a method to assess systematically which of a set of proposed network generation algorithms gives the most accurate description of a given biological network. To derive discriminative classifiers, we construct a mapping from the set of all graphs to a high-dimensional (in principle infinite-dimensional "word space". This map defines an input space for classification schemes which allow us to state unambiguously which models are most descriptive of a given network of interest. Our training sets include networks generated from 17 models either drawn from the literature or introduced in this work. We show that different duplication-mutation schemes best describe the E. coli genetic network, the S. cerevisiae protein interaction network, and the C. elegans neuronal network, out of a set of network models including a linear preferential attachment model and a small-world model. Conclusions Our method is a first step towards systematizing network models and assessing their predictability, and we anticipate its usefulness for a number of communities.

  16. Application of Graph Coloring to Biological Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Khor, Susan

    2009-01-01

    We explore the application of graph coloring to biological networks, specifically protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. First, we find that given similar conditions (i.e. number of nodes, number of links, degree distribution and clustering), fewer colors are needed to color disassortative (high degree nodes tend to connect to low degree nodes and vice versa) than assortative networks. Fewer colors create fewer independent sets which in turn imply higher concurrency potential for a network. Since PPI networks tend to be disassortative, we suggest that in addition to functional specificity and stability proposed previously by Maslov and Sneppen (Science 296, 2002), the disassortative nature of PPI networks may promote the ability of cells to perform multiple, crucial and functionally diverse tasks concurrently. Second, since graph coloring is closely related to the presence of cliques in a graph, the significance of node coloring information to the problem of identifying protein complexes, i.e. dense subg...

  17. A gene regulatory network armature for T-lymphocyte specification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fung, Elizabeth-sharon [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    Choice of a T-lymphoid fate by hematopoietic progenitor cells depends on sustained Notch-Delta signaling combined with tightly-regulated activities of multiple transcription factors. To dissect the regulatory network connections that mediate this process, we have used high-resolution analysis of regulatory gene expression trajectories from the beginning to the end of specification; tests of the short-term Notchdependence of these gene expression changes; and perturbation analyses of the effects of overexpression of two essential transcription factors, namely PU.l and GATA-3. Quantitative expression measurements of >50 transcription factor and marker genes have been used to derive the principal components of regulatory change through which T-cell precursors progress from primitive multipotency to T-lineage commitment. Distinct parts of the path reveal separate contributions of Notch signaling, GATA-3 activity, and downregulation of PU.l. Using BioTapestry, the results have been assembled into a draft gene regulatory network for the specification of T-cell precursors and the choice of T as opposed to myeloid dendritic or mast-cell fates. This network also accommodates effects of E proteins and mutual repression circuits of Gfil against Egr-2 and of TCF-l against PU.l as proposed elsewhere, but requires additional functions that remain unidentified. Distinctive features of this network structure include the intense dose-dependence of GATA-3 effects; the gene-specific modulation of PU.l activity based on Notch activity; the lack of direct opposition between PU.l and GATA-3; and the need for a distinct, late-acting repressive function or functions to extinguish stem and progenitor-derived regulatory gene expression.

  18. Elucidating MicroRNA Regulatory Networks Using Transcriptional, Post-transcriptional, and Histone Modification Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara J.C. Gosline

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs regulate diverse biological processes by repressing mRNAs, but their modest effects on direct targets, together with their participation in larger regulatory networks, make it challenging to delineate miRNA-mediated effects. Here, we describe an approach to characterizing miRNA-regulatory networks by systematically profiling transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic activity in a pair of isogenic murine fibroblast cell lines with and without Dicer expression. By RNA sequencing (RNA-seq and CLIP (crosslinking followed by immunoprecipitation sequencing (CLIP-seq, we found that most of the changes induced by global miRNA loss occur at the level of transcription. We then introduced a network modeling approach that integrated these data with epigenetic data to identify specific miRNA-regulated transcription factors that explain the impact of miRNA perturbation on gene expression. In total, we demonstrate that combining multiple genome-wide datasets spanning diverse regulatory modes enables accurate delineation of the downstream miRNA-regulated transcriptional network and establishes a model for studying similar networks in other systems.

  19. Elucidating MicroRNA Regulatory Networks Using Transcriptional, Post-transcriptional, and Histone Modification Measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosline, Sara J C; Gurtan, Allan M; JnBaptiste, Courtney K; Bosson, Andrew; Milani, Pamela; Dalin, Simona; Matthews, Bryan J; Yap, Yoon S; Sharp, Phillip A; Fraenkel, Ernest

    2016-01-12

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate diverse biological processes by repressing mRNAs, but their modest effects on direct targets, together with their participation in larger regulatory networks, make it challenging to delineate miRNA-mediated effects. Here, we describe an approach to characterizing miRNA-regulatory networks by systematically profiling transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic activity in a pair of isogenic murine fibroblast cell lines with and without Dicer expression. By RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and CLIP (crosslinking followed by immunoprecipitation) sequencing (CLIP-seq), we found that most of the changes induced by global miRNA loss occur at the level of transcription. We then introduced a network modeling approach that integrated these data with epigenetic data to identify specific miRNA-regulated transcription factors that explain the impact of miRNA perturbation on gene expression. In total, we demonstrate that combining multiple genome-wide datasets spanning diverse regulatory modes enables accurate delineation of the downstream miRNA-regulated transcriptional network and establishes a model for studying similar networks in other systems.

  20. Inference of gene regulatory networks with sparse structural equation models exploiting genetic perturbations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodong Cai

    Full Text Available Integrating genetic perturbations with gene expression data not only improves accuracy of regulatory network topology inference, but also enables learning of causal regulatory relations between genes. Although a number of methods have been developed to integrate both types of data, the desiderata of efficient and powerful algorithms still remains. In this paper, sparse structural equation models (SEMs are employed to integrate both gene expression data and cis-expression quantitative trait loci (cis-eQTL, for modeling gene regulatory networks in accordance with biological evidence about genes regulating or being regulated by a small number of genes. A systematic inference method named sparsity-aware maximum likelihood (SML is developed for SEM estimation. Using simulated directed acyclic or cyclic networks, the SML performance is compared with that of two state-of-the-art algorithms: the adaptive Lasso (AL based scheme, and the QTL-directed dependency graph (QDG method. Computer simulations demonstrate that the novel SML algorithm offers significantly better performance than the AL-based and QDG algorithms across all sample sizes from 100 to 1,000, in terms of detection power and false discovery rate, in all the cases tested that include acyclic or cyclic networks of 10, 30 and 300 genes. The SML method is further applied to infer a network of 39 human genes that are related to the immune function and are chosen to have a reliable eQTL per gene. The resulting network consists of 9 genes and 13 edges. Most of the edges represent interactions reasonably expected from experimental evidence, while the remaining may just indicate the emergence of new interactions. The sparse SEM and efficient SML algorithm provide an effective means of exploiting both gene expression and perturbation data to infer gene regulatory networks. An open-source computer program implementing the SML algorithm is freely available upon request.

  1. Biological and Environmental Research Network Requirements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balaji, V. [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Earth Science Grid Federation (ESGF); Boden, Tom [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cowley, Dave [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Dart, Eli [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Dattoria, Vince [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Desai, Narayan [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Egan, Rob [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Foster, Ian [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Goldstone, Robin [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Gregurick, Susan [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Biological Systems Science Division; Houghton, John [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program; Izaurralde, Cesar [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnston, Bill [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Joseph, Renu [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division; Kleese-van Dam, Kerstin [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lipton, Mary [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Monga, Inder [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Pritchard, Matt [British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC), Oxon (United Kingdom); Rotman, Lauren [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Strand, Gary [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO (United States); Stuart, Cory [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Tatusova, Tatiana [National Inst. of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD (United States); Tierney, Brian [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Thomas, Brian [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Williams, Dean N. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Zurawski, Jason [Internet2, Washington, DC (United States)

    2013-09-01

    The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) is the primary provider of network connectivity for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC), the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. In support of SC programs, ESnet regularly updates and refreshes its understanding of the networking requirements of the instruments, facilities, scientists, and science programs that it serves. This focus has helped ESnet be a highly successful enabler of scientific discovery for over 25 years. In November 2012, ESnet and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the DOE SC organized a review to characterize the networking requirements of the programs funded by the BER program office. Several key findings resulted from the review. Among them: 1) The scale of data sets available to science collaborations continues to increase exponentially. This has broad impact, both on the network and on the computational and storage systems connected to the network. 2) Many science collaborations require assistance to cope with the systems and network engineering challenges inherent in managing the rapid growth in data scale. 3) Several science domains operate distributed facilities that rely on high-performance networking for success. Key examples illustrated in this report include the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) and the Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase). This report expands on these points, and addresses others as well. The report contains a findings section as well as the text of the case studies discussed at the review.

  2. Dynamic Regulatory Network Reconstruction for Alzheimer’s Disease Based on Matrix Decomposition Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Kong

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the most common form of dementia and leads to irreversible neurodegenerative damage of the brain. Finding the dynamic responses of genes, signaling proteins, transcription factor (TF activities, and regulatory networks of the progressively deteriorative progress of AD would represent a significant advance in discovering the pathogenesis of AD. However, the high throughput technologies of measuring TF activities are not yet available on a genome-wide scale. In this study, based on DNA microarray gene expression data and a priori information of TFs, network component analysis (NCA algorithm is applied to determining the TF activities and regulatory influences on TGs of incipient, moderate, and severe AD. Based on that, the dynamical gene regulatory networks of the deteriorative courses of AD were reconstructed. To select significant genes which are differentially expressed in different courses of AD, independent component analysis (ICA, which is better than the traditional clustering methods and can successfully group one gene in different meaningful biological processes, was used. The molecular biological analysis showed that the changes of TF activities and interactions of signaling proteins in mitosis, cell cycle, immune response, and inflammation play an important role in the deterioration of AD.

  3. Reverse engineering biological networks :applications in immune responses to bio-toxins.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martino, Anthony A.; Sinclair, Michael B.; Davidson, George S.; Haaland, David Michael; Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Thomas, Edward Victor; Slepoy, Alexander; Zhang, Zhaoduo; May, Elebeoba Eni; Martin, Shawn Bryan; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel

    2005-12-01

    Our aim is to determine the network of events, or the regulatory network, that defines an immune response to a bio-toxin. As a model system, we are studying T cell regulatory network triggered through tyrosine kinase receptor activation using a combination of pathway stimulation and time-series microarray experiments. Our approach is composed of five steps (1) microarray experiments and data error analysis, (2) data clustering, (3) data smoothing and discretization, (4) network reverse engineering, and (5) network dynamics analysis and fingerprint identification. The technological outcome of this study is a suite of experimental protocols and computational tools that reverse engineer regulatory networks provided gene expression data. The practical biological outcome of this work is an immune response fingerprint in terms of gene expression levels. Inferring regulatory networks from microarray data is a new field of investigation that is no more than five years old. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first attempt that integrates experiments, error analyses, data clustering, inference, and network analysis to solve a practical problem. Our systematic approach of counting, enumeration, and sampling networks matching experimental data is new to the field of network reverse engineering. The resulting mathematical analyses and computational tools lead to new results on their own and should be useful to others who analyze and infer networks.

  4. Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara; Serban, Maria; Scholl, Raphael;

    2017-01-01

    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research...

  5. Mapping and Dynamics of Regulatory DNA and Transcription Factor Networks in A. thaliana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra M. Sullivan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of gene regulation in plants is constrained by our limited knowledge of plant cis-regulatory DNA and its dynamics. We mapped DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs in A. thaliana seedlings and used genomic footprinting to delineate ∼700,000 sites of in vivo transcription factor (TF occupancy at nucleotide resolution. We show that variation associated with 72 diverse quantitative phenotypes localizes within DHSs. TF footprints encode an extensive cis-regulatory lexicon subject to recent evolutionary pressures, and widespread TF binding within exons may have shaped codon usage patterns. The architecture of A. thaliana TF regulatory networks is strikingly similar to that of animals in spite of diverged regulatory repertoires. We analyzed regulatory landscape dynamics during heat shock and photomorphogenesis, disclosing thousands of environmentally sensitive elements and enabling mapping of key TF regulatory circuits underlying these fundamental responses. Our results provide an extensive resource for the study of A. thaliana gene regulation and functional biology.

  6. Autonomous Boolean modelling of developmental gene regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Xianrui; Sun, Mengyang; Socolar, Joshua E. S.

    2013-01-01

    During early embryonic development, a network of regulatory interactions among genes dynamically determines a pattern of differentiated tissues. We show that important timing information associated with the interactions can be faithfully represented in autonomous Boolean models in which binary variables representing expression levels are updated in continuous time, and that such models can provide a direct insight into features that are difficult to extract from ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. As an application, we model the experimentally well-studied network controlling fly body segmentation. The Boolean model successfully generates the patterns formed in normal and genetically perturbed fly embryos, permits the derivation of constraints on the time delay parameters, clarifies the logic associated with different ODE parameter sets and provides a platform for studying connectivity and robustness in parameter space. By elucidating the role of regulatory time delays in pattern formation, the results suggest new types of experimental measurements in early embryonic development. PMID:23034351

  7. Insights into the organization of biochemical regulatory networks using graph theory analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma'ayan, Avi

    2009-02-27

    Graph theory has been a valuable mathematical modeling tool to gain insights into the topological organization of biochemical networks. There are two types of insights that may be obtained by graph theory analyses. The first provides an overview of the global organization of biochemical networks; the second uses prior knowledge to place results from multivariate experiments, such as microarray data sets, in the context of known pathways and networks to infer regulation. Using graph analyses, biochemical networks are found to be scale-free and small-world, indicating that these networks contain hubs, which are proteins that interact with many other molecules. These hubs may interact with many different types of proteins at the same time and location or at different times and locations, resulting in diverse biological responses. Groups of components in networks are organized in recurring patterns termed network motifs such as feedback and feed-forward loops. Graph analysis revealed that negative feedback loops are less common and are present mostly in proximity to the membrane, whereas positive feedback loops are highly nested in an architecture that promotes dynamical stability. Cell signaling networks have multiple pathways from some input receptors and few from others. Such topology is reminiscent of a classification system. Signaling networks display a bow-tie structure indicative of funneling information from extracellular signals and then dispatching information from a few specific central intracellular signaling nexuses. These insights show that graph theory is a valuable tool for gaining an understanding of global regulatory features of biochemical networks.

  8. Evolutionary tinkering with conserved components of a transcriptional regulatory network.

    OpenAIRE

    Hugo Lavoie; Hervé Hogues; Jaideep Mallick; Adnane Sellam; André Nantel; Malcolm Whiteway

    2010-01-01

    Gene expression variation between species is a major contributor to phenotypic diversity, yet the underlying flexibility of transcriptional regulatory networks remains largely unexplored. Transcription of the ribosomal regulon is a critical task for all cells; in S. cerevisiae the transcription factors Rap1, Fhl1, Ifh1, and Hmo1 form a multi-subunit complex that controls ribosomal gene expression, while in C. albicans this regulation is under the control of Tbf1 and Cbf1. Here, we analyzed, u...

  9. Dose response relationship in anti-stress gene regulatory networks.

    OpenAIRE

    Qiang Zhang; Andersen, Melvin E.

    2007-01-01

    To maintain a stable intracellular environment, cells utilize complex and specialized defense systems against a variety of external perturbations, such as electrophilic stress, heat shock, and hypoxia, etc. Irrespective of the type of stress, many adaptive mechanisms contributing to cellular homeostasis appear to operate through gene regulatory networks that are organized into negative feedback loops. In general, the degree of deviation of the controlled variables, such as electrophiles, misf...

  10. Network biology concepts in complex disease comorbidities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Jessica Xin; Thomas, Cecilia Engel; Brunak, Søren

    2016-01-01

    The co-occurrence of diseases can inform the underlying network biology of shared and multifunctional genes and pathways. In addition, comorbidities help to elucidate the effects of external exposures, such as diet, lifestyle and patient care. With worldwide health transaction data now often being...

  11. Evolution of the mammalian embryonic pluripotency gene regulatory network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Tresguerres, Beatriz; Cañon, Susana; Rayon, Teresa; Pernaute, Barbara; Crespo, Miguel; Torroja, Carlos; Manzanares, Miguel

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic pluripotency in the mouse is established and maintained by a gene-regulatory network under the control of a core set of transcription factors that include octamer-binding protein 4 (Oct4; official name POU domain, class 5, transcription factor 1, Pou5f1), sex-determining region Y (SRY)-box containing gene 2 (Sox2), and homeobox protein Nanog. Although this network is largely conserved in eutherian mammals, very little information is available regarding its evolutionary conservation in other vertebrates. We have compared the embryonic pluripotency networks in mouse and chick by means of expression analysis in the pregastrulation chicken embryo, genomic comparisons, and functional assays of pluripotency-related regulatory elements in ES cells and blastocysts. We find that multiple components of the network are either novel to mammals or have acquired novel expression domains in early developmental stages of the mouse. We also find that the downstream action of the mouse core pluripotency factors is mediated largely by genomic sequence elements nonconserved with chick. In the case of Sox2 and Fgf4, we find that elements driving expression in embryonic pluripotent cells have evolved by a small number of nucleotide changes that create novel binding sites for core factors. Our results show that the network in charge of embryonic pluripotency is an evolutionary novelty of mammals that is related to the comparatively extended period during which mammalian embryonic cells need to be maintained in an undetermined state before engaging in early differentiation events. PMID:21048080

  12. Developmental evolution in social insects: regulatory networks from genes to societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linksvayer, Timothy A; Fewell, Jennifer H; Gadau, Jürgen; Laubichler, Manfred D

    2012-05-01

    The evolution and development of complex phenotypes in social insect colonies, such as queen-worker dimorphism or division of labor, can, in our opinion, only be fully understood within an expanded mechanistic framework of Developmental Evolution. Conversely, social insects offer a fertile research area in which fundamental questions of Developmental Evolution can be addressed empirically. We review the concept of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that aims to fully describe the battery of interacting genomic modules that are differentially expressed during the development of individual organisms. We discuss how distinct types of network models have been used to study different levels of biological organization in social insects, from GRNs to social networks. We propose that these hierarchical networks spanning different organizational levels from genes to societies should be integrated and incorporated into full GRN models to elucidate the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms underlying social insect phenotypes. Finally, we discuss prospects and approaches to achieve such an integration.

  13. Phase transitions in the evolution of gene regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skanata, Antun; Kussell, Edo

    The role of gene regulatory networks is to respond to environmental conditions and optimize growth of the cell. A typical example is found in bacteria, where metabolic genes are activated in response to nutrient availability, and are subsequently turned off to conserve energy when their specific substrates are depleted. However, in fluctuating environmental conditions, regulatory networks could experience strong evolutionary pressures not only to turn the right genes on and off, but also to respond optimally under a wide spectrum of fluctuation timescales. The outcome of evolution is predicted by the long-term growth rate, which differentiates between optimal strategies. Here we present an analytic computation of the long-term growth rate in randomly fluctuating environments, by using mean-field and higher order expansion in the environmental history. We find that optimal strategies correspond to distinct regions in the phase space of fluctuations, separated by first and second order phase transitions. The statistics of environmental randomness are shown to dictate the possible evolutionary modes, which either change the structure of the regulatory network abruptly, or gradually modify and tune the interactions between its components.

  14. Evolution of communication protocols using an artificial regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchener, W Garrett

    2014-01-01

    I describe the Utrecht Machine (UM), a discrete artificial regulatory network designed for studying how evolution discovers biochemical computation mechanisms. The corresponding binary genome format is compatible with gene deletion, duplication, and recombination. In the simulation presented here, an agent consisting of two UMs, a sender and a receiver, must encode, transmit, and decode a binary word over time using the narrow communication channel between them. This communication problem has chicken-and-egg structure in that a sending mechanism is useless without a corresponding receiving mechanism. An in-depth case study reveals that a coincidence creates a minimal partial solution, from which a sequence of partial sending and receiving mechanisms evolve. Gene duplications contribute by enlarging the regulatory network. Analysis of 60,000 sample runs under a variety of parameter settings confirms that crossover accelerates evolution, that stronger selection tends to find clumsier solutions and finds them more slowly, and that there is implicit selection for robust mechanisms and genomes at the codon level. Typical solutions associate each input bit with an activation speed and combine them almost additively. The parents of breakthrough organisms sometimes have lower fitness scores than others in the population, indicating that populations can cross valleys in the fitness landscape via outlying members. The simulation exhibits back mutations and population-level memory effects not accounted for in traditional population genetics models. All together, these phenomena suggest that new evolutionary models are needed that incorporate regulatory network structure.

  15. CellNet: network biology applied to stem cell engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahan, Patrick; Li, Hu; Morris, Samantha A; Lummertz da Rocha, Edroaldo; Daley, George Q; Collins, James J

    2014-08-14

    Somatic cell reprogramming, directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and direct conversions between differentiated cell lineages represent powerful approaches to engineer cells for research and regenerative medicine. We have developed CellNet, a network biology platform that more accurately assesses the fidelity of cellular engineering than existing methodologies and generates hypotheses for improving cell derivations. Analyzing expression data from 56 published reports, we found that cells derived via directed differentiation more closely resemble their in vivo counterparts than products of direct conversion, as reflected by the establishment of target cell-type gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Furthermore, we discovered that directly converted cells fail to adequately silence expression programs of the starting population and that the establishment of unintended GRNs is common to virtually every cellular engineering paradigm. CellNet provides a platform for quantifying how closely engineered cell populations resemble their target cell type and a rational strategy to guide enhanced cellular engineering.

  16. Inference of asynchronous Boolean network from biological pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Haimabati; Layek, Ritwik Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulation is a complex process with multiple levels of interactions. In order to describe this complex dynamical system with tractable parameterization, the choice of the dynamical system model is of paramount importance. The right abstraction of the modeling scheme can reduce the complexity in the inference and intervention design, both computationally and experimentally. This article proposes an asynchronous Boolean network framework to capture the transcriptional regulation as well as the protein-protein interactions in a genetic regulatory system. The inference of asynchronous Boolean network from biological pathways information and experimental evidence are explained using an algorithm. The suitability of this paradigm for the variability of several reaction rates is also discussed. This methodology and model selection open up new research challenges in understanding gene-protein interactive system in a coherent way and can be beneficial for designing effective therapeutic intervention strategy.

  17. Inferring regulatory networks from expression data using tree-based methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vân Anh Huynh-Thu

    Full Text Available One of the pressing open problems of computational systems biology is the elucidation of the topology of genetic regulatory networks (GRNs using high throughput genomic data, in particular microarray gene expression data. The Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods (DREAM challenge aims to evaluate the success of GRN inference algorithms on benchmarks of simulated data. In this article, we present GENIE3, a new algorithm for the inference of GRNs that was best performer in the DREAM4 In Silico Multifactorial challenge. GENIE3 decomposes the prediction of a regulatory network between p genes into p different regression problems. In each of the regression problems, the expression pattern of one of the genes (target gene is predicted from the expression patterns of all the other genes (input genes, using tree-based ensemble methods Random Forests or Extra-Trees. The importance of an input gene in the prediction of the target gene expression pattern is taken as an indication of a putative regulatory link. Putative regulatory links are then aggregated over all genes to provide a ranking of interactions from which the whole network is reconstructed. In addition to performing well on the DREAM4 In Silico Multifactorial challenge simulated data, we show that GENIE3 compares favorably with existing algorithms to decipher the genetic regulatory network of Escherichia coli. It doesn't make any assumption about the nature of gene regulation, can deal with combinatorial and non-linear interactions, produces directed GRNs, and is fast and scalable. In conclusion, we propose a new algorithm for GRN inference that performs well on both synthetic and real gene expression data. The algorithm, based on feature selection with tree-based ensemble methods, is simple and generic, making it adaptable to other types of genomic data and interactions.

  18. Inferring cellular regulatory networks with Bayesian model averaging for linear regression (BMALR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xun; Zi, Zhike

    2014-08-01

    Bayesian network and linear regression methods have been widely applied to reconstruct cellular regulatory networks. In this work, we propose a Bayesian model averaging for linear regression (BMALR) method to infer molecular interactions in biological systems. This method uses a new closed form solution to compute the posterior probabilities of the edges from regulators to the target gene within a hybrid framework of Bayesian model averaging and linear regression methods. We have assessed the performance of BMALR by benchmarking on both in silico DREAM datasets and real experimental datasets. The results show that BMALR achieves both high prediction accuracy and high computational efficiency across different benchmarks. A pre-processing of the datasets with the log transformation can further improve the performance of BMALR, leading to a new top overall performance. In addition, BMALR can achieve robust high performance in community predictions when it is combined with other competing methods. The proposed method BMALR is competitive compared to the existing network inference methods. Therefore, BMALR will be useful to infer regulatory interactions in biological networks. A free open source software tool for the BMALR algorithm is available at https://sites.google.com/site/bmalr4netinfer/.

  19. Porcine tissue-specific regulatory networks derived from meta-analysis of the transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Montarelo, Dafne; Hudson, Nicholas J; Fernández, Ana I; Ramayo-Caldas, Yuliaxis; Dalrymple, Brian P; Reverter, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    The processes that drive tissue identity and differentiation remain unclear for most tissue types. So are the gene networks and transcription factors (TF) responsible for the differential structure and function of each particular tissue, and this is particularly true for non model species with incomplete genomic resources. To better understand the regulation of genes responsible for tissue identity in pigs, we have inferred regulatory networks from a meta-analysis of 20 gene expression studies spanning 480 Porcine Affymetrix chips for 134 experimental conditions on 27 distinct tissues. We developed a mixed-model normalization approach with a covariance structure that accommodated the disparity in the origin of the individual studies, and obtained the normalized expression of 12,320 genes across the 27 tissues. Using this resource, we constructed a network, based on the co-expression patterns of 1,072 TF and 1,232 tissue specific genes. The resulting network is consistent with the known biology of tissue development. Within the network, genes clustered by tissue and tissues clustered by site of embryonic origin. These clusters were significantly enriched for genes annotated in key relevant biological processes and confirm gene functions and interactions from the literature. We implemented a Regulatory Impact Factor (RIF) metric to identify the key regulators in skeletal muscle and tissues from the central nervous systems. The normalization of the meta-analysis, the inference of the gene co-expression network and the RIF metric, operated synergistically towards a successful search for tissue-specific regulators. Novel among these findings are evidence suggesting a novel key role of ERCC3 as a muscle regulator. Together, our results recapitulate the known biology behind tissue specificity and provide new valuable insights in a less studied but valuable model species.

  20. Porcine tissue-specific regulatory networks derived from meta-analysis of the transcriptome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dafne Pérez-Montarelo

    Full Text Available The processes that drive tissue identity and differentiation remain unclear for most tissue types. So are the gene networks and transcription factors (TF responsible for the differential structure and function of each particular tissue, and this is particularly true for non model species with incomplete genomic resources. To better understand the regulation of genes responsible for tissue identity in pigs, we have inferred regulatory networks from a meta-analysis of 20 gene expression studies spanning 480 Porcine Affymetrix chips for 134 experimental conditions on 27 distinct tissues. We developed a mixed-model normalization approach with a covariance structure that accommodated the disparity in the origin of the individual studies, and obtained the normalized expression of 12,320 genes across the 27 tissues. Using this resource, we constructed a network, based on the co-expression patterns of 1,072 TF and 1,232 tissue specific genes. The resulting network is consistent with the known biology of tissue development. Within the network, genes clustered by tissue and tissues clustered by site of embryonic origin. These clusters were significantly enriched for genes annotated in key relevant biological processes and confirm gene functions and interactions from the literature. We implemented a Regulatory Impact Factor (RIF metric to identify the key regulators in skeletal muscle and tissues from the central nervous systems. The normalization of the meta-analysis, the inference of the gene co-expression network and the RIF metric, operated synergistically towards a successful search for tissue-specific regulators. Novel among these findings are evidence suggesting a novel key role of ERCC3 as a muscle regulator. Together, our results recapitulate the known biology behind tissue specificity and provide new valuable insights in a less studied but valuable model species.

  1. Identifying gene regulatory network rewiring using latent differential graphical models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Dechao; Gu, Quanquan; Ma, Jian

    2016-09-30

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are highly dynamic among different tissue types. Identifying tissue-specific gene regulation is critically important to understand gene function in a particular cellular context. Graphical models have been used to estimate GRN from gene expression data to distinguish direct interactions from indirect associations. However, most existing methods estimate GRN for a specific cell/tissue type or in a tissue-naive way, or do not specifically focus on network rewiring between different tissues. Here, we describe a new method called Latent Differential Graphical Model (LDGM). The motivation of our method is to estimate the differential network between two tissue types directly without inferring the network for individual tissues, which has the advantage of utilizing much smaller sample size to achieve reliable differential network estimation. Our simulation results demonstrated that LDGM consistently outperforms other Gaussian graphical model based methods. We further evaluated LDGM by applying to the brain and blood gene expression data from the GTEx consortium. We also applied LDGM to identify network rewiring between cancer subtypes using the TCGA breast cancer samples. Our results suggest that LDGM is an effective method to infer differential network using high-throughput gene expression data to identify GRN dynamics among different cellular conditions.

  2. A developmental systems perspective on epistasis: computational exploration of mutational interactions in model developmental regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayson Gutiérrez

    Full Text Available The way in which the information contained in genotypes is translated into complex phenotypic traits (i.e. embryonic expression patterns depends on its decoding by a multilayered hierarchy of biomolecular systems (regulatory networks. Each layer of this hierarchy displays its own regulatory schemes (i.e. operational rules such as +/- feedback and associated control parameters, resulting in characteristic variational constraints. This process can be conceptualized as a mapping issue, and in the context of highly-dimensional genotype-phenotype mappings (GPMs epistatic events have been shown to be ubiquitous, manifested in non-linear correspondences between changes in the genotype and their phenotypic effects. In this study I concentrate on epistatic phenomena pervading levels of biological organization above the genetic material, more specifically the realm of molecular networks. At this level, systems approaches to studying GPMs are specially suitable to shed light on the mechanistic basis of epistatic phenomena. To this aim, I constructed and analyzed ensembles of highly-modular (fully interconnected networks with distinctive topologies, each displaying dynamic behaviors that were categorized as either arbitrary or functional according to early patterning processes in the Drosophila embryo. Spatio-temporal expression trajectories in virtual syncytial embryos were simulated via reaction-diffusion models. My in silico mutational experiments show that: 1 the average fitness decay tendency to successively accumulated mutations in ensembles of functional networks indicates the prevalence of positive epistasis, whereas in ensembles of arbitrary networks negative epistasis is the dominant tendency; and 2 the evaluation of epistatic coefficients of diverse interaction orders indicates that, both positive and negative epistasis are more prevalent in functional networks than in arbitrary ones. Overall, I conclude that the phenotypic and fitness effects of

  3. The effect of scale-free topology on the robustness and evolvability of genetic regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenbury, Sam F; Johnston, Iain G; Smith, Matthew A; Doye, Jonathan P K; Louis, Ard A

    2010-11-01

    We investigate how scale-free (SF) and Erdos-Rényi (ER) topologies affect the interplay between evolvability and robustness of model gene regulatory networks with Boolean threshold dynamics. In agreement with Oikonomou and Cluzel (2006) we find that networks with SF(in) topologies, that is SF topology for incoming nodes and ER topology for outgoing nodes, are significantly more evolvable towards specific oscillatory targets than networks with ER topology for both incoming and outgoing nodes. Similar results are found for networks with SF(both) and SF(out) topologies. The functionality of the SF(out) topology, which most closely resembles the structure of biological gene networks (Babu et al., 2004), is compared to the ER topology in further detail through an extension to multiple target outputs, with either an oscillatory or a non-oscillatory nature. For multiple oscillatory targets of the same length, the differences between SF(out) and ER networks are enhanced, but for non-oscillatory targets both types of networks show fairly similar evolvability. We find that SF networks generate oscillations much more easily than ER networks do, and this may explain why SF networks are more evolvable than ER networks are for oscillatory phenotypes. In spite of their greater evolvability, we find that networks with SF(out) topologies are also more robust to mutations (mutational robustness) than ER networks. Furthermore, the SF(out) topologies are more robust to changes in initial conditions (environmental robustness). For both topologies, we find that once a population of networks has reached the target state, further neutral evolution can lead to an increase in both the mutational robustness and the environmental robustness to changes in initial conditions.

  4. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

    A functional model of biological neural networks, called temporal hierarchical probabilistic associative memory (THPAM), is proposed in this paper. THPAM comprises functional models of dendritic trees for encoding inputs to neurons, a first type of neuron for generating spike trains, a second type of neuron for generating graded signals to modulate neurons of the first type, supervised and unsupervised Hebbian learning mechanisms for easy learning and retrieving, an arrangement of dendritic trees for maximizing generalization, hardwiring for rotation-translation-scaling invariance, and feedback connections with different delay durations for neurons to make full use of present and past informations generated by neurons in the same and higher layers. These functional models and their processing operations have many functions of biological neural networks that have not been achieved by other models in the open literature and provide logically coherent answers to many long-standing neuroscientific questions. However, biological justifications of these functional models and their processing operations are required for THPAM to qualify as a macroscopic model (or low-order approximate) of biological neural networks.

  5. Algorithmic and analytical methods in network biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyutürk, Mehmet

    2010-01-01

    During the genomic revolution, algorithmic and analytical methods for organizing, integrating, analyzing, and querying biological sequence data proved invaluable. Today, increasing availability of high-throughput data pertaining to functional states of biomolecules, as well as their interactions, enables genome-scale studies of the cell from a systems perspective. The past decade witnessed significant efforts on the development of computational infrastructure for large-scale modeling and analysis of biological systems, commonly using network models. Such efforts lead to novel insights into the complexity of living systems, through development of sophisticated abstractions, algorithms, and analytical techniques that address a broad range of problems, including the following: (1) inference and reconstruction of complex cellular networks; (2) identification of common and coherent patterns in cellular networks, with a view to understanding the organizing principles and building blocks of cellular signaling, regulation, and metabolism; and (3) characterization of cellular mechanisms that underlie the differences between living systems, in terms of evolutionary diversity, development and differentiation, and complex phenotypes, including human disease. These problems pose significant algorithmic and analytical challenges because of the inherent complexity of the systems being studied; limitations of data in terms of availability, scope, and scale; intractability of resulting computational problems; and limitations of reference models for reliable statistical inference. This article provides a broad overview of existing algorithmic and analytical approaches to these problems, highlights key biological insights provided by these approaches, and outlines emerging opportunities and challenges in computational systems biology.

  6. Some physics problems in biological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialek, William

    2007-03-01

    Most of the interesting things that happen in living organisms require interactions among many components, and it is convenient to think of these as a ``network'' of interactions. We use this language at the level of single molecules (the network of interactions among amino acids that determine protein structure), single cells (the network of protein-DNA interactions responsible for the regulation of gene expression) and complex multicellular organisms (the networks of neurons in our brain). In this talk I'll try to look at two very different kinds of theoretical physics problems that arise in thinking about such networks. The first problems are phenomenological: Given what our experimentalists friends can measure, can we generate a global view of network function and dynamics? I'll argue that maximum entropy methods can be useful here, and show how such methods have been used in very recent work on networks of neurons, enzymes, genes and (in disguise) amino acids. In this line of reasoning there are of course interesting connections to statistical mechanics, and we'll see that natural statistical mechanics questions about the underlying models actually teach us something about how the real biological system works, in ways that will be tested through new experiments. In the second half of the talk I'll ask if there are principles from which we might actually be able to predict the structure and dynamics of biological networks. I'll focus on optimization principles, in particular the optimization of information flow in transcriptional regulation. Even setting up these arguments forces us to think critically about our understanding of the signals, specificity and noise in these systems, all current topics of research. Although we don't know if we have the right principles, trying to work out the consequences of such optimization again suggests new experiments.

  7. Biological impacts and context of network theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almaas, E

    2007-01-05

    Many complex systems can be represented and analyzed as networks, and examples that have benefited from this approach span the natural sciences. For instance, we now know that systems as disparate as the World-Wide Web, the Internet, scientific collaborations, food webs, protein interactions and metabolism all have common features in their organization, the most salient of which are their scale-free connectivity distributions and their small-world behavior. The recent availability of large scale datasets that span the proteome or metabolome of an organism have made it possible to elucidate some of the organizational principles and rules that govern their function, robustness and evolution. We expect that combining the currently separate layers of information from gene regulatory-, signal transduction-, protein interaction- and metabolic networks will dramatically enhance our understanding of cellular function and dynamics.

  8. Characterization of WRKY co-regulatory networks in rice and Arabidopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kikuchi Shoshi

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The WRKY transcription factor gene family has a very ancient origin and has undergone extensive duplications in the plant kingdom. Several studies have pointed out their involvement in a range of biological processes, revealing that a large number of WRKY genes are transcriptionally regulated under conditions of biotic and/or abiotic stress. To investigate the existence of WRKY co-regulatory networks in plants, a whole gene family WRKYs expression study was carried out in rice (Oryza sativa. This analysis was extended to Arabidopsis thaliana taking advantage of an extensive repository of gene expression data. Results The presented results suggested that 24 members of the rice WRKY gene family (22% of the total were differentially-regulated in response to at least one of the stress conditions tested. We defined the existence of nine OsWRKY gene clusters comprising both phylogenetically related and unrelated genes that were significantly co-expressed, suggesting that specific sets of WRKY genes might act in co-regulatory networks. This hypothesis was tested by Pearson Correlation Coefficient analysis of the Arabidopsis WRKY gene family in a large set of Affymetrix microarray experiments. AtWRKYs were found to belong to two main co-regulatory networks (COR-A, COR-B and two smaller ones (COR-C and COR-D, all including genes belonging to distinct phylogenetic groups. The COR-A network contained several AtWRKY genes known to be involved mostly in response to pathogens, whose physical and/or genetic interaction was experimentally proven. We also showed that specific co-regulatory networks were conserved between the two model species by identifying Arabidopsis orthologs of the co-expressed OsWRKY genes. Conclusion In this work we identified sets of co-expressed WRKY genes in both rice and Arabidopsis that are functionally likely to cooperate in the same signal transduction pathways. We propose that, making use of data from co-regulatory

  9. Statistical identification of gene association by CID in application of constructing ER regulatory network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lien Huang-Chun

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A variety of high-throughput techniques are now available for constructing comprehensive gene regulatory networks in systems biology. In this study, we report a new statistical approach for facilitating in silico inference of regulatory network structure. The new measure of association, coefficient of intrinsic dependence (CID, is model-free and can be applied to both continuous and categorical distributions. When given two variables X and Y, CID answers whether Y is dependent on X by examining the conditional distribution of Y given X. In this paper, we apply CID to analyze the regulatory relationships between transcription factors (TFs (X and their downstream genes (Y based on clinical data. More specifically, we use estrogen receptor α (ERα as the variable X, and the analyses are based on 48 clinical breast cancer gene expression arrays (48A. Results The analytical utility of CID was evaluated in comparison with four commonly used statistical methods, Galton-Pearson's correlation coefficient (GPCC, Student's t-test (STT, coefficient of determination (CoD, and mutual information (MI. When being compared to GPCC, CoD, and MI, CID reveals its preferential ability to discover the regulatory association where distribution of the mRNA expression levels on X and Y does not fit linear models. On the other hand, when CID is used to measure the association of a continuous variable (Y against a discrete variable (X, it shows similar performance as compared to STT, and appears to outperform CoD and MI. In addition, this study established a two-layer transcriptional regulatory network to exemplify the usage of CID, in combination with GPCC, in deciphering gene networks based on gene expression profiles from patient arrays. Conclusion CID is shown to provide useful information for identifying associations between genes and transcription factors of interest in patient arrays. When coupled with the relationships detected by GPCC, the

  10. Quantitative design of regulatory elements based on high-precision strength prediction using artificial neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Hailin; Wang, Jianfeng; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Xu, Feng; Zhao, Guoping; Wang, Yong

    2013-01-01

    Accurate and controllable regulatory elements such as promoters and ribosome binding sites (RBSs) are indispensable tools to quantitatively regulate gene expression for rational pathway engineering. Therefore, de novo designing regulatory elements is brought back to the forefront of synthetic biology research. Here we developed a quantitative design method for regulatory elements based on strength prediction using artificial neural network (ANN). One hundred mutated Trc promoter & RBS sequences, which were finely characterized with a strength distribution from 0 to 3.559 (relative to the strength of the original sequence which was defined as 1), were used for model training and test. A precise strength prediction model, NET90_19_576, was finally constructed with high regression correlation coefficients of 0.98 for both model training and test. Sixteen artificial elements were in silico designed using this model. All of them were proved to have good consistency between the measured strength and our desired strength. The functional reliability of the designed elements was validated in two different genetic contexts. The designed parts were successfully utilized to improve the expression of BmK1 peptide toxin and fine-tune deoxy-xylulose phosphate pathway in Escherichia coli. Our results demonstrate that the methodology based on ANN model can de novo and quantitatively design regulatory elements with desired strengths, which are of great importance for synthetic biology applications.

  11. Regulatory Compliance in Multi-Tier Supplier Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossen, Emray R.; Buster, Duke A.

    2014-01-01

    Over the years, avionics systems have increased in complexity to the point where 1st tier suppliers to an aircraft OEM find it financially beneficial to outsource designs of subsystems to 2nd tier and at times to 3rd tier suppliers. Combined with challenging schedule and budgetary pressures, the environment in which safety-critical systems are being developed introduces new hurdles for regulatory agencies and industry. This new environment of both complex systems and tiered development has raised concerns in the ability of the designers to ensure safety considerations are fully addressed throughout the tier levels. This has also raised questions about the sufficiency of current regulatory guidance to ensure: proper flow down of safety awareness, avionics application understanding at the lower tiers, OEM and 1st tier oversight practices, and capabilities of lower tier suppliers. Therefore, NASA established a research project to address Regulatory Compliance in a Multi-tier Supplier Network. This research was divided into three major study efforts: 1. Describe Modern Multi-tier Avionics Development 2. Identify Current Issues in Achieving Safety and Regulatory Compliance 3. Short-term/Long-term Recommendations Toward Higher Assurance Confidence This report presents our findings of the risks, weaknesses, and our recommendations. It also includes a collection of industry-identified risks, an assessment of guideline weaknesses related to multi-tier development of complex avionics systems, and a postulation of potential modifications to guidelines to close the identified risks and weaknesses.

  12. Expanding antigen-specific regulatory networks to treat autoimmunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemente-Casares, Xavier; Blanco, Jesus; Ambalavanan, Poornima; Yamanouchi, Jun; Singha, Santiswarup; Fandos, Cesar; Tsai, Sue; Wang, Jinguo; Garabatos, Nahir; Izquierdo, Cristina; Agrawal, Smriti; Keough, Michael B; Yong, V Wee; James, Eddie; Moore, Anna; Yang, Yang; Stratmann, Thomas; Serra, Pau; Santamaria, Pere

    2016-02-25

    Regulatory T cells hold promise as targets for therapeutic intervention in autoimmunity, but approaches capable of expanding antigen-specific regulatory T cells in vivo are currently not available. Here we show that systemic delivery of nanoparticles coated with autoimmune-disease-relevant peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex class II (pMHCII) molecules triggers the generation and expansion of antigen-specific regulatory CD4(+) T cell type 1 (TR1)-like cells in different mouse models, including mice humanized with lymphocytes from patients, leading to resolution of established autoimmune phenomena. Ten pMHCII-based nanomedicines show similar biological effects, regardless of genetic background, prevalence of the cognate T-cell population or MHC restriction. These nanomedicines promote the differentiation of disease-primed autoreactive T cells into TR1-like cells, which in turn suppress autoantigen-loaded antigen-presenting cells and drive the differentiation of cognate B cells into disease-suppressing regulatory B cells, without compromising systemic immunity. pMHCII-based nanomedicines thus represent a new class of drugs, potentially useful for treating a broad spectrum of autoimmune conditions in a disease-specific manner.

  13. Data-driven integration of genome-scale regulatory and metabolic network models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saheed eImam

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Microbes are diverse and extremely versatile organisms that play vital roles in all ecological niches. Understanding and harnessing microbial systems will be key to the sustainability of our planet. One approach to improving our knowledge of microbial processes is through data-driven and mechanism-informed computational modeling. Individual models of biological networks (such as metabolism, transcription and signaling have played pivotal roles in driving microbial research through the years. These networks, however, are highly interconnected and function in concert – a fact that has led to the development of a variety of approaches aimed at simulating the integrated functions of two or more network types. Though the task of integrating these different models is fraught with new challenges, the large amounts of high-throughput data sets being generated, and algorithms being developed, means that the time is at hand for concerted efforts to build integrated regulatory-metabolic networks in a data-driven fashion. In this perspective, we review current approaches for constructing integrated regulatory-metabolic models and outline new strategies for future development of these network models for any microbial system.

  14. Network Biology (http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/nb/online-version.asp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    networkbiology@iaees.org

    Full Text Available Network Biology ISSN 2220-8879 URL: http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/nb/online-version.asp RSS: http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/nb/rss.xml E-mail: networkbiology@iaees.org Editor-in-Chief: WenJun Zhang Aims and Scope NETWORK BIOLOGY (ISSN 2220-8879; CODEN NBEICS is an open access, peer-reviewed international journal that considers scientific articles in all different areas of network biology. It is the transactions of the International Society of Network Biology. It dedicates to the latest advances in network biology. The goal of this journal is to keep a record of the state-of-the-art research and promote the research work in these fast moving areas. The topics to be covered by Network Biology include, but are not limited to: •Theories, algorithms and programs of network analysis •Innovations and applications of biological networks •Ecological networks, food webs and natural equilibrium •Co-evolution, co-extinction, biodiversity conservation •Metabolic networks, protein-protein interaction networks, biochemical reaction networks, gene networks, transcriptional regulatory networks, cell cycle networks, phylogenetic networks, network motifs •Physiological networksNetwork regulation of metabolic processes, human diseases and ecological systems •Social networks, epidemiological networks •System complexity, self-organized systems, emergence of biological systems, agent-based modeling, individual-based modeling, neural network modeling, and other network-based modeling, etc. We are also interested in short communications that clearly address a specific issue or completely present a new ecological network, food web, or metabolic or gene network, etc. Authors can submit their works to the email box of this journal, networkbiology@iaees.org. All manuscripts submitted to this journal must be previously unpublished and may not be considered for publication elsewhere at any time during review period of this journal

  15. Multitask learning of signaling and regulatory networks with application to studying human response to flu.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siddhartha Jain

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Reconstructing regulatory and signaling response networks is one of the major goals of systems biology. While several successful methods have been suggested for this task, some integrating large and diverse datasets, these methods have so far been applied to reconstruct a single response network at a time, even when studying and modeling related conditions. To improve network reconstruction we developed MT-SDREM, a multi-task learning method which jointly models networks for several related conditions. In MT-SDREM, parameters are jointly constrained across the networks while still allowing for condition-specific pathways and regulation. We formulate the multi-task learning problem and discuss methods for optimizing the joint target function. We applied MT-SDREM to reconstruct dynamic human response networks for three flu strains: H1N1, H5N1 and H3N2. Our multi-task learning method was able to identify known and novel factors and genes, improving upon prior methods that model each condition independently. The MT-SDREM networks were also better at identifying proteins whose removal affects viral load indicating that joint learning can still lead to accurate, condition-specific, networks. Supporting website with MT-SDREM implementation: http://sb.cs.cmu.edu/mtsdrem.

  16. Computational methods to dissect cis-regulatory transcriptional networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Vibha Rani

    2007-12-01

    The formation of diverse cell types from an invariant set of genes is governed by biochemical and molecular processes that regulate gene activity. A complete understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression is the major function of genomics. Computational genomics is a rapidly emerging area for deciphering the regulation of metazoan genes as well as interpreting the results of high-throughput screening. The integration of computer science with biology has expedited molecular modelling and processing of large-scale data inputs such as microarrays, analysis of genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes. Many bioinformaticians have developed various algorithms for predicting transcriptional regulatory mechanisms from the sequence, gene expression and interaction data. This review contains compiled information of various computational methods adopted to dissect gene expression pathways.

  17. On the underlying assumptions of threshold Boolean networks as a model for genetic regulatory network behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Van; McCall, Matthew N.; McMurray, Helene R.; Almudevar, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Boolean networks (BoN) are relatively simple and interpretable models of gene regulatory networks. Specifying these models with fewer parameters while retaining their ability to describe complex regulatory relationships is an ongoing methodological challenge. Additionally, extending these models to incorporate variable gene decay rates, asynchronous gene response, and synergistic regulation while maintaining their Markovian nature increases the applicability of these models to genetic regulatory networks (GRN). We explore a previously-proposed class of BoNs characterized by linear threshold functions, which we refer to as threshold Boolean networks (TBN). Compared to traditional BoNs with unconstrained transition functions, these models require far fewer parameters and offer a more direct interpretation. However, the functional form of a TBN does result in a reduction in the regulatory relationships which can be modeled. We show that TBNs can be readily extended to permit self-degradation, with explicitly modeled degradation rates. We note that the introduction of variable degradation compromises the Markovian property fundamental to BoN models but show that a simple state augmentation procedure restores their Markovian nature. Next, we study the effect of assumptions regarding self-degradation on the set of possible steady states. Our findings are captured in two theorems relating self-degradation and regulatory feedback to the steady state behavior of a TBN. Finally, we explore assumptions of synchronous gene response and asynergistic regulation and show that TBNs can be easily extended to relax these assumptions. Applying our methods to the budding yeast cell-cycle network revealed that although the network is complex, its steady state is simplified by the presence of self-degradation and lack of purely positive regulatory cycles. PMID:24376454

  18. Novel topological descriptors for analyzing biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varmuza Kurt K

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Topological descriptors, other graph measures, and in a broader sense, graph-theoretical methods, have been proven as powerful tools to perform biological network analysis. However, the majority of the developed descriptors and graph-theoretical methods does not have the ability to take vertex- and edge-labels into account, e.g., atom- and bond-types when considering molecular graphs. Indeed, this feature is important to characterize biological networks more meaningfully instead of only considering pure topological information. Results In this paper, we put the emphasis on analyzing a special type of biological networks, namely bio-chemical structures. First, we derive entropic measures to calculate the information content of vertex- and edge-labeled graphs and investigate some useful properties thereof. Second, we apply the mentioned measures combined with other well-known descriptors to supervised machine learning methods for predicting Ames mutagenicity. Moreover, we investigate the influence of our topological descriptors - measures for only unlabeled vs. measures for labeled graphs - on the prediction performance of the underlying graph classification problem. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that the application of entropic measures to molecules representing graphs is useful to characterize such structures meaningfully. For instance, we have found that if one extends the measures for determining the structural information content of unlabeled graphs to labeled graphs, the uniqueness of the resulting indices is higher. Because measures to structurally characterize labeled graphs are clearly underrepresented so far, the further development of such methods might be valuable and fruitful for solving problems within biological network analysis.

  19. Identifying Gene Regulatory Networks in Arabidopsis by In Silico Prediction, Yeast-1-Hybrid, and Inducible Gene Profiling Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Erin E; Benfey, Philip N

    2016-01-01

    A system-wide understanding of gene regulation will provide deep insights into plant development and physiology. In this chapter we describe a threefold approach to identify the gene regulatory networks in Arabidopsis thaliana that function in a specific tissue or biological process. Since no single method is sufficient to establish comprehensive and high-confidence gene regulatory networks, we focus on the integration of three approaches. First, we describe an in silico prediction method of transcription factor-DNA binding, then an in vivo assay of transcription factor-DNA binding by yeast-1-hybrid and lastly the identification of co-expression clusters by transcription factor induction in planta. Each of these methods provides a unique tool to advance our understanding of gene regulation, and together provide a robust model for the generation of gene regulatory networks.

  20. Inferring the role of transcription factors in regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Borgne Michel

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Expression profiles obtained from multiple perturbation experiments are increasingly used to reconstruct transcriptional regulatory networks, from well studied, simple organisms up to higher eukaryotes. Admittedly, a key ingredient in developing a reconstruction method is its ability to integrate heterogeneous sources of information, as well as to comply with practical observability issues: measurements can be scarce or noisy. In this work, we show how to combine a network of genetic regulations with a set of expression profiles, in order to infer the functional effect of the regulations, as inducer or repressor. Our approach is based on a consistency rule between a network and the signs of variation given by expression arrays. Results We evaluate our approach in several settings of increasing complexity. First, we generate artificial expression data on a transcriptional network of E. coli extracted from the literature (1529 nodes and 3802 edges, and we estimate that 30% of the regulations can be annotated with about 30 profiles. We additionally prove that at most 40.8% of the network can be inferred using our approach. Second, we use this network in order to validate the predictions obtained with a compendium of real expression profiles. We describe a filtering algorithm that generates particularly reliable predictions. Finally, we apply our inference approach to S. cerevisiae transcriptional network (2419 nodes and 4344 interactions, by combining ChIP-chip data and 15 expression profiles. We are able to detect and isolate inconsistencies between the expression profiles and a significant portion of the model (15% of all the interactions. In addition, we report predictions for 14.5% of all interactions. Conclusion Our approach does not require accurate expression levels nor times series. Nevertheless, we show on both data, real and artificial, that a relatively small number of perturbation experiments are enough to determine

  1. The Max-Min High-Order Dynamic Bayesian Network for Learning Gene Regulatory Networks with Time-Delayed Regulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yifeng; Chen, Haifen; Zheng, Jie; Ngom, Alioune

    2016-01-01

    Accurately reconstructing gene regulatory network (GRN) from gene expression data is a challenging task in systems biology. Although some progresses have been made, the performance of GRN reconstruction still has much room for improvement. Because many regulatory events are asynchronous, learning gene interactions with multiple time delays is an effective way to improve the accuracy of GRN reconstruction. Here, we propose a new approach, called Max-Min high-order dynamic Bayesian network (MMHO-DBN) by extending the Max-Min hill-climbing Bayesian network technique originally devised for learning a Bayesian network's structure from static data. Our MMHO-DBN can explicitly model the time lags between regulators and targets in an efficient manner. It first uses constraint-based ideas to limit the space of potential structures, and then applies search-and-score ideas to search for an optimal HO-DBN structure. The performance of MMHO-DBN to GRN reconstruction was evaluated using both synthetic and real gene expression time-series data. Results show that MMHO-DBN is more accurate than current time-delayed GRN learning methods, and has an intermediate computing performance. Furthermore, it is able to learn long time-delayed relationships between genes. We applied sensitivity analysis on our model to study the performance variation along different parameter settings. The result provides hints on the setting of parameters of MMHO-DBN.

  2. MicroRNA and transcription factor mediated regulatory network for ovarian cancer: regulatory network of ovarian cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ying, Huanchun; Lv, Jing; Ying, Tianshu; Li, Jun; Yang, Qing; Ma, Yuan

    2013-10-01

    A better understanding on the regulatory interactions of microRNA (miRNA) target genes and transcription factor (TF) target genes in ovarian cancer may be conducive for developing early diagnosis strategy. Thus, gene expression data and miRNA expression data were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas in this study. Differentially expressed genes and miRNAs were selected out with t test, and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis was performed with DAVID tools. Regulatory interactions were retrieved from miRTarBase, TRED, and TRANSFAC, and then networks for miRNA target genes and TF target genes were constructed to globally present the mechanisms. As a result, a total of 1,939 differentially expressed genes were identified, and they were enriched in 28 functions, among which cell cycle was affected to the most degree. Besides, 213 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified. Two regulatory networks for miRNA target genes and TF target genes were established and then both were combined, in which E2F transcription factor 1, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A, cyclin E1, and miR-16 were the hub genes. These genes may be potential biomarkers for ovarian cancer.

  3. Modularity of gene-regulatory networks revealed in sea-star development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Degnan Bernard M

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Evidence that conserved developmental gene-regulatory networks can change as a unit during deutersostome evolution emerges from a study published in BMC Biology. This shows that genes consistently expressed in anterior brain patterning in hemichordates and chordates are expressed in a similar spatial pattern in another deuterostome, an asteroid echinoderm (sea star, but in a completely different developmental context (the animal-vegetal axis. This observation has implications for hypotheses on the type of development present in the deuterostome common ancestor. See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/143/abstract

  4. From Gene Regulation to Gene Function: Regulatory Networks in Bacillus Subtilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Moszer

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus subtilis is a sporulating Gram-positive bacterium that lives primarily in the soil and associated water sources. The publication of the B. subtilis genome sequence and subsequent systematic functional analysis and gene regulation programmes, together with an extensive understanding of its biochemistry and physiology, makes this micro-organism a prime candidate in which to model regulatory networks in silico. In this paper we discuss combined molecular biological and bioinformatical approaches that are being developed to model this organism’s responses to changes in its environment.

  5. Using graphical adaptive lasso approach to construct transcription factor and microRNA's combinatorial regulatory network in breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Naifang; Dai, Ding; Deng, Chao; Qian, Minping; Deng, Minghua

    2014-06-01

    Discovering the regulation of cancer-related gene is of great importance in cancer biology. Transcription factors and microRNAs are two kinds of crucial regulators in gene expression, and they compose a combinatorial regulatory network with their target genes. Revealing the structure of this network could improve the authors' understanding of gene regulation, and further explore the molecular pathway in cancer. In this article, the authors propose a novel approach graphical adaptive lasso (GALASSO) to construct the regulatory network in breast cancer. GALASSO use a Gaussian graphical model with adaptive lasso penalties to integrate the sequence information as well as gene expression profiles. The simulation study and the experimental profiles verify the accuracy of the authors' approach. The authors further reveal the structure of the regulatory network, and explore the role of feedforward loops in gene regulation. In addition, the authors discuss the combinatorial regulatory effect between transcription factors and microRNAs, and select miR-155 for detailed analysis of microRNA's role in cancer. The proposed GALASSO approach is an efficient method to construct the combinatorial regulatory network. It also provides a new way to integrate different data sources and could find more applications in meta-analysis problem.

  6. Integrated Regulatory and Metabolic Networks of the Marine Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Predict the Response to Rising CO2 Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levering, Jennifer; Dupont, Christopher L; Allen, Andrew E; Palsson, Bernhard O; Zengler, Karsten

    2017-01-01

    Diatoms are eukaryotic microalgae that are responsible for up to 40% of the ocean's primary productivity. How diatoms respond to environmental perturbations such as elevated carbon concentrations in the atmosphere is currently poorly understood. We developed a transcriptional regulatory network based on various transcriptome sequencing expression libraries for different environmental responses to gain insight into the marine diatom's metabolic and regulatory interactions and provide a comprehensive framework of responses to increasing atmospheric carbon levels. This transcriptional regulatory network was integrated with a recently published genome-scale metabolic model of Phaeodactylum tricornutum to explore the connectivity of the regulatory network and shared metabolites. The integrated regulatory and metabolic model revealed highly connected modules within carbon and nitrogen metabolism. P. tricornutum's response to rising carbon levels was analyzed by using the recent genome-scale metabolic model with cross comparison to experimental manipulations of carbon dioxide. IMPORTANCE Using a systems biology approach, we studied the response of the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to changing atmospheric carbon concentrations on an ocean-wide scale. By integrating an available genome-scale metabolic model and a newly developed transcriptional regulatory network inferred from transcriptome sequencing expression data, we demonstrate that carbon metabolism and nitrogen metabolism are strongly connected and the genes involved are coregulated in this model diatom. These tight regulatory constraints could play a major role during the adaptation of P. tricornutum to increasing carbon levels. The transcriptional regulatory network developed can be further used to study the effects of different environmental perturbations on P. tricornutum's metabolism.

  7. Optimal Constrained Stationary Intervention in Gene Regulatory Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Golnaz Vahedi

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available A key objective of gene network modeling is to develop intervention strategies to alter regulatory dynamics in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of undesirable phenotypes. Optimal stationary intervention policies have been developed for gene regulation in the framework of probabilistic Boolean networks in a number of settings. To mitigate the possibility of detrimental side effects, for instance, in the treatment of cancer, it may be desirable to limit the expected number of treatments beneath some bound. This paper formulates a general constraint approach for optimal therapeutic intervention by suitably adapting the reward function and then applies this formulation to bound the expected number of treatments. A mutated mammalian cell cycle is considered as a case study.

  8. Optimal Constrained Stationary Intervention in Gene Regulatory Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faryabi Babak

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available A key objective of gene network modeling is to develop intervention strategies to alter regulatory dynamics in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of undesirable phenotypes. Optimal stationary intervention policies have been developed for gene regulation in the framework of probabilistic Boolean networks in a number of settings. To mitigate the possibility of detrimental side effects, for instance, in the treatment of cancer, it may be desirable to limit the expected number of treatments beneath some bound. This paper formulates a general constraint approach for optimal therapeutic intervention by suitably adapting the reward function and then applies this formulation to bound the expected number of treatments. A mutated mammalian cell cycle is considered as a case study.

  9. Molecular Regulatory Network of Flowering by Photoperiod and Temperature in Rice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Yuan-li; LUAN Wei-jiang

    2012-01-01

    Plants have an ability to flower under optimal seasonal conditions to ensure reproductive success.Photoperiod and temperature are two important season-dependent factors of plant flowering.The floral transition of plants depends on accurate measurement of changes in photoperiod and temperature.Recent advances in molecular biology and genetics on Arabidopsis and rice reveals that the regulation of plant flowering by photoperiod and temperature are involved in a complicated gene network with different regulatory pathways,and new evidence and understanding were provided in the regulation of rice flowering.Here,we summarize and analyze different flowering regulatory pathways in detail in rice based on previous studies and our results,including short-day promotion,long-day suppression,long-day induction of flowering,night break,different light-quality and temperature regulation pathways.

  10. Design of artificial genetic regulatory networks with multiple delayed adaptive responses*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaluza, Pablo; Inoue, Masayo

    2016-06-01

    Genetic regulatory networks with adaptive responses are widely studied in biology. Usually, models consisting only of a few nodes have been considered. They present one input receptor for activation and one output node where the adaptive response is computed. In this work, we design genetic regulatory networks with many receptors and many output nodes able to produce delayed adaptive responses. This design is performed by using an evolutionary algorithm of mutations and selections that minimizes an error function defined by the adaptive response in signal shapes. We present several examples of network constructions with a predefined required set of adaptive delayed responses. We show that an output node can have different kinds of responses as a function of the activated receptor. Additionally, complex network structures are presented since processing nodes can be involved in several input-output pathways. Supplementary material in the form of one nets file available from the Journal web page at http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjb/e2016-70172-9

  11. A service-oriented architecture for integrating the modeling and formal verification of genetic regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Page Michel

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The study of biological networks has led to the development of increasingly large and detailed models. Computer tools are essential for the simulation of the dynamical behavior of the networks from the model. However, as the size of the models grows, it becomes infeasible to manually verify the predictions against experimental data or identify interesting features in a large number of simulation traces. Formal verification based on temporal logic and model checking provides promising methods to automate and scale the analysis of the models. However, a framework that tightly integrates modeling and simulation tools with model checkers is currently missing, on both the conceptual and the implementational level. Results We have developed a generic and modular web service, based on a service-oriented architecture, for integrating the modeling and formal verification of genetic regulatory networks. The architecture has been implemented in the context of the qualitative modeling and simulation tool GNA and the model checkers NUSMV and CADP. GNA has been extended with a verification module for the specification and checking of biological properties. The verification module also allows the display and visual inspection of the verification results. Conclusions The practical use of the proposed web service is illustrated by means of a scenario involving the analysis of a qualitative model of the carbon starvation response in E. coli. The service-oriented architecture allows modelers to define the model and proceed with the specification and formal verification of the biological properties by means of a unified graphical user interface. This guarantees a transparent access to formal verification technology for modelers of genetic regulatory networks.

  12. Gene regulatory network inference and validation using relative change ratio analysis and time-delayed dynamic Bayesian network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Peng; Gong, Ping; Li, Haoni; Perkins, Edward J; Wang, Nan; Zhang, Chaoyang

    2014-12-01

    The Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods (DREAM) project was initiated in 2006 as a community-wide effort for the development of network inference challenges for rigorous assessment of reverse engineering methods for biological networks. We participated in the in silico network inference challenge of DREAM3 in 2008. Here we report the details of our approach and its performance on the synthetic challenge datasets. In our methodology, we first developed a model called relative change ratio (RCR), which took advantage of the heterozygous knockdown data and null-mutant knockout data provided by the challenge, in order to identify the potential regulators for the genes. With this information, a time-delayed dynamic Bayesian network (TDBN) approach was then used to infer gene regulatory networks from time series trajectory datasets. Our approach considerably reduced the searching space of TDBN; hence, it gained a much higher efficiency and accuracy. The networks predicted using our approach were evaluated comparatively along with 29 other submissions by two metrics (area under the ROC curve and area under the precision-recall curve). The overall performance of our approach ranked the second among all participating teams.

  13. Gene regulatory network interactions in sea urchin endomesoderm induction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aditya J Sethi

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available A major goal of contemporary studies of embryonic development is to understand large sets of regulatory changes that accompany the phenomenon of embryonic induction. The highly resolved sea urchin pregastrular endomesoderm-gene regulatory network (EM-GRN provides a unique framework to study the global regulatory interactions underlying endomesoderm induction. Vegetal micromeres of the sea urchin embryo constitute a classic endomesoderm signaling center, whose potential to induce archenteron formation from presumptive ectoderm was demonstrated almost a century ago. In this work, we ectopically activate the primary mesenchyme cell-GRN (PMC-GRN that operates in micromere progeny by misexpressing the micromere determinant Pmar1 and identify the responding EM-GRN that is induced in animal blastomeres. Using localized loss-of -function analyses in conjunction with expression of endo16, the molecular definition of micromere-dependent endomesoderm specification, we show that the TGFbeta cytokine, ActivinB, is an essential component of this induction in blastomeres that emit this signal, as well as in cells that respond to it. We report that normal pregastrular endomesoderm specification requires activation of the Pmar1-inducible subset of the EM-GRN by the same cytokine, strongly suggesting that early micromere-mediated endomesoderm specification, which regulates timely gastrulation in the sea urchin embryo, is also ActivinB dependent. This study unexpectedly uncovers the existence of an additional uncharacterized micromere signal to endomesoderm progenitors, significantly revising existing models. In one of the first network-level characterizations of an intercellular inductive phenomenon, we describe an important in vivo model of the requirement of ActivinB signaling in the earliest steps of embryonic endomesoderm progenitor specification.

  14. Hierarchical structure and modules in the Escherichia coli transcriptional regulatory network revealed by a new top-down approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buer Jan

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cellular functions are coordinately carried out by groups of genes forming functional modules. Identifying such modules in the transcriptional regulatory network (TRN of organisms is important for understanding the structure and function of these fundamental cellular networks and essential for the emerging modular biology. So far, the global connectivity structure of TRN has not been well studied and consequently not applied for the identification of functional modules. Moreover, network motifs such as feed forward loop are recently proposed to be basic building blocks of TRN. However, their relationship to functional modules is not clear. Results In this work we proposed a top-down approach to identify modules in the TRN of E. coli. By studying the global connectivity structure of the regulatory network, we first revealed a five-layer hierarchical structure in which all the regulatory relationships are downward. Based on this regulatory hierarchy, we developed a new method to decompose the regulatory network into functional modules and to identify global regulators governing multiple modules. As a result, 10 global regulators and 39 modules were identified and shown to have well defined functions. We then investigated the distribution and composition of the two basic network motifs (feed forward loop and bi-fan motif in the hierarchical structure of TRN. We found that most of these network motifs include global regulators, indicating that these motifs are not basic building blocks of modules since modules should not contain global regulators. Conclusion The transcriptional regulatory network of E. coli possesses a multi-layer hierarchical modular structure without feedback regulation at transcription level. This hierarchical structure builds the basis for a new and simple decomposition method which is suitable for the identification of functional modules and global regulators in the transcriptional regulatory network of E

  15. Polynomial-Time Algorithm for Controllability Test of a Class of Boolean Biological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koichi Kobayashi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, Boolean-network-model-based approaches to dynamical analysis of complex biological networks such as gene regulatory networks have been extensively studied. One of the fundamental problems in control theory of such networks is the problem of determining whether a given substance quantity can be arbitrarily controlled by operating the other substance quantities, which we call the controllability problem. This paper proposes a polynomial-time algorithm for solving this problem. Although the algorithm is based on a sufficient condition for controllability, it is easily computable for a wider class of large-scale biological networks compared with the existing approaches. A key to this success in our approach is to give up computing Boolean operations in a rigorous way and to exploit an adjacency matrix of a directed graph induced by a Boolean network. By applying the proposed approach to a neurotransmitter signaling pathway, it is shown that it is effective.

  16. NIMEFI: gene regulatory network inference using multiple ensemble feature importance algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruyssinck, Joeri; Huynh-Thu, Vân Anh; Geurts, Pierre; Dhaene, Tom; Demeester, Piet; Saeys, Yvan

    2014-01-01

    One of the long-standing open challenges in computational systems biology is the topology inference of gene regulatory networks from high-throughput omics data. Recently, two community-wide efforts, DREAM4 and DREAM5, have been established to benchmark network inference techniques using gene expression measurements. In these challenges the overall top performer was the GENIE3 algorithm. This method decomposes the network inference task into separate regression problems for each gene in the network in which the expression values of a particular target gene are predicted using all other genes as possible predictors. Next, using tree-based ensemble methods, an importance measure for each predictor gene is calculated with respect to the target gene and a high feature importance is considered as putative evidence of a regulatory link existing between both genes. The contribution of this work is twofold. First, we generalize the regression decomposition strategy of GENIE3 to other feature importance methods. We compare the performance of support vector regression, the elastic net, random forest regression, symbolic regression and their ensemble variants in this setting to the original GENIE3 algorithm. To create the ensemble variants, we propose a subsampling approach which allows us to cast any feature selection algorithm that produces a feature ranking into an ensemble feature importance algorithm. We demonstrate that the ensemble setting is key to the network inference task, as only ensemble variants achieve top performance. As second contribution, we explore the effect of using rankwise averaged predictions of multiple ensemble algorithms as opposed to only one. We name this approach NIMEFI (Network Inference using Multiple Ensemble Feature Importance algorithms) and show that this approach outperforms all individual methods in general, although on a specific network a single method can perform better. An implementation of NIMEFI has been made publicly available.

  17. NIMEFI: gene regulatory network inference using multiple ensemble feature importance algorithms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joeri Ruyssinck

    Full Text Available One of the long-standing open challenges in computational systems biology is the topology inference of gene regulatory networks from high-throughput omics data. Recently, two community-wide efforts, DREAM4 and DREAM5, have been established to benchmark network inference techniques using gene expression measurements. In these challenges the overall top performer was the GENIE3 algorithm. This method decomposes the network inference task into separate regression problems for each gene in the network in which the expression values of a particular target gene are predicted using all other genes as possible predictors. Next, using tree-based ensemble methods, an importance measure for each predictor gene is calculated with respect to the target gene and a high feature importance is considered as putative evidence of a regulatory link existing between both genes. The contribution of this work is twofold. First, we generalize the regression decomposition strategy of GENIE3 to other feature importance methods. We compare the performance of support vector regression, the elastic net, random forest regression, symbolic regression and their ensemble variants in this setting to the original GENIE3 algorithm. To create the ensemble variants, we propose a subsampling approach which allows us to cast any feature selection algorithm that produces a feature ranking into an ensemble feature importance algorithm. We demonstrate that the ensemble setting is key to the network inference task, as only ensemble variants achieve top performance. As second contribution, we explore the effect of using rankwise averaged predictions of multiple ensemble algorithms as opposed to only one. We name this approach NIMEFI (Network Inference using Multiple Ensemble Feature Importance algorithms and show that this approach outperforms all individual methods in general, although on a specific network a single method can perform better. An implementation of NIMEFI has been made

  18. Reduction of regulatory risk: a network economic approach

    OpenAIRE

    Knieps, Günter; Weiß, Hans-Jörg

    2007-01-01

    Several definitions of regulatory risk are known from the literature. From the perspective of regulatory reform it is important to differentiate between the impact of a given regulatory scheme on the firm's risk exposure and the risk arising from discretionary behavior of regulatory agencies. Whereas the conse-quences of effective regulation in principle are known and accepted, excessive regulatory discretion may cause a strong need for regulatory reform. Regulatory reform focussing on the re...

  19. Influence of the experimental design of gene expression studies on the inference of gene regulatory networks: environmental factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Emmert-Streib

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The inference of gene regulatory networks gained within recent years a considerable interest in the biology and biomedical community. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence that environmental conditions can exhibit on the inference performance of network inference algorithms. Specifically, we study five network inference methods, Aracne, BC3NET, CLR, C3NET and MRNET, and compare the results for three different conditions: (I observational gene expression data: normal environmental condition, (II interventional gene expression data: growth in rich media, (III interventional gene expression data: normal environmental condition interrupted by a positive spike-in stimulation. Overall, we find that different statistical inference methods lead to comparable, but condition-specific results. Further, our results suggest that non-steady-state data enhance the inferability of regulatory networks.

  20. The underlying molecular and network level mechanisms in the evolution of robustness in gene regulatory networks.

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    Mario Pujato

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory networks show robustness to perturbations. Previous works identified robustness as an emergent property of gene network evolution but the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We used a multi-tier modeling approach that integrates molecular sequence and structure information with network architecture and population dynamics. Structural models of transcription factor-DNA complexes are used to estimate relative binding specificities. In this model, mutations in the DNA cause changes on two levels: (a at the sequence level in individual binding sites (modulating binding specificity, and (b at the network level (creating and destroying binding sites. We used this model to dissect the underlying mechanisms responsible for the evolution of robustness in gene regulatory networks. Results suggest that in sparse architectures (represented by short promoters, a mixture of local-sequence and network-architecture level changes are exploited. At the local-sequence level, robustness evolves by decreasing the probabilities of both the destruction of existent and generation of new binding sites. Meanwhile, in highly interconnected architectures (represented by long promoters, robustness evolves almost entirely via network level changes, deleting and creating binding sites that modify the network architecture.

  1. Critical dynamics in genetic regulatory networks: examples from four kingdoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balleza, Enrique; Alvarez-Buylla, Elena R; Chaos, Alvaro; Kauffman, Stuart; Shmulevich, Ilya; Aldana, Maximino

    2008-06-18

    The coordinated expression of the different genes in an organism is essential to sustain functionality under the random external perturbations to which the organism might be subjected. To cope with such external variability, the global dynamics of the genetic network must possess two central properties. (a) It must be robust enough as to guarantee stability under a broad range of external conditions, and (b) it must be flexible enough to recognize and integrate specific external signals that may help the organism to change and adapt to different environments. This compromise between robustness and adaptability has been observed in dynamical systems operating at the brink of a phase transition between order and chaos. Such systems are termed critical. Thus, criticality, a precise, measurable, and well characterized property of dynamical systems, makes it possible for robustness and adaptability to coexist in living organisms. In this work we investigate the dynamical properties of the gene transcription networks reported for S. cerevisiae, E. coli, and B. subtilis, as well as the network of segment polarity genes of D. melanogaster, and the network of flower development of A. thaliana. We use hundreds of microarray experiments to infer the nature of the regulatory interactions among genes, and implement these data into the Boolean models of the genetic networks. Our results show that, to the best of the current experimental data available, the five networks under study indeed operate close to criticality. The generality of this result suggests that criticality at the genetic level might constitute a fundamental evolutionary mechanism that generates the great diversity of dynamically robust living forms that we observe around us.

  2. A Non-Homogeneous Dynamic Bayesian Network with Sequentially Coupled Interaction Parameters for Applications in Systems and Synthetic Biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grzegorczyk, Marco; Husmeier, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    An important and challenging problem in systems biology is the inference of gene regulatory networks from short non-stationary time series of transcriptional profiles. A popular approach that has been widely applied to this end is based on dynamic Bayesian networks (DBNs), although traditional homog

  3. Dynamics and control at feedback vertex sets. II: a faithful monitor to determine the diversity of molecular activities in regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochizuki, Atsushi; Fiedler, Bernold; Kurosawa, Gen; Saito, Daisuke

    2013-10-21

    Modern biology provides many networks describing regulations between many species of molecules. It is widely believed that the dynamics of molecular activities based on such regulatory networks are the origin of biological functions. However, we currently have a limited understanding of the relationship between the structure of a regulatory network and its dynamics. In this study we develop a new theory to provide an important aspect of dynamics from information of regulatory linkages alone. We show that the "feedback vertex set" (FVS) of a regulatory network is a set of "determining nodes" of the dynamics. The theory is powerful to study real biological systems in practice. It assures that (i) any long-term dynamical behavior of the whole system, such as steady states, periodic oscillations or quasi-periodic oscillations, can be identified by measurements of a subset of molecules in the network, and that (ii) the subset is determined from the regulatory linkage alone. For example, dynamical attractors possibly generated by a signal transduction network with 113 molecules can be identified by measurement of the activity of only 5 molecules, if the information on the network structure is correct. Our theory therefore provides a rational criterion to select key molecules to control a system. We also demonstrate that controlling the dynamics of the FVS is sufficient to switch the dynamics of the whole system from one attractor to others, distinct from the original.

  4. On the underlying assumptions of threshold Boolean networks as a model for genetic regulatory network behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van eTran

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Boolean networks (BoN are relatively simple and interpretable models of gene regulatorynetworks. Specifying these models with fewer parameters while retaining their ability to describe complex regulatory relationships is an ongoing methodological challenge. Additionally, extending these models to incorporate variable gene decay rates, asynchronous gene response, and synergistic regulation while maintaining their Markovian nature increases the applicability of these models to genetic regulatory networks.We explore a previously-proposed class of BoNs characterized by linear threshold functions, which we refer to as threshold Boolean networks (TBN. Compared to traditional BoNs with unconstrained transition functions, these models require far fewer parameters and offer a more direct interpretation. However, the functional form of a TBN does result in a reduction in the regulatory relationships which can be modeled.We show that TBNs can be readily extended to permit self-degradation, with explicitly modeled degradation rates. We note that the introduction of variable degradation compromises the Markovian property fundamental to BoN models but show that a simple state augmentation procedure restores their Markovian nature. Next, we study the effect of assumptions regarding self-degradation on the set of possible steady states. Our findings are captured in two theorems relating self-degradation and regulatory feedback to the steady state behavior of a TBN. Finally, we explore assumptions of synchronous gene response and asynergistic regulation and show that TBNs can be easily extended to relax these assumptions.Applying our methods to the budding yeast cell-cycle network revealed that although the network is complex, its steady state is simplified by the presence of self-degradation and lack of purely positive regulatory cycles.

  5. Pleiotropy constrains the evolution of protein but not regulatory sequences in a transcription regulatory network influencing complex social behaviours

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    Daria eMolodtsova

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available It is increasingly apparent that genes and networks that influence complex behaviour are evolutionary conserved, which is paradoxical considering that behaviour is labile over evolutionary timescales. How does adaptive change in behaviour arise if behaviour is controlled by conserved, pleiotropic, and likely evolutionary constrained genes? Pleiotropy and connectedness are known to constrain the general rate of protein evolution, prompting some to suggest that the evolution of complex traits, including behaviour, is fuelled by regulatory sequence evolution. However, we seldom have data on the strength of selection on mutations in coding and regulatory sequences, and this hinders our ability to study how pleiotropy influences coding and regulatory sequence evolution. Here we use population genomics to estimate the strength of selection on coding and regulatory mutations for a transcriptional regulatory network that influences complex behaviour of honey bees. We found that replacement mutations in highly connected transcription factors and target genes experience significantly stronger negative selection relative to weakly connected transcription factors and targets. Adaptively evolving proteins were significantly more likely to reside at the periphery of the regulatory network, while proteins with signs of negative selection were near the core of the network. Interestingly, connectedness and network structure had minimal influence on the strength of selection on putative regulatory sequences for both transcription factors and their targets. Our study indicates that adaptive evolution of complex behaviour can arise because of positive selection on protein-coding mutations in peripheral genes, and on regulatory sequence mutations in both transcription factors and their targets throughout the network.

  6. High Dimensional ODEs Coupled with Mixed-Effects Modeling Techniques for Dynamic Gene Regulatory Network Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Tao; Liang, Hua; Li, Hongzhe; Wu, Hulin

    2011-01-01

    Gene regulation is a complicated process. The interaction of many genes and their products forms an intricate biological network. Identification of this dynamic network will help us understand the biological process in a systematic way. However, the construction of such a dynamic network is very challenging for a high-dimensional system. In this article we propose to use a set of ordinary differential equations (ODE), coupled with dimensional reduction by clustering and mixed-effects modeling techniques, to model the dynamic gene regulatory network (GRN). The ODE models allow us to quantify both positive and negative gene regulations as well as feedback effects of one set of genes in a functional module on the dynamic expression changes of the genes in another functional module, which results in a directed graph network. A five-step procedure, Clustering, Smoothing, regulation Identification, parameter Estimates refining and Function enrichment analysis (CSIEF) is developed to identify the ODE-based dynamic GRN. In the proposed CSIEF procedure, a series of cutting-edge statistical methods and techniques are employed, that include non-parametric mixed-effects models with a mixture distribution for clustering, nonparametric mixed-effects smoothing-based methods for ODE models, the smoothly clipped absolute deviation (SCAD)-based variable selection, and stochastic approximation EM (SAEM) approach for mixed-effects ODE model parameter estimation. The key step, the SCAD-based variable selection of the proposed procedure is justified by investigating its asymptotic properties and validated by Monte Carlo simulations. We apply the proposed method to identify the dynamic GRN for yeast cell cycle progression data. We are able to annotate the identified modules through function enrichment analyses. Some interesting biological findings are discussed. The proposed procedure is a promising tool for constructing a general dynamic GRN and more complicated dynamic networks.

  7. Protein modularity, cooperative binding, and hybrid regulatory states underlie transcriptional network diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher R; Booth, Lauren N; Sorrells, Trevor R; Johnson, Alexander D

    2012-09-28

    We examine how different transcriptional network structures can evolve from an ancestral network. By characterizing how the ancestral mode of gene regulation for genes specific to a-type cells in yeast species evolved from an activating paradigm to a repressing one, we show that regulatory protein modularity, conversion of one cis-regulatory sequence to another, distribution of binding energy among protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, and exploitation of ancestral network features all contribute to the evolution of a novel regulatory mode. The formation of this derived mode of regulation did not disrupt the ancestral mode and thereby created a hybrid regulatory state where both means of transcription regulation (ancestral and derived) contribute to the conserved expression pattern of the network. Finally, we show how this hybrid regulatory state has resolved in different ways in different lineages to generate the diversity of regulatory network structures observed in modern species.

  8. Transcriptional network structure has little effect on the rate of regulatory evolution in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Artyom; McIntyre, Lauren M

    2012-08-01

    Studies in evolutionary developmental biology suggest that the structure of genetic pathways may bias the fixation of natural variation toward particular nodes in these pathways. In an attempt to test this trend genome wide, we integrated several previously published data sets to examine whether the position of genes in the whole-genome transcriptional network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is associated with the amount of cis-regulatory expression divergence between S. cerevisiae and its sibling species Saccharomyces paradoxus. We find little evidence for an association between connectivity and divergence in the global network that combines data from multiple conditions. However, relationships between connectivity and divergence are apparent in some of the smaller subnetworks. Despite a slight tendency for genes with more transcriptional interactions to show greater divergence, these differences explain no more than a small fraction of variation in evolutionary rates. These results suggest that the systems biology focus on large interactomes may miss some critical details of local interactions. More detailed experimental analysis will be needed to define the genetic pathways that control specific phenotypic traits and quantify the rate of regulatory changes at different points in these pathways.

  9. Boolean networks using the chi-square test for inferring large-scale gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Jae K

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Boolean network (BN modeling is a commonly used method for constructing gene regulatory networks from time series microarray data. However, its major drawback is that its computation time is very high or often impractical to construct large-scale gene networks. We propose a variable selection method that are not only reduces BN computation times significantly but also obtains optimal network constructions by using chi-square statistics for testing the independence in contingency tables. Results Both the computation time and accuracy of the network structures estimated by the proposed method are compared with those of the original BN methods on simulated and real yeast cell cycle microarray gene expression data sets. Our results reveal that the proposed chi-square testing (CST-based BN method significantly improves the computation time, while its ability to identify all the true network mechanisms was effectively the same as that of full-search BN methods. The proposed BN algorithm is approximately 70.8 and 7.6 times faster than the original BN algorithm when the error sizes of the Best-Fit Extension problem are 0 and 1, respectively. Further, the false positive error rate of the proposed CST-based BN algorithm tends to be less than that of the original BN. Conclusion The CST-based BN method dramatically improves the computation time of the original BN algorithm. Therefore, it can efficiently infer large-scale gene regulatory network mechanisms.

  10. A swarm intelligence framework for reconstructing gene networks: searching for biologically plausible architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kentzoglanakis, Kyriakos; Poole, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the problem of reverse engineering the topology of gene regulatory networks from temporal gene expression data. We adopt a computational intelligence approach comprising swarm intelligence techniques, namely particle swarm optimization (PSO) and ant colony optimization (ACO). In addition, the recurrent neural network (RNN) formalism is employed for modeling the dynamical behavior of gene regulatory systems. More specifically, ACO is used for searching the discrete space of network architectures and PSO for searching the corresponding continuous space of RNN model parameters. We propose a novel solution construction process in the context of ACO for generating biologically plausible candidate architectures. The objective is to concentrate the search effort into areas of the structure space that contain architectures which are feasible in terms of their topological resemblance to real-world networks. The proposed framework is initially applied to the reconstruction of a small artificial network that has previously been studied in the context of gene network reverse engineering. Subsequently, we consider an artificial data set with added noise for reconstructing a subnetwork of the genetic interaction network of S. cerevisiae (yeast). Finally, the framework is applied to a real-world data set for reverse engineering the SOS response system of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Results demonstrate the relative advantage of utilizing problem-specific knowledge regarding biologically plausible structural properties of gene networks over conducting a problem-agnostic search in the vast space of network architectures.

  11. Pharyngeal mesoderm regulatory network controls cardiac and head muscle morphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harel, Itamar; Maezawa, Yoshiro; Avraham, Roi; Rinon, Ariel; Ma, Hsiao-Yen; Cross, Joe W; Leviatan, Noam; Hegesh, Julius; Roy, Achira; Jacob-Hirsch, Jasmine; Rechavi, Gideon; Carvajal, Jaime; Tole, Shubha; Kioussi, Chrissa; Quaggin, Susan; Tzahor, Eldad

    2012-11-13

    The search for developmental mechanisms driving vertebrate organogenesis has paved the way toward a deeper understanding of birth defects. During embryogenesis, parts of the heart and craniofacial muscles arise from pharyngeal mesoderm (PM) progenitors. Here, we reveal a hierarchical regulatory network of a set of transcription factors expressed in the PM that initiates heart and craniofacial organogenesis. Genetic perturbation of this network in mice resulted in heart and craniofacial muscle defects, revealing robust cross-regulation between its members. We identified Lhx2 as a previously undescribed player during cardiac and pharyngeal muscle development. Lhx2 and Tcf21 genetically interact with Tbx1, the major determinant in the etiology of DiGeorge/velo-cardio-facial/22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Furthermore, knockout of these genes in the mouse recapitulates specific cardiac features of this syndrome. We suggest that PM-derived cardiogenesis and myogenesis are network properties rather than properties specific to individual PM members. These findings shed new light on the developmental underpinnings of congenital defects.

  12. Inference of Gene Regulatory Networks Using Bayesian Nonparametric Regression and Topology Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play an important role in cellular systems and are important for understanding biological processes. Many algorithms have been developed to infer the GRNs. However, most algorithms only pay attention to the gene expression data but do not consider the topology information in their inference process, while incorporating this information can partially compensate for the lack of reliable expression data. Here we develop a Bayesian group lasso with spike and slab priors to perform gene selection and estimation for nonparametric models. B-spline basis functions are used to capture the nonlinear relationships flexibly and penalties are used to avoid overfitting. Further, we incorporate the topology information into the Bayesian method as a prior. We present the application of our method on DREAM3 and DREAM4 datasets and two real biological datasets. The results show that our method performs better than existing methods and the topology information prior can improve the result. PMID:28133490

  13. Inference of Gene Regulatory Networks Using Bayesian Nonparametric Regression and Topology Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Fan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory networks (GRNs play an important role in cellular systems and are important for understanding biological processes. Many algorithms have been developed to infer the GRNs. However, most algorithms only pay attention to the gene expression data but do not consider the topology information in their inference process, while incorporating this information can partially compensate for the lack of reliable expression data. Here we develop a Bayesian group lasso with spike and slab priors to perform gene selection and estimation for nonparametric models. B-spline basis functions are used to capture the nonlinear relationships flexibly and penalties are used to avoid overfitting. Further, we incorporate the topology information into the Bayesian method as a prior. We present the application of our method on DREAM3 and DREAM4 datasets and two real biological datasets. The results show that our method performs better than existing methods and the topology information prior can improve the result.

  14. A recursive network approach can identify constitutive regulatory circuits in gene expression data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Monica Francesca; Casorelli, Ida; Colosimo, Alfredo; Blasi, Francesco Simone; Bignami, Margherita; Giuliani, Alessandro

    2005-03-01

    The activity of the cell is often coordinated by the organisation of proteins into regulatory circuits that share a common function. Genome-wide expression profiles might contain important information on these circuits. Current approaches for the analysis of gene expression data include clustering the individual expression measurements and relating them to biological functions as well as modelling and simulation of gene regulation processes by additional computer tools. The identification of the regulative programmes from microarray experiments is limited, however, by the intrinsic difficulty of linear methods to detect low-variance signals and by the sensitivity of the different approaches. Here we face the problem of recognising invariant patterns of correlations among gene expression reminiscent of regulation circuits. We demonstrate that a recursive neural network approach can identify genetic regulation circuits from expression data for ribosomal and genome stability genes. The proposed method, by greatly enhancing the sensitivity of microarray studies, allows the identification of important aspects of genetic regulation networks and might be useful for the discrimination of the different players involved in regulation circuits. Our results suggest that the constitutive regulatory networks involved in the generic organisation of the cell display a high degree of clustering depending on a modular architecture.

  15. A new method for discovering disease-specific MiRNA-target regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Baglioni

    Full Text Available Genes and their expression regulation are among the key factors in the comprehension of the genesis and development of complex diseases. In this context, microRNAs (miRNAs are post-transcriptional regulators that play an important role in gene expression since they are frequently deregulated in pathologies like cardiovascular disease and cancer. In vitro validation of miRNA--targets regulation is often too expensive and time consuming to be carried out for every possible alternative. As a result, a tool able to provide some criteria to prioritize trials is becoming a pressing need. Moreover, before planning in vitro experiments, the scientist needs to evaluate the miRNA-target genes interaction network. In this paper we describe the miRable method whose purpose is to identify new potentially relevant genes and their interaction networks associate to a specific pathology. To achieve this goal miRable follows a system biology approach integrating together general-purpose medical knowledge (literature, Protein-Protein Interaction networks, prediction tools and pathology specific data (gene expression data. A case study on Prostate Cancer has shown that miRable is able to: 1 find new potential miRNA-targets pairs, 2 highlight novel genes potentially involved in a disease but never or little studied before, 3 reconstruct all possible regulatory subnetworks starting from the literature to expand the knowledge on the regulation of miRNA regulatory mechanisms.

  16. A new method for discovering disease-specific MiRNA-target regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baglioni, Miriam; Russo, Francesco; Geraci, Filippo; Rizzo, Milena; Rainaldi, Giuseppe; Pellegrini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Genes and their expression regulation are among the key factors in the comprehension of the genesis and development of complex diseases. In this context, microRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators that play an important role in gene expression since they are frequently deregulated in pathologies like cardiovascular disease and cancer. In vitro validation of miRNA--targets regulation is often too expensive and time consuming to be carried out for every possible alternative. As a result, a tool able to provide some criteria to prioritize trials is becoming a pressing need. Moreover, before planning in vitro experiments, the scientist needs to evaluate the miRNA-target genes interaction network. In this paper we describe the miRable method whose purpose is to identify new potentially relevant genes and their interaction networks associate to a specific pathology. To achieve this goal miRable follows a system biology approach integrating together general-purpose medical knowledge (literature, Protein-Protein Interaction networks, prediction tools) and pathology specific data (gene expression data). A case study on Prostate Cancer has shown that miRable is able to: 1) find new potential miRNA-targets pairs, 2) highlight novel genes potentially involved in a disease but never or little studied before, 3) reconstruct all possible regulatory subnetworks starting from the literature to expand the knowledge on the regulation of miRNA regulatory mechanisms.

  17. Study of the structure and dynamics of complex biological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samal, Areejit

    2008-12-01

    In this thesis, we have studied the large scale structure and system level dynamics of certain biological networks using tools from graph theory, computational biology and dynamical systems. We study the structure and dynamics of large scale metabolic networks inside three organisms, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Staphylococcus aureus. We also study the dynamics of the large scale genetic network controlling E. coli metabolism. We have tried to explain the observed system level dynamical properties of these networks in terms of their underlying structure. Our studies of the system level dynamics of these large scale biological networks provide a different perspective on their functioning compared to that obtained from purely structural studies. Our study also leads to some new insights on features such as robustness, fragility and modularity of these large scale biological networks. We also shed light on how different networks inside the cell such as metabolic networks and genetic networks are interrelated to each other.

  18. LmSmdB: an integrated database for metabolic and gene regulatory network in Leishmania major and Schistosoma mansoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Priyanka; Mandlik, Vineetha; Singh, Shailza

    2016-03-01

    A database that integrates all the information required for biological processing is essential to be stored in one platform. We have attempted to create one such integrated database that can be a one stop shop for the essential features required to fetch valuable result. LmSmdB (L. major and S. mansoni database) is an integrated database that accounts for the biological networks and regulatory pathways computationally determined by integrating the knowledge of the genome sequences of the mentioned organisms. It is the first database of its kind that has together with the network designing showed the simulation pattern of the product. This database intends to create a comprehensive canopy for the regulation of lipid metabolism reaction in the parasite by integrating the transcription factors, regulatory genes and the protein products controlled by the transcription factors and hence operating the metabolism at genetic level.

  19. Uncovering Transcriptional Regulatory Networks by Sparse Bayesian Factor Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Yuan(Alan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The problem of uncovering transcriptional regulation by transcription factors (TFs based on microarray data is considered. A novel Bayesian sparse correlated rectified factor model (BSCRFM is proposed that models the unknown TF protein level activity, the correlated regulations between TFs, and the sparse nature of TF-regulated genes. The model admits prior knowledge from existing database regarding TF-regulated target genes based on a sparse prior and through a developed Gibbs sampling algorithm, a context-specific transcriptional regulatory network specific to the experimental condition of the microarray data can be obtained. The proposed model and the Gibbs sampling algorithm were evaluated on the simulated systems, and results demonstrated the validity and effectiveness of the proposed approach. The proposed model was then applied to the breast cancer microarray data of patients with Estrogen Receptor positive ( status and Estrogen Receptor negative ( status, respectively.

  20. Physiological regulatory networks: ecological roles and evolutionary constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Alan A; Martin, Lynn B; Wingfield, John C; McWilliams, Scott R; Dunne, Jennifer A

    2012-08-01

    Ecological and evolutionary physiology has traditionally focused on one aspect of physiology at a time. Here, we discuss the implications of considering physiological regulatory networks (PRNs) as integrated wholes, a perspective that reveals novel roles for physiology in organismal ecology and evolution. For example, evolutionary response to changes in resource abundance might be constrained by the role of dietary micronutrients in immune response regulation, given a particular pathogen environment. Because many physiological components impact more than one process, organismal homeostasis is maintained, individual fitness is determined and evolutionary change is constrained (or facilitated) by interactions within PRNs. We discuss how PRN structure and its system-level properties could determine both individual performance and patterns of physiological evolution.

  1. Uncovering Transcriptional Regulatory Networks by Sparse Bayesian Factor Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Jia; Zhang, Jianqiu(Michelle); Qi, Yuan(Alan); Chen, Yidong; Huang, Yufei

    2010-12-01

    The problem of uncovering transcriptional regulation by transcription factors (TFs) based on microarray data is considered. A novel Bayesian sparse correlated rectified factor model (BSCRFM) is proposed that models the unknown TF protein level activity, the correlated regulations between TFs, and the sparse nature of TF-regulated genes. The model admits prior knowledge from existing database regarding TF-regulated target genes based on a sparse prior and through a developed Gibbs sampling algorithm, a context-specific transcriptional regulatory network specific to the experimental condition of the microarray data can be obtained. The proposed model and the Gibbs sampling algorithm were evaluated on the simulated systems, and results demonstrated the validity and effectiveness of the proposed approach. The proposed model was then applied to the breast cancer microarray data of patients with Estrogen Receptor positive ([InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]) status and Estrogen Receptor negative ([InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]) status, respectively.

  2. The role of master regulators in gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Hernández Lemus

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory networks present a wide variety of dynamical responses to intrinsic and extrinsic perturbations. Arguably, one of the most important of such coordinated responses is the one of amplification cascades, in which activation of a few key-responsive transcription factors (termed master regulators, MRs lead to a large series of transcriptional activation events. This is so since master regulators are transcription factors controlling the expression of other transcription factor molecules and so on. MRs hold a central position related to transcriptional dynamics and control of gene regulatory networks and are often involved in complex feedback and feedforward loops inducing non-trivial dynamics. Recent studies have pointed out to the myocyte enhancing factor 2C (MEF2C, also known as MADS box transcription enhancer factor 2, polypeptide C as being one of such master regulators involved in the pathogenesis of primary breast cancer. In this work, we perform an integrative genomic analysis of the transcriptional regulation activity of MEF2C and its target genes to evaluate to what extent are these molecules inducing collective responses leading to gene expression deregulation and carcinogenesis. We also analyzed a number of induced dynamic responses, in particular those associated with transcriptional bursts, and nonlinear cascading to evaluate the influence they may have in malignant phenotypes and cancer. Received: 20 Novembre 2014, Accepted: 24 June 2015; Edited by: C. A. Condat, G. J. Sibona; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4279/PIP.070011 Cite as: E Hernández-Lemus, K Baca-López, R Lemus, R García-Herrera, Papers in Physics 7, 070011 (2015

  3. Effective identification of conserved pathways in biological networks using hidden Markov models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoning Qian

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The advent of various high-throughput experimental techniques for measuring molecular interactions has enabled the systematic study of biological interactions on a global scale. Since biological processes are carried out by elaborate collaborations of numerous molecules that give rise to a complex network of molecular interactions, comparative analysis of these biological networks can bring important insights into the functional organization and regulatory mechanisms of biological systems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this paper, we present an effective framework for identifying common interaction patterns in the biological networks of different organisms based on hidden Markov models (HMMs. Given two or more networks, our method efficiently finds the top matching paths in the respective networks, where the matching paths may contain a flexible number of consecutive insertions and deletions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on several protein-protein interaction (PPI networks obtained from the Database of Interacting Proteins (DIP and other public databases, we demonstrate that our method is able to detect biologically significant pathways that are conserved across different organisms. Our algorithm has a polynomial complexity that grows linearly with the size of the aligned paths. This enables the search for very long paths with more than 10 nodes within a few minutes on a desktop computer. The software program that implements this algorithm is available upon request from the authors.

  4. Integrative biology identifies shared transcriptional networks in CKD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Sebastian; Nair, Viji; Keller, Benjamin J; Eichinger, Felix; Hawkins, Jennifer J; Randolph, Ann; Böger, Carsten A; Gadegbeku, Crystal A; Fox, Caroline S; Cohen, Clemens D; Kretzler, Matthias

    2014-11-01

    A previous meta-analysis of genome-wide association data by the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology and CKDGen consortia identified 16 loci associated with eGFR. To define how each of these single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could affect renal function, we integrated GFR-associated loci with regulatory pathways, producing a molecular map of CKD. In kidney biopsy specimens from 157 European subjects representing nine different CKDs, renal transcript levels for 18 genes in proximity to the SNPs significantly correlated with GFR. These 18 genes were mapped into their biologic context by testing coregulated transcripts for enriched pathways. A network of 97 pathways linked by shared genes was constructed and characterized. Of these pathways, 56 pathways were reported previously to be associated with CKD; 41 pathways without prior association with CKD were ranked on the basis of the number of candidate genes connected to the respective pathways. All pathways aggregated into a network of two main clusters comprising inflammation- and metabolism-related pathways, with the NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response pathway serving as the hub between the two clusters. In all, 78 pathways and 95% of the connections among those pathways were verified in an independent North American biopsy cohort. Disease-specific analyses showed that most pathways are shared between sets of three diseases, with closest interconnection between lupus nephritis, IgA nephritis, and diabetic nephropathy. Taken together, the network integrates candidate genes from genome-wide association studies into their functional context, revealing interactions and defining established and novel biologic mechanisms of renal impairment in renal diseases.

  5. Developmental gene regulatory network evolution: insights from comparative studies in echinoderms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinman, Veronica F; Cheatle Jarvela, Alys M

    2014-03-01

    One of the central concerns of Evolutionary Developmental biology is to understand how the specification of cell types can change during evolution. In the last decade, developmental biology has progressed toward a systems level understanding of cell specification processes. In particular, the focus has been on determining the regulatory interactions of the repertoire of genes that make up gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Echinoderms provide an extraordinary model system for determining how GRNs evolve. This review highlights the comparative GRN analyses arising from the echinoderm system. This work shows that certain types of GRN subcircuits or motifs, i.e., those involving positive feedback, tend to be conserved and may provide a constraint on development. This conservation may be due to a required arrangement of transcription factor binding sites in cis regulatory modules. The review will also discuss ways in which novelty may arise, in particular through the co-option of regulatory genes and subcircuits. The development of the sea urchin larval skeleton, a novel feature that arose in echinoderms, has provided a model for study of co-option mechanisms. Finally, the types of GRNs that can permit the great diversity in the patterns of ciliary bands and their associated neurons found among these taxa are discussed. The availability of genomic resources is rapidly expanding for echinoderms, including genome sequences not only for multiple species of sea urchins but also a species of sea star, sea cucumber, and brittle star. This will enable echinoderms to become a particularly powerful system for understanding how developmental GRNs evolve.

  6. Biological data warehousing system for identifying transcriptional regulatory sites from gene expressions of microarray data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsou, Ann-Ping; Sun, Yi-Ming; Liu, Chia-Lin; Huang, Hsien-Da; Horng, Jorng-Tzong; Tsai, Meng-Feng; Liu, Baw-Juine

    2006-07-01

    Identification of transcriptional regulatory sites plays an important role in the investigation of gene regulation. For this propose, we designed and implemented a data warehouse to integrate multiple heterogeneous biological data sources with data types such as text-file, XML, image, MySQL database model, and Oracle database model. The utility of the biological data warehouse in predicting transcriptional regulatory sites of coregulated genes was explored using a synexpression group derived from a microarray study. Both of the binding sites of known transcription factors and predicted over-represented (OR) oligonucleotides were demonstrated for the gene group. The potential biological roles of both known nucleotides and one OR nucleotide were demonstrated using bioassays. Therefore, the results from the wet-lab experiments reinforce the power and utility of the data warehouse as an approach to the genome-wide search for important transcription regulatory elements that are the key to many complex biological systems.

  7. Gibberellins and DELLAs: central nodes in growth regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claeys, Hannes; De Bodt, Stefanie; Inzé, Dirk

    2014-04-01

    Gibberellins (GAs) are growth-promoting phytohormones that were crucial in breeding improved semi-dwarf varieties during the green revolution. However, the molecular basis for GA-induced growth stimulation is poorly understood. In this review, we use light-regulated hypocotyl elongation as a case study, combined with a meta-analysis of available transcriptome data, to discuss the role of GAs as central nodes in networks connecting environmental inputs to growth. These networks are highly tissue-specific, with dynamic and rapid regulation that mostly occurs at the protein level, directly affecting the activity and transcription of effectors. New systems biology approaches addressing the role of GAs in growth should take these properties into account, combining tissue-specific interactomics, transcriptomics and modeling, to provide essential knowledge to fuel a second green revolution.

  8. Controllability analysis of transcriptional regulatory networks reveals circular control patterns among transcription factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Österlund, Tobias; Bordel, Sergio; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is the most committed type of regulation in living cells where transcription factors (TFs) control the expression of their target genes and TF expression is controlled by other TFs forming complex transcriptional regulatory networks that can be highly interconnected. Here...... we analyze the topology and organization of nine transcriptional regulatory networks for E. coli, yeast, mouse and human, and we evaluate how the structure of these networks influences two of their key properties, namely controllability and stability. We calculate the controllability for each network...... as a measure of the organization and interconnectivity of the network. We find that the number of driver nodes n(D) needed to control the whole network is 64% of the TFs in the E. coli transcriptional regulatory network in contrast to only 17% for the yeast network, 4% for the mouse network and 8...

  9. Data Integration for Microarrays: Enhanced Inference for Gene Regulatory Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Sîrbu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Microarray technologies have been the basis of numerous important findings regarding gene expression in the few last decades. Studies have generated large amounts of data describing various processes, which, due to the existence of public databases, are widely available for further analysis. Given their lower cost and higher maturity compared to newer sequencing technologies, these data continue to be produced, even though data quality has been the subject of some debate. However, given the large volume of data generated, integration can help overcome some issues related, e.g., to noise or reduced time resolution, while providing additional insight on features not directly addressed by sequencing methods. Here, we present an integration test case based on public Drosophila melanogaster datasets (gene expression, binding site affinities, known interactions. Using an evolutionary computation framework, we show how integration can enhance the ability to recover transcriptional gene regulatory networks from these data, as well as indicating which data types are more important for quantitative and qualitative network inference. Our results show a clear improvement in performance when multiple datasets are integrated, indicating that microarray data will remain a valuable and viable resource for some time to come.

  10. An overview of the gene regulatory network controlling trichome development in the model plant, Arabidopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sitakanta ePattanaik

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Trichomes are specialized epidermal cells located on aerial parts of plants and are associated with a wide array of biological processes. Trichomes protect plants from adverse conditions including UV light and herbivore attack and are also an important source of a number of phytochemicals. The simple unicellular trichomes of Arabidopsis serve as an excellent model to study molecular mechanism of cell differentiation and pattern formation in plants. The emerging picture suggests that the developmental process is controlled by a transcriptional network involving three major groups of transcription factors: the R2R3 MYB, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH and WD40 repeat (WDR protein. These regulatory proteins form a trimeric activator complex that positively regulates trichome development. The single repeat R3 MYBs act as negative regulators of trichome development. They compete with the R2R3 MYBs to bind the bHLH factor and form a repressor complex. In addition to activator-repressor mechanism, a depletion mechanism may operate in parallel during trichome development. In this mechanism, the bHLH factor traps the WDR protein which results in depletion of WDR protein in neighboring cells. Consequently, the cells with high levels of bHLH and WDR proteins are developed into trichomes. A group of C2H2 zinc finger TFs has also been implicated in trichome development. Phytohormones, including gibberellins and jasmonic acid, play significant roles in this developmental process. Recently, microRNAs have been shown to be involved in trichome development. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the activities of the key regulatory proteins involved in trichome development are controlled by the 26S/ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS, highlighting the complexity of the regulatory network controlling this developmental process. To complement several excellent recent relevant reviews, this review focuses on the transcriptional network and hormonal interplay

  11. iRegulon: from a gene list to a gene regulatory network using large motif and track collections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rekin's Janky

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Identifying master regulators of biological processes and mapping their downstream gene networks are key challenges in systems biology. We developed a computational method, called iRegulon, to reverse-engineer the transcriptional regulatory network underlying a co-expressed gene set using cis-regulatory sequence analysis. iRegulon implements a genome-wide ranking-and-recovery approach to detect enriched transcription factor motifs and their optimal sets of direct targets. We increase the accuracy of network inference by using very large motif collections of up to ten thousand position weight matrices collected from various species, and linking these to candidate human TFs via a motif2TF procedure. We validate iRegulon on gene sets derived from ENCODE ChIP-seq data with increasing levels of noise, and we compare iRegulon with existing motif discovery methods. Next, we use iRegulon on more challenging types of gene lists, including microRNA target sets, protein-protein interaction networks, and genetic perturbation data. In particular, we over-activate p53 in breast cancer cells, followed by RNA-seq and ChIP-seq, and could identify an extensive up-regulated network controlled directly by p53. Similarly we map a repressive network with no indication of direct p53 regulation but rather an indirect effect via E2F and NFY. Finally, we generalize our computational framework to include regulatory tracks such as ChIP-seq data and show how motif and track discovery can be combined to map functional regulatory interactions among co-expressed genes. iRegulon is available as a Cytoscape plugin from http://iregulon.aertslab.org.

  12. Reconstruction of biological networks based on life science data integration

    OpenAIRE

    Kormeier, Benjamin; Hippe, Klaus; Arrigo, Patrizio; Töpel, Thoralf; Janowski, Sebastian; Hofestädt, Ralf

    2010-01-01

    For the implementation of the virtual cell, the fundamental question is how to model and simulate complex biological networks. Therefore, based on relevant molecular database and information systems, biological data integration is an essential step in constructing biological networks. In this paper, we will motivate the applications BioDWH - an integration toolkit for building life science data warehouses, CardioVINEdb - a information system for biological data in cardiovascular-disease and V...

  13. Topological implications of negative curvature for biological and social networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Réka; DasGupta, Bhaskar; Mobasheri, Nasim

    2014-03-01

    Network measures that reflect the most salient properties of complex large-scale networks are in high demand in the network research community. In this paper we adapt a combinatorial measure of negative curvature (also called hyperbolicity) to parametrized finite networks, and show that a variety of biological and social networks are hyperbolic. This hyperbolicity property has strong implications on the higher-order connectivity and other topological properties of these networks. Specifically, we derive and prove bounds on the distance among shortest or approximately shortest paths in hyperbolic networks. We describe two implications of these bounds to crosstalk in biological networks, and to the existence of central, influential neighborhoods in both biological and social networks.

  14. Enriching regulatory networks by bootstrap learning using optimised GO-based gene similarity and gene links mined from PubMed abstracts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, Ronald C.; Sanfilippo, Antonio P.; McDermott, Jason E.; Baddeley, Robert L.; Riensche, Roderick M.; Jensen, Russell S.; Verhagen, Marc; Pustejovsky, James

    2011-02-18

    Transcriptional regulatory networks are being determined using “reverse engineering” methods that infer connections based on correlations in gene state. Corroboration of such networks through independent means such as evidence from the biomedical literature is desirable. Here, we explore a novel approach, a bootstrapping version of our previous Cross-Ontological Analytic method (XOA) that can be used for semi-automated annotation and verification of inferred regulatory connections, as well as for discovery of additional functional relationships between the genes. First, we use our annotation and network expansion method on a biological network learned entirely from the literature. We show how new relevant links between genes can be iteratively derived using a gene similarity measure based on the Gene Ontology that is optimized on the input network at each iteration. Second, we apply our method to annotation, verification, and expansion of a set of regulatory connections found by the Context Likelihood of Relatedness algorithm.

  15. Information theory in systems biology. Part II: protein-protein interaction and signaling networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavian, Zaynab; Díaz, José; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-03-01

    By the development of information theory in 1948 by Claude Shannon to address the problems in the field of data storage and data communication over (noisy) communication channel, it has been successfully applied in many other research areas such as bioinformatics and systems biology. In this manuscript, we attempt to review some of the existing literatures in systems biology, which are using the information theory measures in their calculations. As we have reviewed most of the existing information-theoretic methods in gene regulatory and metabolic networks in the first part of the review, so in the second part of our study, the application of information theory in other types of biological networks including protein-protein interaction and signaling networks will be surveyed.

  16. An efficient approach of attractor calculation for large-scale Boolean gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Qinbin; Xia, Zhile; Lin, Bin

    2016-11-07

    Boolean network models provide an efficient way for studying gene regulatory networks. The main dynamics of a Boolean network is determined by its attractors. Attractor calculation plays a key role for analyzing Boolean gene regulatory networks. An approach of attractor calculation was proposed in this study, which improved the predecessor-based approach. Furthermore, the proposed approach combined with the identification of constant nodes and simplified Boolean networks to accelerate attractor calculation. The proposed algorithm is effective to calculate all attractors for large-scale Boolean gene regulatory networks. If the average degree of the network is not too large, the algorithm can get all attractors of a Boolean network with dozens or even hundreds of nodes.

  17. Evolution of Intra-specific Regulatory Networks in a Multipartite Bacterial Genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Galardini

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Reconstruction of the regulatory network is an important step in understanding how organisms control the expression of gene products and therefore phenotypes. Recent studies have pointed out the importance of regulatory network plasticity in bacterial adaptation and evolution. The evolution of such networks within and outside the species boundary is however still obscure. Sinorhizobium meliloti is an ideal species for such study, having three large replicons, many genomes available and a significant knowledge of its transcription factors (TF. Each replicon has a specific functional and evolutionary mark; which might also emerge from the analysis of their regulatory signatures. Here we have studied the plasticity of the regulatory network within and outside the S. meliloti species, looking for the presence of 41 TFs binding motifs in 51 strains and 5 related rhizobial species. We have detected a preference of several TFs for one of the three replicons, and the function of regulated genes was found to be in accordance with the overall replicon functional signature: house-keeping functions for the chromosome, metabolism for the chromid, symbiosis for the megaplasmid. This therefore suggests a replicon-specific wiring of the regulatory network in the S. meliloti species. At the same time a significant part of the predicted regulatory network is shared between the chromosome and the chromid, thus adding an additional layer by which the chromid integrates itself in the core genome. Furthermore, the regulatory network distance was found to be correlated with both promoter regions and accessory genome evolution inside the species, indicating that both pangenome compartments are involved in the regulatory network evolution. We also observed that genes which are not included in the species regulatory network are more likely to belong to the accessory genome, indicating that regulatory interactions should also be considered to predict gene conservation in

  18. Evolution of Intra-specific Regulatory Networks in a Multipartite Bacterial Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galardini, Marco; Brilli, Matteo; Spini, Giulia; Rossi, Matteo; Roncaglia, Bianca; Bani, Alessia; Chiancianesi, Manuela; Moretto, Marco; Engelen, Kristof; Bacci, Giovanni; Pini, Francesco; Biondi, Emanuele G; Bazzicalupo, Marco; Mengoni, Alessio

    2015-09-01

    Reconstruction of the regulatory network is an important step in understanding how organisms control the expression of gene products and therefore phenotypes. Recent studies have pointed out the importance of regulatory network plasticity in bacterial adaptation and evolution. The evolution of such networks within and outside the species boundary is however still obscure. Sinorhizobium meliloti is an ideal species for such study, having three large replicons, many genomes available and a significant knowledge of its transcription factors (TF). Each replicon has a specific functional and evolutionary mark; which might also emerge from the analysis of their regulatory signatures. Here we have studied the plasticity of the regulatory network within and outside the S. meliloti species, looking for the presence of 41 TFs binding motifs in 51 strains and 5 related rhizobial species. We have detected a preference of several TFs for one of the three replicons, and the function of regulated genes was found to be in accordance with the overall replicon functional signature: house-keeping functions for the chromosome, metabolism for the chromid, symbiosis for the megaplasmid. This therefore suggests a replicon-specific wiring of the regulatory network in the S. meliloti species. At the same time a significant part of the predicted regulatory network is shared between the chromosome and the chromid, thus adding an additional layer by which the chromid integrates itself in the core genome. Furthermore, the regulatory network distance was found to be correlated with both promoter regions and accessory genome evolution inside the species, indicating that both pangenome compartments are involved in the regulatory network evolution. We also observed that genes which are not included in the species regulatory network are more likely to belong to the accessory genome, indicating that regulatory interactions should also be considered to predict gene conservation in bacterial

  19. The simple neuroendocrine-immune regulatory network in oyster Crassostrea gigas mediates complex functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhaoqun; Wang, Lingling; Zhou, Zhi; Sun, Ying; Wang, Mengqiang; Wang, Hao; Hou, Zhanhui; Gao, Dahai; Gao, Qiang; Song, Linsheng

    2016-05-01

    The neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) regulatory network is a complex system, which plays an indispensable role in the immunity of the host. In the present study, the bioinformatical analysis of the transcriptomic data from oyster Crassostrea gigas and further biological validation revealed that oyster TNF (CgTNF-1 CGI_10018786) could activate the transcription factors NF-κB and HSF (heat shock transcription factor) through MAPK signaling pathway, and then regulate apoptosis, redox reaction, neuro-regulation and protein folding in oyster haemocytes. The activated immune cells then released neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, norepinephrine and [Met5]-enkephalin to regulate the immune response by arising the expression of three TNF (CGI_10005109, CGI_10005110 and CGI_10006440) and translocating two NF-κB (Cgp65, CGI_10018142 and CgRel, CGI_10021567) between the cytoplasm and nuclei of haemocytes. Neurotransmitters exhibited the immunomodulation effects by influencing apoptosis and phagocytosis of oyster haemocytes. Acetylcholine and norepinephrine could down-regulate the immune response, while [Met5]-enkephalin up-regulate the immune response. These results suggested that the simple neuroendocrine-immune regulatory network in oyster might be activated by oyster TNF and then regulate the immune response by virtue of neurotransmitters, cytokines and transcription factors.

  20. Application of random matrix theory to biological networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo Feng [Department of Computer Science, Clemson University, 100 McAdams Hall, Clemson, SC 29634 (United States); Department of Pathology, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Dallas, TX 75390-9072 (United States); Zhong Jianxin [Department of Physics, Xiangtan University, Hunan 411105 (China) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States)]. E-mail: zhongjn@ornl.gov; Yang Yunfeng [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States); Scheuermann, Richard H. [Department of Pathology, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Dallas, TX 75390-9072 (United States); Zhou Jizhong [Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019 (United States) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States)]. E-mail: zhouj@ornl.gov

    2006-09-25

    We show that spectral fluctuation of interaction matrices of a yeast protein-protein interaction network and a yeast metabolic network follows the description of the Gaussian orthogonal ensemble (GOE) of random matrix theory (RMT). Furthermore, we demonstrate that while the global biological networks evaluated belong to GOE, removal of interactions between constituents transitions the networks to systems of isolated modules described by the Poisson distribution. Our results indicate that although biological networks are very different from other complex systems at the molecular level, they display the same statistical properties at network scale. The transition point provides a new objective approach for the identification of functional modules.

  1. Towards Systems Biology of Heterosis: A Hypothesis about Molecular Network Structure Applied for the Arabidopsis Metabolome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gärtner Tanja

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We propose a network structure-based model for heterosis, and investigate it relying on metabolite profiles from Arabidopsis. A simple feed-forward two-layer network model (the Steinbuch matrix is used in our conceptual approach. It allows for directly relating structural network properties with biological function. Interpreting heterosis as increased adaptability, our model predicts that the biological networks involved show increasing connectivity of regulatory interactions. A detailed analysis of metabolite profile data reveals that the increasing-connectivity prediction is true for graphical Gaussian models in our data from early development. This mirrors properties of observed heterotic Arabidopsis phenotypes. Furthermore, the model predicts a limit for increasing hybrid vigor with increasing heterozygosity—a known phenomenon in the literature.

  2. Controllability analysis of transcriptional regulatory networks reveals circular control patterns among transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Österlund, Tobias; Bordel, Sergio; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-05-01

    Transcriptional regulation is the most committed type of regulation in living cells where transcription factors (TFs) control the expression of their target genes and TF expression is controlled by other TFs forming complex transcriptional regulatory networks that can be highly interconnected. Here we analyze the topology and organization of nine transcriptional regulatory networks for E. coli, yeast, mouse and human, and we evaluate how the structure of these networks influences two of their key properties, namely controllability and stability. We calculate the controllability for each network as a measure of the organization and interconnectivity of the network. We find that the number of driver nodes nD needed to control the whole network is 64% of the TFs in the E. coli transcriptional regulatory network in contrast to only 17% for the yeast network, 4% for the mouse network and 8% for the human network. The high controllability (low number of drivers needed to control the system) in yeast, mouse and human is due to the presence of internal loops in their regulatory networks where the TFs regulate each other in a circular fashion. We refer to these internal loops as circular control motifs (CCM). The E. coli transcriptional regulatory network, which does not have any CCMs, shows a hierarchical structure of the transcriptional regulatory network in contrast to the eukaryal networks. The presence of CCMs also has influence on the stability of these networks, as the presence of cycles can be associated with potential unstable steady-states where even small changes in binding affinities can cause dramatic rearrangements of the state of the network.

  3. Layers of epistasis: genome-wide regulatory networks and network approaches to genome-wide association studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowper-Sal·lari, Richard; Cole, Michael D.; Karagas, Margaret R.; Lupien, Mathieu; Moore, Jason H.

    2010-01-01

    The conceptual foundation of the genome-wide association study (GWAS) has advanced unchecked since its conception. A revision might seem premature as the potential of GWAS has not been fully realized. Multiple technical and practical limitations need to be overcome before GWAS can be fairly criticized. But with the completion of hundreds of studies and a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture of disease, warnings are being raised. The results compiled to date indicate that risk-associated variants lie predominantly in non-coding regions of the genome. Additionally, alternative methodologies are uncovering large and heterogeneous sets of rare variants underlying disease. The fear is that, even in its fulfilment, the current GWAS paradigm might be incapable of dissecting all kinds of phenotypes. In the following text we review several initiatives that aim to overcome these limitations. The overarching theme of these studies is the inclusion of biological knowledge to both the analysis and interpretation of genotyping data. GWAS is uninformed of biology by design and although there is some virtue in its simplicity it is also its most conspicuous deficiency. We propose a framework in which to integrate these novel approaches, both empirical and theoretical, in the form of a genome-wide regulatory network (GWRN). By processing experimental data into networks, emerging data types based on chromatin-immunoprecipitation are made computationally tractable. This will give GWAS re-analysis efforts the most current and relevant substrates, and root them firmly on our knowledge of human disease. PMID:21197657

  4. OWL reasoning framework over big biological knowledge network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huajun; Chen, Xi; Gu, Peiqin; Wu, Zhaohui; Yu, Tong

    2014-01-01

    Recently, huge amounts of data are generated in the domain of biology. Embedded with domain knowledge from different disciplines, the isolated biological resources are implicitly connected. Thus it has shaped a big network of versatile biological knowledge. Faced with such massive, disparate, and interlinked biological data, providing an efficient way to model, integrate, and analyze the big biological network becomes a challenge. In this paper, we present a general OWL (web ontology language) reasoning framework to study the implicit relationships among biological entities. A comprehensive biological ontology across traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and western medicine (WM) is used to create a conceptual model for the biological network. Then corresponding biological data is integrated into a biological knowledge network as the data model. Based on the conceptual model and data model, a scalable OWL reasoning method is utilized to infer the potential associations between biological entities from the biological network. In our experiment, we focus on the association discovery between TCM and WM. The derived associations are quite useful for biologists to promote the development of novel drugs and TCM modernization. The experimental results show that the system achieves high efficiency, accuracy, scalability, and effectivity.

  5. OWL Reasoning Framework over Big Biological Knowledge Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huajun Chen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, huge amounts of data are generated in the domain of biology. Embedded with domain knowledge from different disciplines, the isolated biological resources are implicitly connected. Thus it has shaped a big network of versatile biological knowledge. Faced with such massive, disparate, and interlinked biological data, providing an efficient way to model, integrate, and analyze the big biological network becomes a challenge. In this paper, we present a general OWL (web ontology language reasoning framework to study the implicit relationships among biological entities. A comprehensive biological ontology across traditional Chinese medicine (TCM and western medicine (WM is used to create a conceptual model for the biological network. Then corresponding biological data is integrated into a biological knowledge network as the data model. Based on the conceptual model and data model, a scalable OWL reasoning method is utilized to infer the potential associations between biological entities from the biological network. In our experiment, we focus on the association discovery between TCM and WM. The derived associations are quite useful for biologists to promote the development of novel drugs and TCM modernization. The experimental results show that the system achieves high efficiency, accuracy, scalability, and effectivity.

  6. Identifying significant genetic regulatory networks in the prostate cancer from microarray data based on transcription factor analysis and conditional independency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeh Cheng-Yu

    2009-12-01

    . Conclusions We provide a computational framework to reconstruct the genetic regulatory network from the microarray data using biological knowledge and constraint-based inferences. Our method is helpful in verifying possible interaction relations in gene regulatory networks and filtering out incorrect relations inferred by imperfect methods. We predicted not only individual gene related to cancer but also discovered significant gene regulation networks. Our method is also validated in several enriched published papers and databases and the significant gene regulatory networks perform critical biological functions and processes including cell adhesion molecules, androgen and estrogen metabolism, smooth muscle contraction, and GO-annotated processes. Those significant gene regulations and the critical concept of tumor progression are useful to understand cancer biology and disease treatment.

  7. In silico Transcriptional Regulatory Networks Involved in Tomato Fruit Ripening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arhondakis, Stilianos; Bita, Craita E; Perrakis, Andreas; Manioudaki, Maria E; Krokida, Afroditi; Kaloudas, Dimitrios; Kalaitzis, Panagiotis

    2016-01-01

    Tomato fruit ripening is a complex developmental programme partly mediated by transcriptional regulatory networks. Several transcription factors (TFs) which are members of gene families such as MADS-box and ERF were shown to play a significant role in ripening through interconnections into an intricate network. The accumulation of large datasets of expression profiles corresponding to different stages of tomato fruit ripening and the availability of bioinformatics tools for their analysis provide an opportunity to identify TFs which might regulate gene clusters with similar co-expression patterns. We identified two TFs, a SlWRKY22-like and a SlER24 transcriptional activator which were shown to regulate modules by using the LeMoNe algorithm for the analysis of our microarray datasets representing four stages of fruit ripening, breaker, turning, pink and red ripe. The WRKY22-like module comprised a subgroup of six various calcium sensing transcripts with similar to the TF expression patterns according to real time PCR validation. A promoter motif search identified a cis acting element, the W-box, recognized by WRKY TFs that was present in the promoter region of all six calcium sensing genes. Moreover, publicly available microarray datasets of similar ripening stages were also analyzed with LeMoNe resulting in TFs such as SlERF.E1, SlERF.C1, SlERF.B2, SLERF.A2, SlWRKY24, SLWRKY37, and MADS-box/TM29 which might also play an important role in regulation of ripening. These results suggest that the SlWRKY22-like might be involved in the coordinated regulation of expression of the six calcium sensing genes. Conclusively the LeMoNe tool might lead to the identification of putative TF targets for further physiological analysis as regulators of tomato fruit ripening.

  8. In silico transcriptional regulatory networks involved in tomato fruit ripening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stilianos Arhondakis

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTTomato fruit ripening is a complex developmental programme partly mediated by transcriptional regulatory networks. Several transcription factors (TFs which are members of gene families such as MADS-box and ERF were shown to play a significant role in ripening through interconnections into an intricate network. The accumulation of large datasets of expression profiles corresponding to different stages of tomato fruit ripening and the availability of bioinformatics tools for their analysis provide an opportunity to identify TFs which might regulate gene clusters with similar co-expression patterns. We identified two TFs, a SlWRKY22-like and a SlER24 transcriptional activator which were shown to regulate modules by using the LeMoNe algorithm for the analysis of our microarray datasets representing four stages of fruit ripening, breaker, turning, pink and red ripe. The WRKY22-like module comprised a subgroup of six various calcium sensing transcripts with similar to the TF expression patterns according to real time PCR validation. A promoter motif search identified a cis acting element, the W-box, recognized by WRKY TFs that was present in the promoter region of all six calcium sensing genes. Moreover, publicly available microarray datasets of similar ripening stages were also analyzed with LeMoNe resulting in TFs such as SlERF.E1, SlERF.C1, SlERF.B2, SLERF.A2, SlWRKY24, SLWRKY37 and MADS-box/TM29 which might also play an important role in regulation of ripening. These results suggest that the SlWRKY22-like might be involved in the coordinated regulation of expression of the six calcium sensing genes. Conclusively the LeMoNe tool might lead to the identification of putative TF targets for further physiological analysis as regulators of tomato fruit ripening.

  9. A provisional regulatory gene network for specification of endomesoderm in the sea urchin embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Eric H.; Rast, Jonathan P.; Oliveri, Paola; Ransick, Andrew; Calestani, Cristina; Yuh, Chiou-Hwa; Minokawa, Takuya; Amore, Gabriele; Hinman, Veronica; Arenas-Mena, Cesar; Otim, Ochan; Brown, C. Titus; Livi, Carolina B.; Lee, Pei Yun; Revilla, Roger; Schilstra, Maria J.; Clarke, Peter J C.; Rust, Alistair G.; Pan, Zhengjun; Arnone, Maria I.; Rowen, Lee; Cameron, R. Andrew; McClay, David R.; Hood, Leroy; Bolouri, Hamid

    2002-01-01

    We present the current form of a provisional DNA sequence-based regulatory gene network that explains in outline how endomesodermal specification in the sea urchin embryo is controlled. The model of the network is in a continuous process of revision and growth as new genes are added and new experimental results become available; see http://www.its.caltech.edu/mirsky/endomeso.htm (End-mes Gene Network Update) for the latest version. The network contains over 40 genes at present, many newly uncovered in the course of this work, and most encoding DNA-binding transcriptional regulatory factors. The architecture of the network was approached initially by construction of a logic model that integrated the extensive experimental evidence now available on endomesoderm specification. The internal linkages between genes in the network have been determined functionally, by measurement of the effects of regulatory perturbations on the expression of all relevant genes in the network. Five kinds of perturbation have been applied: (1) use of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides targeted to many of the key regulatory genes in the network; (2) transformation of other regulatory factors into dominant repressors by construction of Engrailed repressor domain fusions; (3) ectopic expression of given regulatory factors, from genetic expression constructs and from injected mRNAs; (4) blockade of the beta-catenin/Tcf pathway by introduction of mRNA encoding the intracellular domain of cadherin; and (5) blockade of the Notch signaling pathway by introduction of mRNA encoding the extracellular domain of the Notch receptor. The network model predicts the cis-regulatory inputs that link each gene into the network. Therefore, its architecture is testable by cis-regulatory analysis. Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus variegatus genomic BAC recombinants that include a large number of the genes in the network have been sequenced and annotated. Tests of the cis-regulatory predictions of

  10. Regulatory cascade and biological activity of Beauveria bassiana oosporein that limits bacterial growth after host death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yanhua; Liu, Xi; Keyhani, Nemat O; Tang, Guirong; Pei, Yan; Zhang, Wenwen; Tong, Sheng

    2017-02-28

    The regulatory network and biological functions of the fungal secondary metabolite oosporein have remained obscure. Beauveria bassiana has evolved the ability to parasitize insects and outcompete microbial challengers for assimilation of host nutrients. A novel zinc finger transcription factor, BbSmr1 (B. bassiana secondary metabolite regulator 1), was identified in a screen for oosporein overproduction. Deletion of Bbsmr1 resulted in up-regulation of the oosporein biosynthetic gene cluster (OpS genes) and constitutive oosporein production. Oosporein production was abolished in double mutants of Bbsmr1 and a second transcription factor, OpS3, within the oosporein gene cluster (ΔBbsmr1ΔOpS3), indicating that BbSmr1 acts as a negative regulator of OpS3 expression. Real-time quantitative PCR and a GFP promoter fusion construct of OpS1, the oosporein polyketide synthase, indicated that OpS1 is expressed mainly in insect cadavers at 24-48 h after death. Bacterial colony analysis in B. bassiana-infected insect hosts revealed increasing counts until host death, with a dramatic decrease (∼90%) after death that correlated with oosporein production. In vitro studies verified the inhibitory activity of oosporein against bacteria derived from insect cadavers. These results suggest that oosporein acts as an antimicrobial compound to limit microbial competition on B. bassiana-killed hosts, allowing the fungus to maximally use host nutrients to grow and sporulate on infected cadavers.

  11. A generic algorithm for layout of biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwyer Tim

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biological networks are widely used to represent processes in biological systems and to capture interactions and dependencies between biological entities. Their size and complexity is steadily increasing due to the ongoing growth of knowledge in the life sciences. To aid understanding of biological networks several algorithms for laying out and graphically representing networks and network analysis results have been developed. However, current algorithms are specialized to particular layout styles and therefore different algorithms are required for each kind of network and/or style of layout. This increases implementation effort and means that new algorithms must be developed for new layout styles. Furthermore, additional effort is necessary to compose different layout conventions in the same diagram. Also the user cannot usually customize the placement of nodes to tailor the layout to their particular need or task and there is little support for interactive network exploration. Results We present a novel algorithm to visualize different biological networks and network analysis results in meaningful ways depending on network types and analysis outcome. Our method is based on constrained graph layout and we demonstrate how it can handle the drawing conventions used in biological networks. Conclusion The presented algorithm offers the ability to produce many of the fundamental popular drawing styles while allowing the exibility of constraints to further tailor these layouts.

  12. Systems biology in the context of big data and networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altaf-Ul-Amin, Md; Afendi, Farit Mochamad; Kiboi, Samuel Kuria; Kanaya, Shigehiko

    2014-01-01

    Science is going through two rapidly changing phenomena: one is the increasing capabilities of the computers and software tools from terabytes to petabytes and beyond, and the other is the advancement in high-throughput molecular biology producing piles of data related to genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, interactomes, and so on. Biology has become a data intensive science and as a consequence biology and computer science have become complementary to each other bridged by other branches of science such as statistics, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The combination of versatile knowledge has caused the advent of big-data biology, network biology, and other new branches of biology. Network biology for instance facilitates the system-level understanding of the cell or cellular components and subprocesses. It is often also referred to as systems biology. The purpose of this field is to understand organisms or cells as a whole at various levels of functions and mechanisms. Systems biology is now facing the challenges of analyzing big molecular biological data and huge biological networks. This review gives an overview of the progress in big-data biology, and data handling and also introduces some applications of networks and multivariate analysis in systems biology.

  13. Biological networks to the analysis of microarray data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG Zhuo; LUO Qingming; ZHANG Guoqing; LI Yixue

    2006-01-01

    Microarray technology, which permits rapid and large-scale screening for patterns of gene expressions, usually generates a large amount of data. How to mine the biological meanings under these data is one of the main challenges in bioinformatics. Compared to the pure mathematical techniques, those methods incorporated with some prior biological knowledge generally bring better interpretations.Recently, a new analysis, in which the knowledge of biological networks such as metabolic network and protein interaction network is introduced, is widely applied to microarray data analysis. The microarray data analysis based on biological networks contains two main research aspects: identification of active components in biological networks and assessment of gene sets significance. In this paper, we briefly review the progress of these two categories of analyses, especially some representative methods.

  14. An efficient data assimilation schema for restoration and extension of gene regulatory networks using time-course observation data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Takanori; Mori, Tomoya; Yamaguchi, Rui; Imoto, Seiya; Miyano, Satoru; Akutsu, Tatsuya

    2014-11-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play a central role in sustaining complex biological systems in cells. Although we can construct GRNs by integrating biological interactions that have been recorded in literature, they can include suspicious data and a lack of information. Therefore, there has been an urgent need for an approach by which the validity of constructed networks can be evaluated; simulation-based methods have been applied in which biological observational data are assimilated. However, these methods apply nonlinear models that require high computational power to evaluate even one network consisting of only several genes. Therefore, to explore candidate networks whose simulation models can better predict the data by modifying and extending literature-based GRNs, an efficient and versatile method is urgently required. We applied a combinatorial transcription model, which can represent combinatorial regulatory effects of genes, as a biological simulation model, to reproduce the dynamic behavior of gene expressions within a state space model. Under the model, we applied the unscented Kalman filter to obtain the approximate posterior probability distribution of the hidden state to efficiently estimate parameter values maximizing prediction ability for observational data by the EM-algorithm. Utilizing the method, we propose a novel algorithm to modify GRNs reported in the literature so that their simulation models become consistent with observed data. The effectiveness of our approach was validated through comparison analysis to the previous methods using synthetic networks. Finally, as an application example, a Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG)-based yeast cell cycle network was extended with additional candidate genes to better predict the real mRNA expressions data using the proposed method.

  15. Using Consensus Bayesian Network to Model the Reactive Oxygen Species Regulatory Pathway

    OpenAIRE

    Liangdong Hu; Limin Wang

    2013-01-01

    Bayesian network is one of the most successful graph models for representing the reactive oxygen species regulatory pathway. With the increasing number of microarray measurements, it is possible to construct the bayesian network from microarray data directly. Although large numbers of bayesian network learning algorithms have been developed, when applying them to learn bayesian networks from microarray data, the accuracies are low due to that the databases they used to learn bayesian networks...

  16. A review of integration strategies to support gene regulatory network construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hailin; VanBuren, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Gene regulatory network (GRN) construction is a central task of systems biology. Integration of different data sources to infer and construct GRNs is an important consideration for the success of this effort. In this paper, we will discuss distinctive strategies of data integration for GRN construction. Basically, the process of integration of different data sources is divided into two phases: the first phase is collection of the required data and the second phase is data processing with advanced algorithms to infer the GRNs. In this paper these two phases are called "structural integration" and "analytic integration," respectively. Compared with the nonintegration strategies, the integration strategies perform quite well and have better agreement with the experimental evidence.

  17. A Review of Integration Strategies to Support Gene Regulatory Network Construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hailin Chen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory network (GRN construction is a central task of systems biology. Integration of different data sources to infer and construct GRNs is an important consideration for the success of this effort. In this paper, we will discuss distinctive strategies of data integration for GRN construction. Basically, the process of integration of different data sources is divided into two phases: the first phase is collection of the required data and the second phase is data processing with advanced algorithms to infer the GRNs. In this paper these two phases are called “structural integration” and “analytic integration,” respectively. Compared with the nonintegration strategies, the integration strategies perform quite well and have better agreement with the experimental evidence.

  18. State of the Art of Fuzzy Methods for Gene Regulatory Networks Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuqyah Abdullah Al Qazlan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available To address one of the most challenging issues at the cellular level, this paper surveys the fuzzy methods used in gene regulatory networks (GRNs inference. GRNs represent causal relationships between genes that have a direct influence, trough protein production, on the life and the development of living organisms and provide a useful contribution to the understanding of the cellular functions as well as the mechanisms of diseases. Fuzzy systems are based on handling imprecise knowledge, such as biological information. They provide viable computational tools for inferring GRNs from gene expression data, thus contributing to the discovery of gene interactions responsible for specific diseases and/or ad hoc correcting therapies. Increasing computational power and high throughput technologies have provided powerful means to manage these challenging digital ecosystems at different levels from cell to society globally. The main aim of this paper is to report, present, and discuss the main contributions of this multidisciplinary field in a coherent and structured framework.

  19. Activating and inhibiting connections in biological network dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knight Rob

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many studies of biochemical networks have analyzed network topology. Such work has suggested that specific types of network wiring may increase network robustness and therefore confer a selective advantage. However, knowledge of network topology does not allow one to predict network dynamical behavior – for example, whether deleting a protein from a signaling network would maintain the network's dynamical behavior, or induce oscillations or chaos. Results Here we report that the balance between activating and inhibiting connections is important in determining whether network dynamics reach steady state or oscillate. We use a simple dynamical model of a network of interacting genes or proteins. Using the model, we study random networks, networks selected for robust dynamics, and examples of biological network topologies. The fraction of activating connections influences whether the network dynamics reach steady state or oscillate. Conclusion The activating fraction may predispose a network to oscillate or reach steady state, and neutral evolution or selection of this parameter may affect the behavior of biological networks. This principle may unify the dynamics of a wide range of cellular networks. Reviewers Reviewed by Sergei Maslov, Eugene Koonin, and Yu (Brandon Xia (nominated by Mark Gerstein. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  20. Bayesian networks: a powerful tool for systems biology study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiu-Jie WANG

    2010-01-01

    @@ Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010The wide application of omics research approaches caused a burst of biological data in the past decade, and also promoted the growth of systems biology, a research field that studies biological questions from a genome-wide point of view. One feature of systems biology study is to integrate and identify. Not only experiments are carried out at whole-genome scales, but also data from various resources, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics,and metabolics data, need to be integrated to identify correlations among targeted entities. Therefore, plenty amounts of experimental data, robust statistical methods, and reliable network construction models are indispensable for systems biology study. Among the available network construction models, Bayesian network is considered as one of the most effective methods available so far for biological network predictions (Pe'er, 2005).

  1. Power Laws, Scale-Free Networks and Genome Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Koonin, Eugene V; Karev, Georgy P

    2006-01-01

    Power Laws, Scale-free Networks and Genome Biology deals with crucial aspects of the theoretical foundations of systems biology, namely power law distributions and scale-free networks which have emerged as the hallmarks of biological organization in the post-genomic era. The chapters in the book not only describe the interesting mathematical properties of biological networks but moves beyond phenomenology, toward models of evolution capable of explaining the emergence of these features. The collection of chapters, contributed by both physicists and biologists, strives to address the problems in this field in a rigorous but not excessively mathematical manner and to represent different viewpoints, which is crucial in this emerging discipline. Each chapter includes, in addition to technical descriptions of properties of biological networks and evolutionary models, a more general and accessible introduction to the respective problems. Most chapters emphasize the potential of theoretical systems biology for disco...

  2. Tissue-specific expression and regulatory networks of pig microRNAome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Martini

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Despite the economic and medical importance of the pig, knowledge about its genome organization, gene expression regulation, and molecular mechanisms involved in physiological processes is far from that achieved for mouse and rat, the two most used model organisms in biomedical research. MicroRNAs (miRNAs are a wide class of molecules that exert a recognized role in gene expression modulation, but only 280 miRNAs in pig have been characterized to date. RESULTS: We applied a novel computational approach to predict species-specific and conserved miRNAs in the pig genome, which were then subjected to experimental validation. We experimentally identified candidate miRNAs sequences grouped in high-confidence (424 and medium-confidence (353 miRNAs according to RNA-seq results. A group of miRNAs was also validated by PCR experiments. We established the subtle variability in expression of isomiRs and miRNA-miRNA star couples supporting a biological function for these molecules. Finally, miRNA and mRNA expression profiles produced from the same sample of 20 different tissue of the animal were combined, using a correlation threshold to filter miRNA-target predictions, to identify tissue-specific regulatory networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our data represent a significant progress in the current understanding of miRNAome in pig. The identification of miRNAs, their target mRNAs, and the construction of regulatory circuits will provide new insights into the complex biological networks in several tissues of this important animal model.

  3. Discovery of time-delayed gene regulatory networks based on temporal gene expression profiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo Zheng

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is one of the ultimate goals for modern biological research to fully elucidate the intricate interplays and the regulations of the molecular determinants that propel and characterize the progression of versatile life phenomena, to name a few, cell cycling, developmental biology, aging, and the progressive and recurrent pathogenesis of complex diseases. The vast amount of large-scale and genome-wide time-resolved data is becoming increasing available, which provides the golden opportunity to unravel the challenging reverse-engineering problem of time-delayed gene regulatory networks. Results In particular, this methodological paper aims to reconstruct regulatory networks from temporal gene expression data by using delayed correlations between genes, i.e., pairwise overlaps of expression levels shifted in time relative each other. We have thus developed a novel model-free computational toolbox termed TdGRN (Time-delayed Gene Regulatory Network to address the underlying regulations of genes that can span any unit(s of time intervals. This bioinformatics toolbox has provided a unified approach to uncovering time trends of gene regulations through decision analysis of the newly designed time-delayed gene expression matrix. We have applied the proposed method to yeast cell cycling and human HeLa cell cycling and have discovered most of the underlying time-delayed regulations that are supported by multiple lines of experimental evidence and that are remarkably consistent with the current knowledge on phase characteristics for the cell cyclings. Conclusion We established a usable and powerful model-free approach to dissecting high-order dynamic trends of gene-gene interactions. We have carefully validated the proposed algorithm by applying it to two publicly available cell cycling datasets. In addition to uncovering the time trends of gene regulations for cell cycling, this unified approach can also be used to study the complex

  4. Causal biological network database: a comprehensive platform of causal biological network models focused on the pulmonary and vascular systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boué, Stéphanie; Talikka, Marja; Westra, Jurjen Willem; Hayes, William; Di Fabio, Anselmo; Park, Jennifer; Schlage, Walter K; Sewer, Alain; Fields, Brett; Ansari, Sam; Martin, Florian; Veljkovic, Emilija; Kenney, Renee; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-01-01

    With the wealth of publications and data available, powerful and transparent computational approaches are required to represent measured data and scientific knowledge in a computable and searchable format. We developed a set of biological network models, scripted in the Biological Expression Language, that reflect causal signaling pathways across a wide range of biological processes, including cell fate, cell stress, cell proliferation, inflammation, tissue repair and angiogenesis in the pulmonary and cardiovascular context. This comprehensive collection of networks is now freely available to the scientific community in a centralized web-based repository, the Causal Biological Network database, which is composed of over 120 manually curated and well annotated biological network models and can be accessed at http://causalbionet.com. The website accesses a MongoDB, which stores all versions of the networks as JSON objects and allows users to search for genes, proteins, biological processes, small molecules and keywords in the network descriptions to retrieve biological networks of interest. The content of the networks can be visualized and browsed. Nodes and edges can be filtered and all supporting evidence for the edges can be browsed and is linked to the original articles in PubMed. Moreover, networks may be downloaded for further visualization and evaluation. Database URL: http://causalbionet.com

  5. BiNA: a visual analytics tool for biological network data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Gerasch

    Full Text Available Interactive visual analysis of biological high-throughput data in the context of the underlying networks is an essential task in modern biomedicine with applications ranging from metabolic engineering to personalized medicine. The complexity and heterogeneity of data sets require flexible software architectures for data analysis. Concise and easily readable graphical representation of data and interactive navigation of large data sets are essential in this context. We present BiNA--the Biological Network Analyzer--a flexible open-source software for analyzing and visualizing biological networks. Highly configurable visualization styles for regulatory and metabolic network data offer sophisticated drawings and intuitive navigation and exploration techniques using hierarchical graph concepts. The generic projection and analysis framework provides powerful functionalities for visual analyses of high-throughput omics data in the context of networks, in particular for the differential analysis and the analysis of time series data. A direct interface to an underlying data warehouse provides fast access to a wide range of semantically integrated biological network databases. A plugin system allows simple customization and integration of new analysis algorithms or visual representations. BiNA is available under the 3-clause BSD license at http://bina.unipax.info/.

  6. BioFNet: biological functional network database for analysis and synthesis of biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurata, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Kazuhiro; Onaka, Toshikazu; Takata, Takenori

    2014-09-01

    In synthetic biology and systems biology, a bottom-up approach can be used to construct a complex, modular, hierarchical structure of biological networks. To analyze or design such networks, it is critical to understand the relationship between network structure and function, the mechanism through which biological parts or biomolecules are assembled into building blocks or functional networks. A functional network is defined as a subnetwork of biomolecules that performs a particular function. Understanding the mechanism of building functional networks would help develop a methodology for analyzing the structure of large-scale networks and design a robust biological circuit to perform a target function. We propose a biological functional network database, named BioFNet, which can cover the whole cell at the level of molecular interactions. The BioFNet takes an advantage in implementing the simulation program for the mathematical models of the functional networks, visualizing the simulated results. It presents a sound basis for rational design of biochemical networks and for understanding how functional networks are assembled to create complex high-level functions, which would reveal design principles underlying molecular architectures.

  7. Inference of gene regulatory networks from time series by Tsallis entropy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Oliveira Evaldo A

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs from large-scale expression profiles is one of the most challenging problems of Systems Biology nowadays. Many techniques and models have been proposed for this task. However, it is not generally possible to recover the original topology with great accuracy, mainly due to the short time series data in face of the high complexity of the networks and the intrinsic noise of the expression measurements. In order to improve the accuracy of GRNs inference methods based on entropy (mutual information, a new criterion function is here proposed. Results In this paper we introduce the use of generalized entropy proposed by Tsallis, for the inference of GRNs from time series expression profiles. The inference process is based on a feature selection approach and the conditional entropy is applied as criterion function. In order to assess the proposed methodology, the algorithm is applied to recover the network topology from temporal expressions generated by an artificial gene network (AGN model as well as from the DREAM challenge. The adopted AGN is based on theoretical models of complex networks and its gene transference function is obtained from random drawing on the set of possible Boolean functions, thus creating its dynamics. On the other hand, DREAM time series data presents variation of network size and its topologies are based on real networks. The dynamics are generated by continuous differential equations with noise and perturbation. By adopting both data sources, it is possible to estimate the average quality of the inference with respect to different network topologies, transfer functions and network sizes. Conclusions A remarkable improvement of accuracy was observed in the experimental results by reducing the number of false connections in the inferred topology by the non-Shannon entropy. The obtained best free parameter of the Tsallis entropy was on average in the range 2.5

  8. The cis-regulatory logic of the mammalian photoreceptor transcriptional network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy H-C Hsiau

    Full Text Available The photoreceptor cells of the retina are subject to a greater number of genetic diseases than any other cell type in the human body. The majority of more than 120 cloned human blindness genes are highly expressed in photoreceptors. In order to establish an integrative framework in which to understand these diseases, we have undertaken an experimental and computational analysis of the network controlled by the mammalian photoreceptor transcription factors, Crx, Nrl, and Nr2e3. Using microarray and in situ hybridization datasets we have produced a model of this network which contains over 600 genes, including numerous retinal disease loci as well as previously uncharacterized photoreceptor transcription factors. To elucidate the connectivity of this network, we devised a computational algorithm to identify the photoreceptor-specific cis-regulatory elements (CREs mediating the interactions between these transcription factors and their target genes. In vivo validation of our computational predictions resulted in the discovery of 19 novel photoreceptor-specific CREs near retinal disease genes. Examination of these CREs permitted the definition of a simple cis-regulatory grammar rule associated with high-level expression. To test the generality of this rule, we used an expanded form of it as a selection filter to evolve photoreceptor CREs from random DNA sequences in silico. When fused to fluorescent reporters, these evolved CREs drove strong, photoreceptor-specific expression in vivo. This study represents the first systematic identification and in vivo validation of CREs in a mammalian neuronal cell type and lays the groundwork for a systems biology of photoreceptor transcriptional regulation.

  9. A Bayesian Framework that integrates heterogeneous data for inferring gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tapesh eSantra

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs from experimental data is a fundamental challenge in systems biology. A number of computational approaches have been developed to infer GRNs from mRNA expression profiles. However, expression profiles alone are proving to be insufficient for inferring GRN topologies with reasonable accuracy. Recently, it has been shown that integration of external data sources (such as gene and protein sequence information, gene ontology data, protein protein interactions with mRNA expression profiles may increase the reliability of the inference process. Here, I propose a new approach that incorporates transcription factor binding sites (TFBS and physical protein interactions (PPI among transcription factors (TFs in a Bayesian Variable Selection (BVS algorithm which can infer GRNs from mRNA expression profiles subjected to genetic perturbations. Using real experimental data, I show that the integration of TFBS and PPI data with mRNA expression profiles leads to significantly more accurate networks than those inferred from expression profiles alone. Additionally, the performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with a series of LASSO regression based network inference methods that can also incorporate prior knowledge in the inference framework. The results of this comparison suggest that BVS can outperform LASSO regression based method in some circumstances.

  10. A bayesian framework that integrates heterogeneous data for inferring gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santra, Tapesh

    2014-01-01

    Reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from experimental data is a fundamental challenge in systems biology. A number of computational approaches have been developed to infer GRNs from mRNA expression profiles. However, expression profiles alone are proving to be insufficient for inferring GRN topologies with reasonable accuracy. Recently, it has been shown that integration of external data sources (such as gene and protein sequence information, gene ontology data, protein-protein interactions) with mRNA expression profiles may increase the reliability of the inference process. Here, I propose a new approach that incorporates transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) and physical protein interactions (PPI) among transcription factors (TFs) in a Bayesian variable selection (BVS) algorithm which can infer GRNs from mRNA expression profiles subjected to genetic perturbations. Using real experimental data, I show that the integration of TFBS and PPI data with mRNA expression profiles leads to significantly more accurate networks than those inferred from expression profiles alone. Additionally, the performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with a series of least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression-based network inference methods that can also incorporate prior knowledge in the inference framework. The results of this comparison suggest that BVS can outperform LASSO regression-based method in some circumstances.

  11. Signaling and Gene Regulatory Networks Governing Definitive Endoderm Derivation From Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadnia, Abdulshakour; Yaqubi, Moein; Pourasgari, Farzaneh; Neely, Eric; Fallahi, Hossein; Massumi, Mohammad

    2016-09-01

    The generation of definitive endoderm (DE) from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is a fundamental stage in the formation of highly organized visceral organs, such as the liver and pancreas. Currently, there is a need for a comprehensive study that illustrates the involvement of different signaling pathways and their interactions in the derivation of DE cells from PSCs. This study aimed to identify signaling pathways that have the greatest influence on DE formation using analyses of transcriptional profiles, protein-protein interactions, protein-DNA interactions, and protein localization data. Using this approach, signaling networks involved in DE formation were constructed using systems biology and data mining tools, and the validity of the predicted networks was confirmed experimentally by measuring the mRNA levels of hub genes in several PSCs-derived DE cell lines. Based on our analyses, seven signaling pathways, including the BMP, ERK1-ERK2, FGF, TGF-beta, MAPK, Wnt, and PIP signaling pathways and their interactions, were found to play a role in the derivation of DE cells from PSCs. Lastly, the core gene regulatory network governing this differentiation process was constructed. The results of this study could improve our understanding surrounding the efficient generation of DE cells for the regeneration of visceral organs. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 1994-2006, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Shadow Enhancers Are Pervasive Features of Developmental Regulatory Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannavò, Enrico; Khoueiry, Pierre; Garfield, David A; Geeleher, Paul; Zichner, Thomas; Gustafson, E Hilary; Ciglar, Lucia; Korbel, Jan O; Furlong, Eileen E M

    2016-01-11

    Embryogenesis is remarkably robust to segregating mutations and environmental variation; under a range of conditions, embryos of a given species develop into stereotypically patterned organisms. Such robustness is thought to be conferred, in part, through elements within regulatory networks that perform similar, redundant tasks. Redundant enhancers (or "shadow" enhancers), for example, can confer precision and robustness to gene expression, at least at individual, well-studied loci. However, the extent to which enhancer redundancy exists and can thereby have a major impact on developmental robustness remains unknown. Here, we systematically assessed this, identifying over 1,000 predicted shadow enhancers during Drosophila mesoderm development. The activity of 23 elements, associated with five genes, was examined in transgenic embryos, while natural structural variation among individuals was used to assess their ability to buffer against genetic variation. Our results reveal three clear properties of enhancer redundancy within developmental systems. First, it is much more pervasive than previously anticipated, with 64% of loci examined having shadow enhancers. Their spatial redundancy is often partial in nature, while the non-overlapping function may explain why these enhancers are maintained within a population. Second, over 70% of loci do not follow the simple situation of having only two shadow enhancers-often there are three (rols), four (CadN and ade5), or five (Traf1), at least one of which can be deleted with no obvious phenotypic effects. Third, although shadow enhancers can buffer variation, patterns of segregating variation suggest that they play a more complex role in development than generally considered.

  13. The effect of network biology on drug toxicology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gautier, Laurent; Taboureau, Olivier; Audouze, Karine Marie Laure

    2013-01-01

    it with bioinformatics. With this approach, the assessment of chemical safety can be done across multiple scales of complexity from molecular to cellular and system levels in human health. Network biology can be used at several levels of complexity. Areas covered: This review describes the strengths and limitations......Introduction: The high failure rate of drug candidates due to toxicity, during clinical trials, is a critical issue in drug discovery. Network biology has become a promising approach, in this regard, using the increasingly large amount of biological and chemical data available and combining...... of network biology. The authors specifically assess this approach across different biological scales when it is applied to toxicity. Expert opinion: There has been much progress made with the amount of data that is generated by various omics technologies. With this large amount of useful data, network...

  14. Regional and International Networking to Support the Energy Regulatory Commission of Thailand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavansiri, Direk; Bull, Trevor

    2010-09-15

    The Energy Regulatory Commission of Thailand is a new regulatory agency. The structure of the energy sector; the tradition of administration; and, the lack of access to experienced personnel in Thailand all pose particular challenges. The Commission is meeting these challenges through regional and international networking to assist in developing policies and procedures that allow it to meet international benchmarks.

  15. Deciphering Fur transcriptional regulatory network highlights its complex role beyond iron metabolism in Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seo, Sang Woo; Kim, Donghyuk; Latif, Haythem;

    2014-01-01

    The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) plays a critical role in the transcriptional regulation of iron metabolism. However, the full regulatory potential of Fur remains undefined. Here we comprehensively reconstruct the Fur transcriptional regulatory network in Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655 in response...

  16. Rearrangements of the transcriptional regulatory networks of metabolic pathways in fungi

    OpenAIRE

    Lavoie, Hugo; Hogues, Hervé; Whiteway, Malcolm

    2009-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that transcriptional regulatory networks in many organisms are highly flexible. Here, we discuss the evolution of transcriptional regulatory networks governing the metabolic machinery of sequenced ascomycetes. In particular, recent work has shown that transcriptional rewiring is common in regulons controlling processes such as production of ribosome components and metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. We note that dramatic rearrangements of the transcriptional regu...

  17. A guide to integrating transcriptional regulatory and metabolic networks using PROM (probabilistic regulation of metabolism).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeonidis, Evangelos; Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Price, Nathan D

    2013-01-01

    The integration of transcriptional regulatory and metabolic networks is a crucial step in the process of predicting metabolic behaviors that emerge from either genetic or environmental changes. Here, we present a guide to PROM (probabilistic regulation of metabolism), an automated method for the construction and simulation of integrated metabolic and transcriptional regulatory networks that enables large-scale phenotypic predictions for a wide range of model organisms.

  18. Synthetic tetracycline-inducible regulatory networks: computer-aided design of dynamic phenotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaznessis Yiannis N

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tightly regulated gene networks, precisely controlling the expression of protein molecules, have received considerable interest by the biomedical community due to their promising applications. Among the most well studied inducible transcription systems are the tetracycline regulatory expression systems based on the tetracycline resistance operon of Escherichia coli, Tet-Off (tTA and Tet-On (rtTA. Despite their initial success and improved designs, limitations still persist, such as low inducer sensitivity. Instead of looking at these networks statically, and simply changing or mutating the promoter and operator regions with trial and error, a systematic investigation of the dynamic behavior of the network can result in rational design of regulatory gene expression systems. Sophisticated algorithms can accurately capture the dynamical behavior of gene networks. With computer aided design, we aim to improve the synthesis of regulatory networks and propose new designs that enable tighter control of expression. Results In this paper we engineer novel networks by recombining existing genes or part of genes. We synthesize four novel regulatory networks based on the Tet-Off and Tet-On systems. We model all the known individual biomolecular interactions involved in transcription, translation, regulation and induction. With multiple time-scale stochastic-discrete and stochastic-continuous models we accurately capture the transient and steady state dynamics of these networks. Important biomolecular interactions are identified and the strength of the interactions engineered to satisfy design criteria. A set of clear design rules is developed and appropriate mutants of regulatory proteins and operator sites are proposed. Conclusion The complexity of biomolecular interactions is accurately captured through computer simulations. Computer simulations allow us to look into the molecular level, portray the dynamic behavior of gene regulatory

  19. Linking experimental results, biological networks and sequence analysis methods using Ontologies and Generalised Data Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehler, Jacob; Rawlings, Chris; Verrier, Paul; Mitchell, Rowan; Skusa, Andre; Ruegg, Alexander; Philippi, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    The structure of a closely integrated data warehouse is described that is designed to link different types and varying numbers of biological networks, sequence analysis methods and experimental results such as those coming from microarrays. The data schema is inspired by a combination of graph based methods and generalised data structures and makes use of ontologies and meta-data. The core idea is to consider and store biological networks as graphs, and to use generalised data structures (GDS) for the storage of further relevant information. This is possible because many biological networks can be stored as graphs: protein interactions, signal transduction networks, metabolic pathways, gene regulatory networks etc. Nodes in biological graphs represent entities such as promoters, proteins, genes and transcripts whereas the edges of such graphs specify how the nodes are related. The semantics of the nodes and edges are defined using ontologies of node and relation types. Besides generic attributes that most biological entities possess (name, attribute description), further information is stored using generalised data structures. By directly linking to underlying sequences (exons, introns, promoters, amino acid sequences) in a systematic way, close interoperability to sequence analysis methods can be achieved. This approach allows us to store, query and update a wide variety of biological information in a way that is semantically compact without requiring changes at the database schema level when new kinds of biological information is added. We describe how this datawarehouse is being implemented by extending the text-mining framework ONDEX to link, support and complement different bioinformatics applications and research activities such as microarray analysis, sequence analysis and modelling/simulation of biological systems. The system is developed under the GPL license and can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/ondex/

  20. Systems Biology of Metabolic Networks: Uncovering Regulatory and stoichiometric Principles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Patil, Kiran Raosaheb

    2007-01-01

    metoder til analyse af levende cellers stofskifte. Metoderne er baseret på anvendelsen af metabolske modeller til integration af både transkriptionsdata og metabolome-data. Således er det vist at cellers respons til ændringer i deres miljø eller deres genetiske baggrund, i stor udstrækning involverer...

  1. SBEToolbox: A Matlab Toolbox for Biological Network Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konganti, Kranti; Wang, Gang; Yang, Ence; Cai, James J

    2013-01-01

    We present SBEToolbox (Systems Biology and Evolution Toolbox), an open-source Matlab toolbox for biological network analysis. It takes a network file as input, calculates a variety of centralities and topological metrics, clusters nodes into modules, and displays the network using different graph layout algorithms. Straightforward implementation and the inclusion of high-level functions allow the functionality to be easily extended or tailored through developing custom plugins. SBEGUI, a menu-driven graphical user interface (GUI) of SBEToolbox, enables easy access to various network and graph algorithms for programmers and non-programmers alike. All source code and sample data are freely available at https://github.com/biocoder/SBEToolbox/releases.

  2. Steady-State Analysis of Genetic Regulatory Networks Modelled by Probabilistic Boolean Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhang

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Probabilistic Boolean networks (PBNs have recently been introduced as a promising class of models of genetic regulatory networks. The dynamic behaviour of PBNs can be analysed in the context of Markov chains. A key goal is the determination of the steady-state (long-run behaviour of a PBN by analysing the corresponding Markov chain. This allows one to compute the long-term influence of a gene on another gene or determine the long-term joint probabilistic behaviour of a few selected genes. Because matrix-based methods quickly become prohibitive for large sizes of networks, we propose the use of Monte Carlo methods. However, the rate of convergence to the stationary distribution becomes a central issue. We discuss several approaches for determining the number of iterations necessary to achieve convergence of the Markov chain corresponding to a PBN. Using a recently introduced method based on the theory of two-state Markov chains, we illustrate the approach on a sub-network designed from human glioma gene expression data and determine the joint steadystate probabilities for several groups of genes.

  3. Controllability and observability of Boolean networks arising from biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Rui; Yang, Meng; Chu, Tianguang

    2015-02-01

    Boolean networks are currently receiving considerable attention as a computational scheme for system level analysis and modeling of biological systems. Studying control-related problems in Boolean networks may reveal new insights into the intrinsic control in complex biological systems and enable us to develop strategies for manipulating biological systems using exogenous inputs. This paper considers controllability and observability of Boolean biological networks. We propose a new approach, which draws from the rich theory of symbolic computation, to solve the problems. Consequently, simple necessary and sufficient conditions for reachability, controllability, and observability are obtained, and algorithmic tests for controllability and observability which are based on the Gröbner basis method are presented. As practical applications, we apply the proposed approach to several different biological systems, namely, the mammalian cell-cycle network, the T-cell activation network, the large granular lymphocyte survival signaling network, and the Drosophila segment polarity network, gaining novel insights into the control and/or monitoring of the specific biological systems.

  4. Using consensus bayesian network to model the reactive oxygen species regulatory pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Liangdong; Wang, Limin

    2013-01-01

    Bayesian network is one of the most successful graph models for representing the reactive oxygen species regulatory pathway. With the increasing number of microarray measurements, it is possible to construct the bayesian network from microarray data directly. Although large numbers of bayesian network learning algorithms have been developed, when applying them to learn bayesian networks from microarray data, the accuracies are low due to that the databases they used to learn bayesian networks contain too few microarray data. In this paper, we propose a consensus bayesian network which is constructed by combining bayesian networks from relevant literatures and bayesian networks learned from microarray data. It would have a higher accuracy than the bayesian networks learned from one database. In the experiment, we validated the bayesian network combination algorithm on several classic machine learning databases and used the consensus bayesian network to model the Escherichia coli's ROS pathway.

  5. A Semiquantitative Framework for Gene Regulatory Networks: Increasing the Time and Quantitative Resolution of Boolean Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkhofs, Johan; Geris, Liesbet

    2015-01-01

    Boolean models have been instrumental in predicting general features of gene networks and more recently also as explorative tools in specific biological applications. In this study we introduce a basic quantitative and a limited time resolution to a discrete (Boolean) framework. Quantitative resolution is improved through the employ of normalized variables in unison with an additive approach. Increased time resolution stems from the introduction of two distinct priority classes. Through the implementation of a previously published chondrocyte network and T helper cell network, we show that this addition of quantitative and time resolution broadens the scope of biological behaviour that can be captured by the models. Specifically, the quantitative resolution readily allows models to discern qualitative differences in dosage response to growth factors. The limited time resolution, in turn, can influence the reachability of attractors, delineating the likely long term system behaviour. Importantly, the information required for implementation of these features, such as the nature of an interaction, is typically obtainable from the literature. Nonetheless, a trade-off is always present between additional computational cost of this approach and the likelihood of extending the model’s scope. Indeed, in some cases the inclusion of these features does not yield additional insight. This framework, incorporating increased and readily available time and semi-quantitative resolution, can help in substantiating the litmus test of dynamics for gene networks, firstly by excluding unlikely dynamics and secondly by refining falsifiable predictions on qualitative behaviour. PMID:26067297

  6. Regulatory MicroRNA Networks: Complex Patterns of Target Pathways for Disease-related and Housekeeping MicroRNAs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachli Zafari

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Blood-based microRNA (miRNA signatures as biomarkers have been reported for various pathologies, including cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and also infections. The regulatory mechanism behind respective miRNA patterns is only partially understood. Moreover, “preserved” miRNAs, i.e., miRNAs that are not dysregulated in any disease, and their biological impact have been explored to a very limited extent. We set out to systematically determine their role in regulatory networks by defining groups of highly-dysregulated miRNAs that contribute to a disease signature as opposed to preserved housekeeping miRNAs. We further determined preferential targets and pathways of both dysregulated and preserved miRNAs by computing multi-layer networks, which were compared between housekeeping and dysregulated miRNAs. Of 848 miRNAs examined across 1049 blood samples, 8 potential housekeepers showed very limited expression variations, while 20 miRNAs showed highly-dysregulated expression throughout the investigated blood samples. Our approach provides important insights into miRNAs and their role in regulatory networks. The methodology can be applied to systematically investigate the differences in target genes and pathways of arbitrary miRNA sets.

  7. A boolean model of the cardiac gene regulatory network determining first and second heart field identity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Herrmann

    Full Text Available Two types of distinct cardiac progenitor cell populations can be identified during early heart development: the first heart field (FHF and second heart field (SHF lineage that later form the mature heart. They can be characterized by differential expression of transcription and signaling factors. These regulatory factors influence each other forming a gene regulatory network. Here, we present a core gene regulatory network for early cardiac development based on published temporal and spatial expression data of genes and their interactions. This gene regulatory network was implemented in a Boolean computational model. Simulations reveal stable states within the network model, which correspond to the regulatory states of the FHF and the SHF lineages. Furthermore, we are able to reproduce the expected temporal expression patterns of early cardiac factors mimicking developmental progression. Additionally, simulations of knock-down experiments within our model resemble published phenotypes of mutant mice. Consequently, this gene regulatory network retraces the early steps and requirements of cardiogenic mesoderm determination in a way appropriate to enhance the understanding of heart development.

  8. A Boolean Model of the Cardiac Gene Regulatory Network Determining First and Second Heart Field Identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Dao; Kestler, Hans A.; Kühl, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Two types of distinct cardiac progenitor cell populations can be identified during early heart development: the first heart field (FHF) and second heart field (SHF) lineage that later form the mature heart. They can be characterized by differential expression of transcription and signaling factors. These regulatory factors influence each other forming a gene regulatory network. Here, we present a core gene regulatory network for early cardiac development based on published temporal and spatial expression data of genes and their interactions. This gene regulatory network was implemented in a Boolean computational model. Simulations reveal stable states within the network model, which correspond to the regulatory states of the FHF and the SHF lineages. Furthermore, we are able to reproduce the expected temporal expression patterns of early cardiac factors mimicking developmental progression. Additionally, simulations of knock-down experiments within our model resemble published phenotypes of mutant mice. Consequently, this gene regulatory network retraces the early steps and requirements of cardiogenic mesoderm determination in a way appropriate to enhance the understanding of heart development. PMID:23056457

  9. Toward Network Biology in E. coli Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Hirotada; Takeuchi, Rikiya; Otsuka, Yuta; Bowden, Steven; Yokoyama, Katsushi; Muto, Ai; Libourel, Igor; Wanner, Barry L

    2015-01-01

    E. coli has been a critically important model research organism for more than 50 years, particularly in molecular biology. In 1997, the E. coli draft genome sequence was published. Post-genomic techniques and resources were then developed that allowed E. coli to become a model organism for systems biology. Progress made since publication of the E. coli genome sequence will be summarized.

  10. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized in recent years by an explosion in the availability of data. Transforming this new wealth of data into meaningful biological insights and clinical breakthroughs requires a complete overhaul both in the questions being asked and the methodologies used to answer them. A major challenge in organizing and understanding…

  11. Mean field analysis of a spatial stochastic model of a gene regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturrock, M; Murray, P J; Matzavinos, A; Chaplain, M A J

    2015-10-01

    A gene regulatory network may be defined as a collection of DNA segments which interact with each other indirectly through their RNA and protein products. Such a network is said to contain a negative feedback loop if its products inhibit gene transcription, and a positive feedback loop if a gene product promotes its own production. Negative feedback loops can create oscillations in mRNA and protein levels while positive feedback loops are primarily responsible for signal amplification. It is often the case in real biological systems that both negative and positive feedback loops operate in parameter regimes that result in low copy numbers of gene products. In this paper we investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of a single feedback loop in a eukaryotic cell. We first develop a simplified spatial stochastic model of a canonical feedback system (either positive or negative). Using a Gillespie's algorithm, we compute sample trajectories and analyse their corresponding statistics. We then derive a system of equations that describe the spatio-temporal evolution of the stochastic means. Subsequently, we examine the spatially homogeneous case and compare the results of numerical simulations with the spatially explicit case. Finally, using a combination of steady-state analysis and data clustering techniques, we explore model behaviour across a subregion of the parameter space that is difficult to access experimentally and compare the parameter landscape of our spatio-temporal and spatially-homogeneous models.

  12. Epigenetics and Why Biological Networks are More Controllable than Expected

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motter, Adilson

    2013-03-01

    A fundamental property of networks is that perturbations to one node can affect other nodes, potentially causing the entire system to change behavior or fail. In this talk, I will show that it is possible to exploit this same principle to control network behavior. This approach takes advantage of the nonlinear dynamics inherent to real networks, and allows bringing the system to a desired target state even when this state is not directly accessible or the linear counterpart is not controllable. Applications show that this framework permits both reprogramming a network to a desired task as well as rescuing networks from the brink of failure, which I will illustrate through various biological problems. I will also briefly review the progress our group has made over the past 5 years on related control of complex networks in non-biological domains.

  13. Refining ensembles of predicted gene regulatory networks based on characteristic interaction sets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukas Windhager

    Full Text Available Different ensemble voting approaches have been successfully applied for reverse-engineering of gene regulatory networks. They are based on the assumption that a good approximation of true network structure can be derived by considering the frequencies of individual interactions in a large number of predicted networks. Such approximations are typically superior in terms of prediction quality and robustness as compared to considering a single best scoring network only. Nevertheless, ensemble approaches only work well if the predicted gene regulatory networks are sufficiently similar to each other. If the topologies of predicted networks are considerably different, an ensemble of all networks obscures interesting individual characteristics. Instead, networks should be grouped according to local topological similarities and ensemble voting performed for each group separately. We argue that the presence of sets of co-occurring interactions is a suitable indicator for grouping predicted networks. A stepwise bottom-up procedure is proposed, where first mutual dependencies between pairs of interactions are derived from predicted networks. Pairs of co-occurring interactions are subsequently extended to derive characteristic interaction sets that distinguish groups of networks. Finally, ensemble voting is applied separately to the resulting topologically similar groups of networks to create distinct group-ensembles. Ensembles of topologically similar networks constitute distinct hypotheses about the reference network structure. Such group-ensembles are easier to interpret as their characteristic topology becomes clear and dependencies between interactions are known. The availability of distinct hypotheses facilitates the design of further experiments to distinguish between plausible network structures. The proposed procedure is a reasonable refinement step for non-deterministic reverse-engineering applications that produce a large number of candidate

  14. Stability of biological networks as represented in Random Boolean Nets.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Slepoy, Alexander; Thompson, Marshall

    2004-09-01

    We explore stability of Random Boolean Networks as a model of biological interaction networks. We introduce surface-to-volume ratio as a measure of stability of the network. Surface is defined as the set of states within a basin of attraction that maps outside the basin by a bit-flip operation. Volume is defined as the total number of states in the basin. We report development of an object-oriented Boolean network analysis code (Attract) to investigate the structure of stable vs. unstable networks. We find two distinct types of stable networks. The first type is the nearly trivial stable network with a few basins of attraction. The second type contains many basins. We conclude that second type stable networks are extremely rare.

  15. Comparative study of discretization methods of microarray data for inferring transcriptional regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Wei

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarray data discretization is a basic preprocess for many algorithms of gene regulatory network inference. Some common discretization methods in informatics are used to discretize microarray data. Selection of the discretization method is often arbitrary and no systematic comparison of different discretization has been conducted, in the context of gene regulatory network inference from time series gene expression data. Results In this study, we propose a new discretization method "bikmeans", and compare its performance with four other widely-used discretization methods using different datasets, modeling algorithms and number of intervals. Sensitivities, specificities and total accuracies were calculated and statistical analysis was carried out. Bikmeans method always gave high total accuracies. Conclusions Our results indicate that proper discretization methods can consistently improve gene regulatory network inference independent of network modeling algorithms and datasets. Our new method, bikmeans, resulted in significant better total accuracies than other methods.

  16. Anticipated Ethics and Regulatory Challenges in PCORnet: The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Joseph; Califf, Robert; Sugarman, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, seeks to establish a robust national health data network for patient-centered comparative effectiveness research. This article reports the results of a PCORnet survey designed to identify the ethics and regulatory challenges anticipated in network implementation. A 12-item online survey was developed by leadership of the PCORnet Ethics and Regulatory Task Force; responses were collected from the 29 PCORnet networks. The most pressing ethics issues identified related to informed consent, patient engagement, privacy and confidentiality, and data sharing. High priority regulatory issues included IRB coordination, privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, and data sharing. Over 150 IRBs and five different approaches to managing multisite IRB review were identified within PCORnet. Further empirical and scholarly work, as well as practical and policy guidance, is essential if important initiatives that rely on comparative effectiveness research are to move forward.

  17. Network and Database Security: Regulatory Compliance, Network, and Database Security - A Unified Process and Goal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Errol A. Blake

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Database security has evolved; data security professionals have developed numerous techniques and approaches to assure data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This paper will show that the Traditional Database Security, which has focused primarily on creating user accounts and managing user privileges to database objects are not enough to protect data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This paper is a compilation of different journals, articles and classroom discussions will focus on unifying the process of securing data or information whether it is in use, in storage or being transmitted. Promoting a change in Database Curriculum Development trends may also play a role in helping secure databases. This paper will take the approach that if one make a conscientious effort to unifying the Database Security process, which includes Database Management System (DBMS selection process, following regulatory compliances, analyzing and learning from the mistakes of others, Implementing Networking Security Technologies, and Securing the Database, may prevent database breach.

  18. Subnuclear organization and trafficking of regulatory proteins: implications for biological control and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, G S; van Wijnen, A J; Stein, J L; Lian, J B; Montecino, M; Zaidi, K; Javed, A

    2000-01-01

    The regulated and regulatory components that interrelate nuclear structure and function must be experimentally established. A formidable challenge is to define further the control of transcription factor targeting to acceptor sites associated with the nuclear matrix. It will be important to determine whether acceptor proteins are associated with a pre-existing core-filament structural lattice or whether a compositely organized scaffold of regulatory factors is dynamically assembled. An inclusive model for all steps in the targeting of proteins to subnuclear sites cannot yet be proposed. However, this model must account for the apparent diversity of intranuclear targeting signals. It is also important to assess the extent to which regulatory discrimination is mediated by subnuclear domain-specific trafficking signals. Furthermore, the checkpoints that monitor subnuclear distribution of regulatory factors and the sorting steps that ensure both structural and functional fidelity of nuclear domains in which replication and expression of genes occur must be biochemically and mechanistically defined. There is emerging recognition that placement of regulatory components of gene expression must be temporally and spatially coordinated to facilitate biological control. The consequences of breaches in nuclear structure-function relationships are observed in an expanding series of diseases that include cancer [Weis et al., 1994; Rogaia et al., 1997; Yano et al., 1997; Rowley, 1998; Zeng et al., 1998; McNeil et al., 1999; Tao and Levine, 1999a] and neurological disorders [Skinner et al., 1997]. As the repertoire of architecture-associated regulatory factors and cofactors expands, workers in the field are becoming increasingly confident that nuclear organization contributes significantly to control of transcription. To gain increased appreciation for the complexities of subnuclear organization and gene regulation, we must continue to characterize mechanisms that direct

  19. Untangling statistical and biological models to understand network inference: the need for a genomics network ontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmert-Streib, Frank; Dehmer, Matthias; Haibe-Kains, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we shed light on approaches that are currently used to infer networks from gene expression data with respect to their biological meaning. As we will show, the biological interpretation of these networks depends on the chosen theoretical perspective. For this reason, we distinguish a statistical perspective from a mathematical modeling perspective and elaborate their differences and implications. Our results indicate the imperative need for a genomic network ontology in order to avoid increasing confusion about the biological interpretation of inferred networks, which can be even enhanced by approaches that integrate multiple data sets, respectively, data types.

  20. Indeterminacy of reverse engineering of Gene Regulatory Networks: the curse of gene elasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arun Krishnan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs have become a major focus of interest in recent years. A number of reverse engineering approaches have been developed to help uncover the regulatory networks giving rise to the observed gene expression profiles. However, this is an overspecified problem due to the fact that more than one genotype (network wiring can give rise to the same phenotype. We refer to this phenomenon as "gene elasticity." In this work, we study the effect of this particular problem on the pure, data-driven inference of gene regulatory networks. METHODOLOGY: We simulated a four-gene network in order to produce "data" (protein levels that we use in lieu of real experimental data. We then optimized the network connections between the four genes with a view to obtain the original network that gave rise to the data. We did this for two different cases: one in which only the network connections were optimized and the other in which both the network connections as well as the kinetic parameters (given as reaction probabilities in our case were estimated. We observed that multiple genotypes gave rise to very similar protein levels. Statistical experimentation indicates that it is impossible to differentiate between the different networks on the basis of both equilibrium as well as dynamic data. CONCLUSIONS: We show explicitly that reverse engineering of GRNs from pure expression data is an indeterminate problem. Our results suggest the unsuitability of an inferential, purely data-driven approach for the reverse engineering transcriptional networks in the case of gene regulatory networks displaying a certain level of complexity.

  1. The effect of scale-free topology on the robustness and evolvability of genetic regulatory networks

    OpenAIRE

    Greenbury, Sam F.; Johnston, Iain G.; Matthew A Smith; Doye, Jonathan P. K.; Louis, Ard A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract We investigate how scale-free (SF) and Erdos-Renyi (ER) topologies affect the interplay between evolvability and robustness of model gene regulatory networks with Boolean threshold dynamics. In agreement with Oikonomou and Cluzel (2006) we find that networks with SFin topologies, that is SF topology for incoming nodes and ER topology for outgoing nodes, are significantly more evolvable towards specific oscillatory targets than networks with ER topology for both incoming an...

  2. PyPanda: a Python package for gene regulatory network reconstruction

    OpenAIRE

    van IJzendoorn, David G. P.; Glass, Kimberly; Quackenbush, John; Kuijjer, Marieke L

    2016-01-01

    Summary: PANDA (Passing Attributes between Networks for Data Assimilation) is a gene regulatory network inference method that uses message-passing to integrate multiple sources of ‘omics data. PANDA was originally coded in C ++. In this application note we describe PyPanda, the Python version of PANDA. PyPanda runs considerably faster than the C ++ version and includes additional features for network analysis. Availability and implementation: The open source PyPanda Python package is freely a...

  3. A new asynchronous parallel algorithm for inferring large-scale gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangyun Xiao

    Full Text Available The reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs from high-throughput experimental data has been considered one of the most important issues in systems biology research. With the development of high-throughput technology and the complexity of biological problems, we need to reconstruct GRNs that contain thousands of genes. However, when many existing algorithms are used to handle these large-scale problems, they will encounter two important issues: low accuracy and high computational cost. To overcome these difficulties, the main goal of this study is to design an effective parallel algorithm to infer large-scale GRNs based on high-performance parallel computing environments. In this study, we proposed a novel asynchronous parallel framework to improve the accuracy and lower the time complexity of large-scale GRN inference by combining splitting technology and ordinary differential equation (ODE-based optimization. The presented algorithm uses the sparsity and modularity of GRNs to split whole large-scale GRNs into many small-scale modular subnetworks. Through the ODE-based optimization of all subnetworks in parallel and their asynchronous communications, we can easily obtain the parameters of the whole network. To test the performance of the proposed approach, we used well-known benchmark datasets from Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods challenge (DREAM, experimentally determined GRN of Escherichia coli and one published dataset that contains more than 10 thousand genes to compare the proposed approach with several popular algorithms on the same high-performance computing environments in terms of both accuracy and time complexity. The numerical results demonstrate that our parallel algorithm exhibits obvious superiority in inferring large-scale GRNs.

  4. Two classes of bipartite networks: nested biological and social systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgos, Enrique; Ceva, Horacio; Hernández, Laura; Perazzo, R P J; Devoto, Mariano; Medan, Diego

    2008-10-01

    Bipartite graphs have received some attention in the study of social networks and of biological mutualistic systems. A generalization of a previous model is presented, that evolves the topology of the graph in order to optimally account for a given contact preference rule between the two guilds of the network. As a result, social and biological graphs are classified as belonging to two clearly different classes. Projected graphs, linking the agents of only one guild, are obtained from the original bipartite graph. The corresponding evolution of its statistical properties is also studied. An example of a biological mutualistic network is analyzed in detail, and it is found that the model provides a very good fitting of all the main statistical features. The model also provides a proper qualitative description of the same features observed in social webs, suggesting the possible reasons underlying the difference in the organization of these two kinds of bipartite networks.

  5. Human diseases through the lens of network biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlong, Laura I

    2013-03-01

    One of the challenges raised by next generation sequencing (NGS) is the identification of clinically relevant mutations among all the genetic variation found in an individual. Network biology has emerged as an integrative and systems-level approach for the interpretation of genome data in the context of health and disease. Network biology can provide insightful models for genetic phenomena such as penetrance, epistasis, and modes of inheritance, all of which are integral aspects of Mendelian and complex diseases. Moreover, it can shed light on disease mechanisms via the identification of modules perturbed in those diseases. Current challenges include understanding disease as a result of the interplay between environmental and genetic perturbations and assessing the impact of personal sequence variations in the context of networks. Full realization of the potential of personal genomics will benefit from network biology approaches that aim to uncover the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis, identify new biomarkers, and guide personalized therapeutic interventions.

  6. Visual analysis of transcriptome data in the context of anatomical structures and biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid eJunker

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The complexity and temporal as well as spatial resolution of transcriptome datasets is constantly increasing due to extensive technological developments. Here we present methods for advanced visualization and intuitive exploration of transcriptomics data as necessary prerequisites in order to facilitate the gain of biological knowledge. Color-coding of structural images based on the expression level enables a fast visual data analysis in the background of the examined biological system. The network-based exploration of these visualizations allows for comparative analysis of genes with specific transcript patterns and supports the extraction of functional relationships even from large datasets. In order to illustrate the presented methods, the tool HIVE was applied for visualization and exploration of database-retrieved expression data for master regulators of Arabidopsis thaliana flower and seed development in the context of corresponding tissue-specific regulatory networks.

  7. Influence of statistical estimators of mutual information and data heterogeneity on the inference of gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Matos Simoes, Ricardo; Emmert-Streib, Frank

    2011-01-01

    The inference of gene regulatory networks from gene expression data is a difficult problem because the performance of the inference algorithms depends on a multitude of different factors. In this paper we study two of these. First, we investigate the influence of discrete mutual information (MI) estimators on the global and local network inference performance of the C3NET algorithm. More precisely, we study 4 different MI estimators (Empirical, Miller-Madow, Shrink and Schürmann-Grassberger) in combination with 3 discretization methods (equal frequency, equal width and global equal width discretization). We observe the best global and local inference performance of C3NET for the Miller-Madow estimator with an equal width discretization. Second, our numerical analysis can be considered as a systems approach because we simulate gene expression data from an underlying gene regulatory network, instead of making a distributional assumption to sample thereof. We demonstrate that despite the popularity of the latter approach, which is the traditional way of studying MI estimators, this is in fact not supported by simulated and biological expression data because of their heterogeneity. Hence, our study provides guidance for an efficient design of a simulation study in the context of network inference, supporting a systems approach.

  8. Influence of statistical estimators of mutual information and data heterogeneity on the inference of gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo de Matos Simoes

    Full Text Available The inference of gene regulatory networks from gene expression data is a difficult problem because the performance of the inference algorithms depends on a multitude of different factors. In this paper we study two of these. First, we investigate the influence of discrete mutual information (MI estimators on the global and local network inference performance of the C3NET algorithm. More precisely, we study 4 different MI estimators (Empirical, Miller-Madow, Shrink and Schürmann-Grassberger in combination with 3 discretization methods (equal frequency, equal width and global equal width discretization. We observe the best global and local inference performance of C3NET for the Miller-Madow estimator with an equal width discretization. Second, our numerical analysis can be considered as a systems approach because we simulate gene expression data from an underlying gene regulatory network, instead of making a distributional assumption to sample thereof. We demonstrate that despite the popularity of the latter approach, which is the traditional way of studying MI estimators, this is in fact not supported by simulated and biological expression data because of their heterogeneity. Hence, our study provides guidance for an efficient design of a simulation study in the context of network inference, supporting a systems approach.

  9. The Growing Canvas of Biological Development: Multiscale Pattern Generation on an Expanding Lattice of Gene Regulatory Nets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doursat, René

    The spontaneous generation of an entire organism from a single cell is the epitome of a self-organizing, decentralized complex system. How do nonspatial gene interactions extend in 3-D space? In this work, I present a simple model that simulates some biological developmental principles using an expanding lattice of cells. Each cell contains a gene regulatory network (GRN), modeled as a feedforward hierarchy of switches that can settle in various on/off expression states. Local morphogen gradients provide positional information in input, which is integrated by each GRN to produce differential expression of identity genes in output. Similarly to striping in the Drosophila embryo, the lattice becomes segmented into spatial regions of homogeneous genetic expression that resemble stained-glass motifs. Meanwhile, it also expands by cell proliferation, creating new local gradients of positional information within former single-identity regions. Analogous to a "growing canvas" painting itself, the alternation of growth and patterning results in the creation of a form. This preliminary study attempts to reproduce pattern formation through a multiscale, recursive and modular process. It explores the elusive relationship between nonspatial GRN weights (genotype) and spatial patterns (phenotype). Abstracting from biology in the same spirit as neural networks or swarm optimization, I hope to be contributing to a novel engineering paradigm of system construction that could complement or replace omniscient architects with decentralized collectivities of agents.

  10. A genomic approach to identify regulatory nodes in the transcriptional network of systemic acquired resistance in plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Wang

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Many biological processes are controlled by intricate networks of transcriptional regulators. With the development of microarray technology, transcriptional changes can be examined at the whole-genome level. However, such analysis often lacks information on the hierarchical relationship between components of a given system. Systemic acquired resistance (SAR is an inducible plant defense response involving a cascade of transcriptional events induced by salicylic acid through the transcription cofactor NPR1. To identify additional regulatory nodes in the SAR network, we performed microarray analysis on Arabidopsis plants expressing the NPR1-GR (glucocorticoid receptor fusion protein. Since nuclear translocation of NPR1-GR requires dexamethasone, we were able to control NPR1-dependent transcription and identify direct transcriptional targets of NPR1. We show that NPR1 directly upregulates the expression of eight WRKY transcription factor genes. This large family of 74 transcription factors has been implicated in various defense responses, but no specific WRKY factor has been placed in the SAR network. Identification of NPR1-regulated WRKY factors allowed us to perform in-depth genetic analysis on a small number of WRKY factors and test well-defined phenotypes of single and double mutants associated with NPR1. Among these WRKY factors we found both positive and negative regulators of SAR. This genomics-directed approach unambiguously positioned five WRKY factors in the complex transcriptional regulatory network of SAR. Our work not only discovered new transcription regulatory components in the signaling network of SAR but also demonstrated that functional studies of large gene families have to take into consideration sequence similarity as well as the expression patterns of the candidates.

  11. Bayesian non-negative factor analysis for reconstructing transcription factor mediated regulatory networks

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    Chen Yidong

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transcriptional regulation by transcription factor (TF controls the time and abundance of mRNA transcription. Due to the limitation of current proteomics technologies, large scale measurements of protein level activities of TFs is usually infeasible, making computational reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory network a difficult task. Results We proposed here a novel Bayesian non-negative factor model for TF mediated regulatory networks. Particularly, the non-negative TF activities and sample clustering effect are modeled as the factors from a Dirichlet process mixture of rectified Gaussian distributions, and the sparse regulatory coefficients are modeled as the loadings from a sparse distribution that constrains its sparsity using knowledge from database; meantime, a Gibbs sampling solution was developed to infer the underlying network structure and the unknown TF activities simultaneously. The developed approach has been applied to simulated system and breast cancer gene expression data. Result shows that, the proposed method was able to systematically uncover TF mediated transcriptional regulatory network structure, the regulatory coefficients, the TF protein level activities and the sample clustering effect. The regulation target prediction result is highly coordinated with the prior knowledge, and sample clustering result shows superior performance over previous molecular based clustering method. Conclusions The results demonstrated the validity and effectiveness of the proposed approach in reconstructing transcriptional networks mediated by TFs through simulated systems and real data.

  12. Selection Shapes Transcriptional Logic and Regulatory Specialization in Genetic Networks.

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    Karl Fogelmark

    Full Text Available Living organisms need to regulate their gene expression in response to environmental signals and internal cues. This is a computational task where genes act as logic gates that connect to form transcriptional networks, which are shaped at all scales by evolution. Large-scale mutations such as gene duplications and deletions add and remove network components, whereas smaller mutations alter the connections between them. Selection determines what mutations are accepted, but its importance for shaping the resulting networks has been debated.To investigate the effects of selection in the shaping of transcriptional networks, we derive transcriptional logic from a combinatorially powerful yet tractable model of the binding between DNA and transcription factors. By evolving the resulting networks based on their ability to function as either a simple decision system or a circadian clock, we obtain information on the regulation and logic rules encoded in functional transcriptional networks. Comparisons are made between networks evolved for different functions, as well as with structurally equivalent but non-functional (neutrally evolved networks, and predictions are validated against the transcriptional network of E. coli.We find that the logic rules governing gene expression depend on the function performed by the network. Unlike the decision systems, the circadian clocks show strong cooperative binding and negative regulation, which achieves tight temporal control of gene expression. Furthermore, we find that transcription factors act preferentially as either activators or repressors, both when binding multiple sites for a single target gene and globally in the transcriptional networks. This separation into positive and negative regulators requires gene duplications, which highlights the interplay between mutation and selection in shaping the transcriptional networks.

  13. A comparative analysis on computational methods for fitting an ERGM to biological network data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudipta Saha

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Exponential random graph models (ERGM based on graph theory are useful in studying global biological network structure using its local properties. However, computational methods for fitting such models are sensitive to the type, structure and the number of the local features of a network under study. In this paper, we compared computational methods for fitting an ERGM with local features of different types and structures. Two commonly used methods, such as the Markov Chain Monte Carlo Maximum Likelihood Estimation and the Maximum Pseudo Likelihood Estimation are considered for estimating the coefficients of network attributes. We compared the estimates of observed network to our random simulated network using both methods under ERGM. The motivation was to ascertain the extent to which an observed network would deviate from a randomly simulated network if the physical numbers of attributes were approximately same. Cut-off points of some common attributes of interest for different order of nodes were determined through simulations. We implemented our method to a known regulatory network database of Escherichia coli (E. coli.

  14. Genome-scale cold stress response regulatory networks in ten Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barah, Pankaj; Jayavelu, Naresh Doni; Rasmussen, Simon;

    2013-01-01

    ontology (GO) categories were identified to delineate natural variation of cold stress regulated differential gene expression in the model plant A. thaliana. The predicted regulatory network model was able to identify new ecotype specific transcription factors and their regulatory interactions, which might...... using Arabidopsis NimbleGen ATH6 microarrays. In total 6061 transcripts were significantly cold regulated (p expression pattern. By using sequence data...

  15. Refining Dynamics of Gene Regulatory Networks in a Stochastic π-Calculus Framework

    OpenAIRE

    Paulevé, Loïc; Magnin, Morgan; Roux, Olivier

    2011-01-01

    International audience; In this paper, we introduce a framework allowing to model and analyse efficiently Gene Regulatory Networks in their temporal and stochastic aspects. The analysis of stable states and inference of René Thomas' discrete parameters derives from this logical formalism. We offer a compositional approach which comes with a natural translation to the Stochastic π-Calculus. The method we propose consists in successive refinements of generalized dynamics of Gene Regulatory Netw...

  16. Topology of transcriptional regulatory networks: testing and improving

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Hasdemir; G.J. Smits; J.A. Westerhuis; A.K. Smilde

    2012-01-01

    With the increasing amount and complexity of data generated in biological experiments it is becoming necessary to enhance the performance and applicability of existing statistical data analysis methods. This enhancement is needed for the hidden biological information to be better resolved and better

  17. Reconstruction and topological characterization of the sigma factor regulatory network of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauhan, Rinki; Ravi, Janani; Datta, Pratik; Chen, Tianlong; Schnappinger, Dirk; Bassler, Kevin E; Balázsi, Gábor; Gennaro, Maria Laura

    2016-03-31

    Accessory sigma factors, which reprogram RNA polymerase to transcribe specific gene sets, activate bacterial adaptive responses to noxious environments. Here we reconstruct the complete sigma factor regulatory network of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis by an integrated approach. The approach combines identification of direct regulatory interactions between M. tuberculosis sigma factors in an E. coli model system, validation of selected links in M. tuberculosis, and extensive literature review. The resulting network comprises 41 direct interactions among all 13 sigma factors. Analysis of network topology reveals (i) a three-tiered hierarchy initiating at master regulators, (ii) high connectivity and (iii) distinct communities containing multiple sigma factors. These topological features are likely associated with multi-layer signal processing and specialized stress responses involving multiple sigma factors. Moreover, the identification of overrepresented network motifs, such as autoregulation and coregulation of sigma and anti-sigma factor pairs, provides structural information that is relevant for studies of network dynamics.

  18. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks.

  19. Bayesian Computation Methods for Inferring Regulatory Network Models Using Biomedical Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Tianhai

    2016-01-01

    The rapid advancement of high-throughput technologies provides huge amounts of information for gene expression and protein activity in the genome-wide scale. The availability of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics dataset gives an unprecedented opportunity to study detailed molecular regulations that is very important to precision medicine. However, it is still a significant challenge to design effective and efficient method to infer the network structure and dynamic property of regulatory networks. In recent years a number of computing methods have been designed to explore the regulatory mechanisms as well as estimate unknown model parameters. Among them, the Bayesian inference method can combine both prior knowledge and experimental data to generate updated information regarding the regulatory mechanisms. This chapter gives a brief review for Bayesian statistical methods that are used to infer the network structure and estimate model parameters based on experimental data.

  20. The future of genome-scale modeling of yeast through integration of a transcriptional regulatory network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Guodong; Marras, Antonio; Nielsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    regulatory information is necessary to improve the accuracy and predictive ability of metabolic models. Here we review the strategies for the reconstruction of a transcriptional regulatory network (TRN) for yeast and the integration of such a reconstruction into a flux balance analysis-based metabolic model......Metabolism is regulated at multiple levels in response to the changes of internal or external conditions. Transcriptional regulation plays an important role in regulating many metabolic reactions by altering the concentrations of metabolic enzymes. Thus, integration of the transcriptional...... transcriptional regulatory interactions to genome-scale metabolic models in a quantitative manner....

  1. The pairwise disconnectivity index as a new metric for the topological analysis of regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wingender Edgar

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Currently, there is a gap between purely theoretical studies of the topology of large bioregulatory networks and the practical traditions and interests of experimentalists. While the theoretical approaches emphasize the global characterization of regulatory systems, the practical approaches focus on the role of distinct molecules and genes in regulation. To bridge the gap between these opposite approaches, one needs to combine 'general' with 'particular' properties and translate abstract topological features of large systems into testable functional characteristics of individual components. Here, we propose a new topological parameter – the pairwise disconnectivity index of a network's element – that is capable of such bridging. Results The pairwise disconnectivity index quantifies how crucial an individual element is for sustaining the communication ability between connected pairs of vertices in a network that is displayed as a directed graph. Such an element might be a vertex (i.e., molecules, genes, an edge (i.e., reactions, interactions, as well as a group of vertices and/or edges. The index can be viewed as a measure of topological redundancy of regulatory paths which connect different parts of a given network and as a measure of sensitivity (robustness of this network to the presence (absence of each individual element. Accordingly, we introduce the notion of a path-degree of a vertex in terms of its corresponding incoming, outgoing and mediated paths, respectively. The pairwise disconnectivity index has been applied to the analysis of several regulatory networks from various organisms. The importance of an individual vertex or edge for the coherence of the network is determined by the particular position of the given element in the whole network. Conclusion Our approach enables to evaluate the effect of removing each element (i.e., vertex, edge, or their combinations from a network. The greatest potential value of

  2. Identification of regulatory network hubs that control lipid metabolism in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gargouri, Mahmoud; Park, Jeong-Jin; Holguin, F Omar; Kim, Min-Jeong; Wang, Hongxia; Deshpande, Rahul R; Shachar-Hill, Yair; Hicks, Leslie M; Gang, David R

    2015-08-01

    Microalgae-based biofuels are promising sources of alternative energy, but improvements throughout the production process are required to establish them as economically feasible. One of the most influential improvements would be a significant increase in lipid yields, which could be achieved by altering the regulation of lipid biosynthesis and accumulation. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii accumulates oil (triacylglycerols, TAG) in response to nitrogen (N) deprivation. Although a few important regulatory genes have been identified that are involved in controlling this process, a global understanding of the larger regulatory network has not been developed. In order to uncover this network in this species, a combined omics (transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic) analysis was applied to cells grown in a time course experiment after a shift from N-replete to N-depleted conditions. Changes in transcript and protein levels of 414 predicted transcription factors (TFs) and transcriptional regulators (TRs) were monitored relative to other genes. The TF and TR genes were thus classified by two separate measures: up-regulated versus down-regulated and early response versus late response relative to two phases of polar lipid synthesis (before and after TAG biosynthesis initiation). Lipidomic and primary metabolite profiling generated compound accumulation levels that were integrated with the transcript dataset and TF profiling to produce a transcriptional regulatory network. Evaluation of this proposed regulatory network led to the identification of several regulatory hubs that control many aspects of cellular metabolism, from N assimilation and metabolism, to central metabolism, photosynthesis and lipid metabolism.

  3. GeNeDA: An Open-Source Workflow for Design Automation of Gene Regulatory Networks Inspired from Microelectronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madec, Morgan; Pecheux, François; Gendrault, Yves; Rosati, Elise; Lallement, Christophe; Haiech, Jacques

    2016-10-01

    The topic of this article is the development of an open-source automated design framework for synthetic biology, specifically for the design of artificial gene regulatory networks based on a digital approach. In opposition to other tools, GeNeDA is an open-source online software based on existing tools used in microelectronics that have proven their efficiency over the last 30 years. The complete framework is composed of a computation core directly adapted from an Electronic Design Automation tool, input and output interfaces, a library of elementary parts that can be achieved with gene regulatory networks, and an interface with an electrical circuit simulator. Each of these modules is an extension of microelectronics tools and concepts: ODIN II, ABC, the Verilog language, SPICE simulator, and SystemC-AMS. GeNeDA is first validated on a benchmark of several combinatorial circuits. The results highlight the importance of the part library. Then, this framework is used for the design of a sequential circuit including a biological state machine.

  4. Relevance of Dynamic Clustering to Biological Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Kaneko, K

    1993-01-01

    Abstract Network of nonlinear dynamical elements often show clustering of synchronization by chaotic instability. Relevance of the clustering to ecological, immune, neural, and cellular networks is discussed, with the emphasis of partially ordered states with chaotic itinerancy. First, clustering with bit structures in a hypercubic lattice is studied. Spontaneous formation and destruction of relevant bits are found, which give self-organizing, and chaotic genetic algorithms. When spontaneous changes of effective couplings are introduced, chaotic itinerancy of clusterings is widely seen through a feedback mechanism, which supports dynamic stability allowing for complexity and diversity, known as homeochaos. Second, synaptic dynamics of couplings is studied in relation with neural dynamics. The clustering structure is formed with a balance between external inputs and internal dynamics. Last, an extension allowing for the growth of the number of elements is given, in connection with cell differentiation. Effecti...

  5. Evaluation of gene association methods for coexpression network construction and biological knowledge discovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sapna Kumari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Constructing coexpression networks and performing network analysis using large-scale gene expression data sets is an effective way to uncover new biological knowledge; however, the methods used for gene association in constructing these coexpression networks have not been thoroughly evaluated. Since different methods lead to structurally different coexpression networks and provide different information, selecting the optimal gene association method is critical. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, we compared eight gene association methods - Spearman rank correlation, Weighted Rank Correlation, Kendall, Hoeffding's D measure, Theil-Sen, Rank Theil-Sen, Distance Covariance, and Pearson - and focused on their true knowledge discovery rates in associating pathway genes and construction coordination networks of regulatory genes. We also examined the behaviors of different methods to microarray data with different properties, and whether the biological processes affect the efficiency of different methods. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the Spearman, Hoeffding and Kendall methods are effective in identifying coexpressed pathway genes, whereas the Theil-sen, Rank Theil-Sen, Spearman, and Weighted Rank methods perform well in identifying coordinated transcription factors that control the same biological processes and traits. Surprisingly, the widely used Pearson method is generally less efficient, and so is the Distance Covariance method that can find gene pairs of multiple relationships. Some analyses we did clearly show Pearson and Distance Covariance methods have distinct behaviors as compared to all other six methods. The efficiencies of different methods vary with the data properties to some degree and are largely contingent upon the biological processes, which necessitates the pre-analysis to identify the best performing method for gene association and coexpression network construction.

  6. Fractal gene regulatory networks for robust locomotion control of modular robots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zahadat, Payam; Christensen, David Johan; Schultz, Ulrik Pagh;

    2010-01-01

    Designing controllers for modular robots is difficult due to the distributed and dynamic nature of the robots. In this paper fractal gene regulatory networks are evolved to control modular robots in a distributed way. Experiments with different morphologies of modular robot are performed and the ......Designing controllers for modular robots is difficult due to the distributed and dynamic nature of the robots. In this paper fractal gene regulatory networks are evolved to control modular robots in a distributed way. Experiments with different morphologies of modular robot are performed...

  7. Sensor-coupled fractal gene regulatory networks for locomotion control of a modular snake robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zahadat, Payam; Christensen, David Johan; Katebi, Serajeddin

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we study fractal gene regulatory network (FGRN) controllers based on sensory information. The FGRN controllers are evolved to control a snake robot consisting of seven simulated ATRON modules. Each module contains three tilt sensors which represent the direction of gravity in the co......In this paper we study fractal gene regulatory network (FGRN) controllers based on sensory information. The FGRN controllers are evolved to control a snake robot consisting of seven simulated ATRON modules. Each module contains three tilt sensors which represent the direction of gravity...

  8. A Less Conservative Stability Criterion for Delayed Stochastic Genetic Regulatory Networks

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    Tingting Yu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper concerns the problem of stability analysis for delayed stochastic genetic regulatory networks. By introducing an appropriate Lyapunov-Krasovskii functional and employing delay-range partition approach, a new stability criterion is given to ensure the mean square stability of genetic regulatory networks with time-varying delays and stochastic disturbances. The stability criterion is given in the form of linear matrix inequalities, which can be easily tested by the LMI Toolbox of MATLAB. Moreover, it is theoretically shown that the obtained stability criterion is less conservative than the one in W. Zhang et al., 2012. Finally, a numerical example is presented to illustrate our theory.

  9. Inferring Broad Regulatory Biology from Time Course Data: Have We Reached an Upper Bound under Constraints Typical of In Vivo Studies?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Vashishtha

    Full Text Available There is a growing appreciation for the network biology that regulates the coordinated expression of molecular and cellular markers however questions persist regarding the identifiability of these networks. Here we explore some of the issues relevant to recovering directed regulatory networks from time course data collected under experimental constraints typical of in vivo studies. NetSim simulations of sparsely connected biological networks were used to evaluate two simple feature selection techniques used in the construction of linear Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE models, namely truncation of terms versus latent vector projection. Performance was compared with ODE-based Time Series Network Identification (TSNI integral, and the information-theoretic Time-Delay ARACNE (TD-ARACNE. Projection-based techniques and TSNI integral outperformed truncation-based selection and TD-ARACNE on aggregate networks with edge densities of 10-30%, i.e. transcription factor, protein-protein cliques and immune signaling networks. All were more robust to noise than truncation-based feature selection. Performance was comparable on the in silico 10-node DREAM 3 network, a 5-node Yeast synthetic network designed for In vivo Reverse-engineering and Modeling Assessment (IRMA and a 9-node human HeLa cell cycle network of similar size and edge density. Performance was more sensitive to the number of time courses than to sample frequency and extrapolated better to larger networks by grouping experiments. In all cases performance declined rapidly in larger networks with lower edge density. Limited recovery and high false positive rates obtained overall bring into question our ability to generate informative time course data rather than the design of any particular reverse engineering algorithm.

  10. Kolmogorov complexity of epithelial pattern formation: the role of regulatory network configuration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flann, Nicholas S; Mohamadlou, Hamid; Podgorski, Gregory J

    2013-05-01

    The tissues of multicellular organisms are made of differentiated cells arranged in organized patterns. This organization emerges during development from the coupling of dynamic intra- and intercellular regulatory networks. This work applies the methods of information theory to understand how regulatory network structure both within and between cells relates to the complexity of spatial patterns that emerge as a consequence of network operation. A computational study was performed in which undifferentiated cells were arranged in a two dimensional lattice, with gene expression in each cell regulated by identical intracellular randomly generated Boolean networks. Cell-cell contact signalling between embryonic cells is modeled as coupling among intracellular networks so that gene expression in one cell can influence the expression of genes in adjacent cells. In this system, the initially identical cells differentiate and form patterns of different cell types. The complexity of network structure, temporal dynamics and spatial organization is quantified through the Kolmogorov-based measures of normalized compression distance and set complexity. Results over sets of random networks that operate in the ordered, critical and chaotic domains demonstrate that: (1) ordered and critical networks tend to create the most information-rich patterns; (2) signalling configurations in which cell-to-cell communication is non-directional mostly produce simple patterns irrespective of the internal network domain; and (3) directional signalling configurations, similar to those that function in planar cell polarity, produce the most complex patterns, but only when the intracellular networks function in non-chaotic domains.

  11. Parallel mutual information estimation for inferring gene regulatory networks on GPUs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Weiguo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutual information is a measure of similarity between two variables. It has been widely used in various application domains including computational biology, machine learning, statistics, image processing, and financial computing. Previously used simple histogram based mutual information estimators lack the precision in quality compared to kernel based methods. The recently introduced B-spline function based mutual information estimation method is competitive to the kernel based methods in terms of quality but at a lower computational complexity. Results We present a new approach to accelerate the B-spline function based mutual information estimation algorithm with commodity graphics hardware. To derive an efficient mapping onto this type of architecture, we have used the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA programming model to design and implement a new parallel algorithm. Our implementation, called CUDA-MI, can achieve speedups of up to 82 using double precision on a single GPU compared to a multi-threaded implementation on a quad-core CPU for large microarray datasets. We have used the results obtained by CUDA-MI to infer gene regulatory networks (GRNs from microarray data. The comparisons to existing methods including ARACNE and TINGe show that CUDA-MI produces GRNs of higher quality in less time. Conclusions CUDA-MI is publicly available open-source software, written in CUDA and C++ programming languages. It obtains significant speedup over sequential multi-threaded implementation by fully exploiting the compute capability of commonly used CUDA-enabled low-cost GPUs.

  12. Dissecting and engineering metabolic and regulatory networks of thermophilic bacteria for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Lu; Xu, Jian

    2013-11-01

    Interest in thermophilic bacteria as live-cell catalysts in biofuel and biochemical industry has surged in recent years, due to their tolerance of high temperature and wide spectrum of carbon-sources that include cellulose. However their direct employment as microbial cellular factories in the highly demanding industrial conditions has been hindered by uncompetitive biofuel productivity, relatively low tolerance to solvent and osmic stresses, and limitation in genome engineering tools. In this work we review recent advances in dissecting and engineering the metabolic and regulatory networks of thermophilic bacteria for improving the traits of key interest in biofuel industry: cellulose degradation, pentose-hexose co-utilization, and tolerance of thermal, osmotic, and solvent stresses. Moreover, new technologies enabling more efficient genetic engineering of thermophiles were discussed, such as improved electroporation, ultrasound-mediated DNA delivery, as well as thermo-stable plasmids and functional selection systems. Expanded applications of such technological advancements in thermophilic microbes promise to substantiate a synthetic biology perspective, where functional parts, module, chassis, cells and consortia were modularly designed and rationally assembled for the many missions at industry and nature that demand the extraordinary talents of these extremophiles.

  13. RNA regulatory networks diversified through curvature of the PUF protein scaffold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilinski, Daniel; Qiu, Chen; Lapointe, Christopher P; Nevil, Markus; Campbell, Zachary T; Tanaka Hall, Traci M; Wickens, Marvin

    2015-09-14

    Proteins bind and control mRNAs, directing their localization, translation and stability. Members of the PUF family of RNA-binding proteins control multiple mRNAs in a single cell, and play key roles in development, stem cell maintenance and memory formation. Here we identified the mRNA targets of a S. cerevisiae PUF protein, Puf5p, by ultraviolet-crosslinking-affinity purification and high-throughput sequencing (HITS-CLIP). The binding sites recognized by Puf5p are diverse, with variable spacer lengths between two specific sequences. Each length of site correlates with a distinct biological function. Crystal structures of Puf5p-RNA complexes reveal that the protein scaffold presents an exceptionally flat and extended interaction surface relative to other PUF proteins. In complexes with RNAs of different lengths, the protein is unchanged. A single PUF protein repeat is sufficient to induce broadening of specificity. Changes in protein architecture, such as alterations in curvature, may lead to evolution of mRNA regulatory networks.

  14. Spectral algorithms for heterogeneous biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Martin; Higham, Desmond J; Vass, J Keith

    2012-11-01

    Spectral methods, which use information relating to eigenvectors, singular vectors and generalized singular vectors, help us to visualize and summarize sets of pairwise interactions. In this work, we motivate and discuss the use of spectral methods by taking a matrix computation view and applying concepts from applied linear algebra. We show that this unified approach is sufficiently flexible to allow multiple sources of network information to be combined. We illustrate the methods on microarray data arising from a large population-based study in human adipose tissue, combined with related information concerning metabolic pathways.

  15. Characterizing the interplay between multiple levels of organization within bacterial sigma factor regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Yu; Nagarajan, Harish; Embree, Mallory; Shieu, Wendy; Abate, Elisa; Juárez, Katy; Cho, Byung-Kwan; Elkins, James G; Nevin, Kelly P; Barrett, Christian L; Lovley, Derek R; Palsson, Bernhard O; Zengler, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria contain multiple sigma factors, each targeting diverse, but often overlapping sets of promoters, thereby forming a complex network. The layout and deployment of such a sigma factor network directly impacts global transcriptional regulation and ultimately dictates the phenotype. Here we integrate multi-omic data sets to determine the topology, the operational, and functional states of the sigma factor network in Geobacter sulfurreducens, revealing a unique network topology of interacting sigma factors. Analysis of the operational state of the sigma factor network shows a highly modular structure with σ(N) being the major regulator of energy metabolism. Surprisingly, the functional state of the network during the two most divergent growth conditions is nearly static, with sigma factor binding profiles almost invariant to environmental stimuli. This first comprehensive elucidation of the interplay between different levels of the sigma factor network organization is fundamental to characterize transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in bacteria.

  16. Characterizing the interplay betwen mulitple levels of organization within bacterial sigma factor regulatory networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Qiu [University of California, San Diego; Nagarajan, Harish [University of California, San Diego; Embree, Mallory [University of California, San Diego; Shieu, Wendy [University of California, San Diego; Abate, Elisa [University of California, San Diego; Juarez, Katy [Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM); Cho, Byung-Kwan [University of California, San Diego; Elkins, James G [ORNL; Nevin, Kelly P. [University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Barrett, Christian [University of California, San Diego; Lovley, Derek [University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Palsson, Bernhard O. [University of California, San Diego; Zengler, Karsten [University of California, San Diego

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria contain multiple sigma factors, each targeting diverse, but often overlapping sets of promoters, thereby forming a complex network. The layout and deployment of such a sigma factor network directly impacts global transcriptional regulation and ultimately dictates the phenotype. Here we integrate multi-omic data sets to determine the topology, the operational, and functional states of the sigma factor network in Geobacter sulfurreducens, revealing a unique network topology of interacting sigma factors. Analysis of the operational state of the sigma factor network shows a highly modular structure with sN being the major regulator of energy metabolism. Surprisingly, the functional state of the network during the two most divergent growth conditions is nearly static, with sigma factor binding profiles almost invariant to environmental stimuli. This first comprehensive elucidation of the interplay between different levels of the sigma factor network organization is fundamental to characterize transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in bacteria.

  17. Synthetic Biology and the U.S. Biotechnology Regulatory System: Challenges and Options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carter, Sarah R. [J. Craig Venter Institute; Rodemeyer, Michael [University of Virginia; Garfinkel, Michele S. [EMBO; Friedman, Robert M [J. Craig Venter Institute

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic Biology and the U.S. Biotechnology Regulatory System: Challenges and Options Sarah R. Carter, Ph.D., J. Craig Venter Institute; Michael Rodemeyer, J.D., University of Virginia; Michele S. Garfinkel, Ph.D., EMBO; Robert M. Friedman, Ph.D., J. Craig Venter Institute In recent years, a range of genetic engineering techniques referred to as “synthetic biology” has significantly expanded the tool kit available to scientists and engineers, providing them with far greater capabilities to engineer organisms than previous techniques allowed. The field of synthetic biology includes the relatively new ability to synthesize long pieces of DNA from chemicals, as well as improved methods for genetic manipulation and design of genetic pathways to achieve more precise control of biological systems. These advances will help usher in a new generation of genetically engineered microbes, plants, and animals. The JCVI Policy Center team, along with researchers at the University of Virginia and EMBO, examined how well the current U.S. regulatory system for genetically engineered products will handle the near-term introduction of organisms engineered using synthetic biology. In particular, the focus was on those organisms intended to be used or grown directly in the environment, outside of a contained facility. The study concludes that the U.S. regulatory agencies have adequate legal authority to address most, but not all, potential environmental, health and safety concerns posed by these organisms. Such near-term products are likely to represent incremental changes rather than a marked departure from previous genetically engineered organisms. However, the study also identified two key challenges for the regulatory system, which are detailed in the report. First, USDA’s authority over genetically engineered plants depends on the use of an older engineering technique that is no longer necessary for many applications. The shift to synthetic biology and other newer genetic

  18. When do tissues and cells become products? Regulatory oversight of emerging biological therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrugia, Albert

    2006-01-01

    Although therapeutics derived from biological sources have been subjected to regulatory oversight for some time, the products used in transplantation procedures have historically been exempt from this oversight. These products have been viewed as being part of medical practice rather than as the result of mainstream pharmaceutical manufacture. Furthermore, their unique source makes them difficult to assess in traditional regulatory systems based on the tenets of pharmaceutical quality control. With the increasing use of transplantation therapies to both replace dysfunctional organs and to influence genetic and metabolic processes, public health concerns on these therapies have increased. In addition, it is recognized that therapeutic claims for some of these interventions need to be properly assessed. These considerations have led the established regulatory agencies of the developed world to develop new regulatory paradigms for the products of transplantation practice. While a number of concerns have driven these developments, the minimization of infectious disease risk remains the paramount driver for introducing these regulatory systems. More than the regulation of medicines and medical devices manufactured in traditional pharmaceutical modes, the regulation of cell and tissue products is intimately linked to areas of public health policy and funding. This places regulators in a challenging position as they attempt to reconcile their roles as independent assessors with the needs of the overall public health framework. This is particularly difficult when considering measures which may affect access to life saving therapies. Regulators have recognized the need to assess these therapies through systems which incorporate consideration of risk-benefit ratios and include mechanisms for transparent and accountable release of products when full compliance to traditional concepts of manufacturing practice is not possible.

  19. CARRIE web service: automated transcriptional regulatory network inference and interactive analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverty, Peter M; Frith, Martin C; Weng, Zhiping

    2004-07-01

    We present an intuitive and interactive web service for CARRIE (Computational Ascertainment of Regulatory Relationships Inferred from Expression). CARRIE is a computational method that analyzes microarray and promoter sequence data to infer a transcriptional regulatory network from the response to a specific stimulus. This service displays an interactive graph of the inferred network and provides easy access to the evidence for the involvement of each gene in the network. We provide functionality to include network data in KEGG XML (KGML) format in this graph. Our service also provides Gene Ontology annotation to aid the user in forming hypotheses about the role of each gene in the cellular response. The CARRIE web service is freely available at http://zlab.bu.edu/CARRIE-web.

  20. Prediction of tissue-specific cis-regulatory modules using Bayesian networks and regression trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Xiaoyu

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In vertebrates, a large part of gene transcriptional regulation is operated by cis-regulatory modules. These modules are believed to be regulating much of the tissue-specificity of gene expression. Results We develop a Bayesian network approach for identifying cis-regulatory modules likely to regulate tissue-specific expression. The network integrates predicted transcription factor binding site information, transcription factor expression data, and target gene expression data. At its core is a regression tree modeling the effect of combinations of transcription factors bound to a module. A new unsupervised EM-like algorithm is developed to learn the parameters of the network, including the regression tree structure. Conclusion Our approach is shown to accurately identify known human liver and erythroid-specific modules. When applied to the prediction of tissue-specific modules in 10 different tissues, the network predicts a number of important transcription factor combinations whose concerted binding is associated to specific expression.

  1. Identifying Cancer Subtypes from miRNA-TF-mRNA Regulatory Networks and Expression Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taosheng Xu

    Full Text Available Identifying cancer subtypes is an important component of the personalised medicine framework. An increasing number of computational methods have been developed to identify cancer subtypes. However, existing methods rarely use information from gene regulatory networks to facilitate the subtype identification. It is widely accepted that gene regulatory networks play crucial roles in understanding the mechanisms of diseases. Different cancer subtypes are likely caused by different regulatory mechanisms. Therefore, there are great opportunities for developing methods that can utilise network information in identifying cancer subtypes.In this paper, we propose a method, weighted similarity network fusion (WSNF, to utilise the information in the complex miRNA-TF-mRNA regulatory network in identifying cancer subtypes. We firstly build the regulatory network where the nodes represent the features, i.e. the microRNAs (miRNAs, transcription factors (TFs and messenger RNAs (mRNAs and the edges indicate the interactions between the features. The interactions are retrieved from various interatomic databases. We then use the network information and the expression data of the miRNAs, TFs and mRNAs to calculate the weight of the features, representing the level of importance of the features. The feature weight is then integrated into a network fusion approach to cluster the samples (patients and thus to identify cancer subtypes. We applied our method to the TCGA breast invasive carcinoma (BRCA and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM datasets. The experimental results show that WSNF performs better than the other commonly used computational methods, and the information from miRNA-TF-mRNA regulatory network contributes to the performance improvement. The WSNF method successfully identified five breast cancer subtypes and three GBM subtypes which show significantly different survival patterns. We observed that the expression patterns of the features in some mi

  2. Dissecting neural differentiation regulatory networks through epigenetic footprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziller, Michael J; Edri, Reuven; Yaffe, Yakey; Donaghey, Julie; Pop, Ramona; Mallard, William; Issner, Robbyn; Gifford, Casey A; Goren, Alon; Xing, Jeffrey; Gu, Hongcang; Cacchiarelli, Davide; Tsankov, Alexander M; Epstein, Charles; Rinn, John L; Mikkelsen, Tarjei S; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Gnirke, Andreas; Bernstein, Bradley E; Elkabetz, Yechiel; Meissner, Alexander

    2015-02-19

    Models derived from human pluripotent stem cells that accurately recapitulate neural development in vitro and allow for the generation of specific neuronal subtypes are of major interest to the stem cell and biomedical community. Notch signalling, particularly through the Notch effector HES5, is a major pathway critical for the onset and maintenance of neural progenitor cells in the embryonic and adult nervous system. Here we report the transcriptional and epigenomic analysis of six consecutive neural progenitor cell stages derived from a HES5::eGFP reporter human embryonic stem cell line. Using this system, we aimed to model cell-fate decisions including specification, expansion and patterning during the ontogeny of cortical neural stem and progenitor cells. In order to dissect regulatory mechanisms that orchestrate the stage-specific differentiation process, we developed a computational framework to infer key regulators of each cell-state transition based on the progressive remodelling of the epigenetic landscape and then validated these through a pooled short hairpin RNA screen. We were also able to refine our previous observations on epigenetic priming at transcription factor binding sites and suggest here that they are mediated by combinations of core and stage-specific factors. Taken together, we demonstrate the utility of our system and outline a general framework, not limited to the context of the neural lineage, to dissect regulatory circuits of differentiation.

  3. Dissecting the brown adipogenic regulatory network using integrative genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Rachana N.; Bues, Johannes J.; Gardeux, Vincent; Schwalie, Petra C.; Alpern, Daniel; Chen, Wanze; Russeil, Julie; Raghav, Sunil K.; Deplancke, Bart

    2017-01-01

    Brown adipocytes regulate energy expenditure via mitochondrial uncoupling, which makes them attractive therapeutic targets to tackle obesity. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying brown adipogenesis are still poorly understood. To address this, we profiled the transcriptome and chromatin state during mouse brown fat cell differentiation, revealing extensive gene expression changes and chromatin remodeling, especially during the first day post-differentiation. To identify putatively causal regulators, we performed transcription factor binding site overrepresentation analyses in active chromatin regions and prioritized factors based on their expression correlation with the bona-fide brown adipogenic marker Ucp1 across multiple mouse and human datasets. Using loss-of-function assays, we evaluated both the phenotypic effect as well as the transcriptomic impact of several putative regulators on the differentiation process, uncovering ZFP467, HOXA4 and Nuclear Factor I A (NFIA) as novel transcriptional regulators. Of these, NFIA emerged as the regulator yielding the strongest molecular and cellular phenotypes. To examine its regulatory function, we profiled the genomic localization of NFIA, identifying it as a key early regulator of terminal brown fat cell differentiation. PMID:28181539

  4. Theory of interface: category theory, directed networks and evolution of biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haruna, Taichi

    2013-11-01

    Biological networks have two modes. The first mode is static: a network is a passage on which something flows. The second mode is dynamic: a network is a pattern constructed by gluing functions of entities constituting the network. In this paper, first we discuss that these two modes can be associated with the category theoretic duality (adjunction) and derive a natural network structure (a path notion) for each mode by appealing to the category theoretic universality. The path notion corresponding to the static mode is just the usual directed path. The path notion for the dynamic mode is called lateral path which is the alternating path considered on the set of arcs. Their general functionalities in a network are transport and coherence, respectively. Second, we introduce a betweenness centrality of arcs for each mode and see how the two modes are embedded in various real biological network data. We find that there is a trade-off relationship between the two centralities: if the value of one is large then the value of the other is small. This can be seen as a kind of division of labor in a network into transport on the network and coherence of the network. Finally, we propose an optimization model of networks based on a quality function involving intensities of the two modes in order to see how networks with the above trade-off relationship can emerge through evolution. We show that the trade-off relationship can be observed in the evolved networks only when the dynamic mode is dominant in the quality function by numerical simulations. We also show that the evolved networks have features qualitatively similar to real biological networks by standard complex network analysis.

  5. A relative variation-based method to unraveling gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yali Wang

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory network (GRN reconstruction is essential in understanding the functioning and pathology of a biological system. Extensive models and algorithms have been developed to unravel a GRN. The DREAM project aims to clarify both advantages and disadvantages of these methods from an application viewpoint. An interesting yet surprising observation is that compared with complicated methods like those based on nonlinear differential equations, etc., methods based on a simple statistics, such as the so-called Z-score, usually perform better. A fundamental problem with the Z-score, however, is that direct and indirect regulations can not be easily distinguished. To overcome this drawback, a relative expression level variation (RELV based GRN inference algorithm is suggested in this paper, which consists of three major steps. Firstly, on the basis of wild type and single gene knockout/knockdown experimental data, the magnitude of RELV of a gene is estimated. Secondly, probability for the existence of a direct regulation from a perturbed gene to a measured gene is estimated, which is further utilized to estimate whether a gene can be regulated by other genes. Finally, the normalized RELVs are modified to make genes with an estimated zero in-degree have smaller RELVs in magnitude than the other genes, which is used afterwards in queuing possibilities of the existence of direct regulations among genes and therefore leads to an estimate on the GRN topology. This method can in principle avoid the so-called cascade errors under certain situations. Computational results with the Size 100 sub-challenges of DREAM3 and DREAM4 show that, compared with the Z-score based method, prediction performances can be substantially improved, especially the AUPR specification. Moreover, it can even outperform the best team of both DREAM3 and DREAM4. Furthermore, the high precision of the obtained most reliable predictions shows that the suggested algorithm may be

  6. Regulatory gene networks that shape the development of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in a cichlid fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Ralf F; Li, Yuanhao; Meyer, Axel; Gunter, Helen M

    2014-09-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of organisms with a given genotype to develop different phenotypes according to environmental stimuli, resulting in individuals that are better adapted to local conditions. In spite of their ecological importance, the developmental regulatory networks underlying plastic phenotypes often remain uncharacterized. We examined the regulatory basis of diet-induced plasticity in the lower pharyngeal jaw (LPJ) of the cichlid fish Astatoreochromis alluaudi, a model species in the study of adaptive plasticity. Through raising juvenile A. alluaudi on either a hard or soft diet (hard-shelled or pulverized snails) for between 1 and 8 months, we gained insight into the temporal regulation of 19 previously identified candidate genes during the early stages of plasticity development. Plasticity in LPJ morphology was first detected between 3 and 5 months of diet treatment. The candidate genes, belonging to various functional categories, displayed dynamic expression patterns that consistently preceded the onset of morphological divergence and putatively contribute to the initiation of the plastic phenotypes. Within functional categories, we observed striking co-expression, and transcription factor binding site analysis was used to examine the prospective basis of their coregulation. We propose a regulatory network of LPJ plasticity in cichlids, presenting evidence for regulatory crosstalk between bone and muscle tissues, which putatively facilitates the development of this highly integrated trait. Through incorporating a developmental time-course into a phenotypic plasticity study, we have identified an interconnected, environmentally responsive regulatory network that shapes the development of plasticity in a key innovation of East African cichlids.

  7. Towards the understanding of network information processing in biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Vijay

    Living organisms perform incredibly well in detecting a signal present in the environment. This information processing is achieved near optimally and quite reliably, even though the sources of signals are highly variable and complex. The work in the last few decades has given us a fair understanding of how individual signal processing units like neurons and cell receptors process signals, but the principles of collective information processing on biological networks are far from clear. Information processing in biological networks, like the brain, metabolic circuits, cellular-signaling circuits, etc., involves complex interactions among a large number of units (neurons, receptors). The combinatorially large number of states such a system can exist in makes it impossible to study these systems from the first principles, starting from the interactions between the basic units. The principles of collective information processing on such complex networks can be identified using coarse graining approaches. This could provide insights into the organization and function of complex biological networks. Here I study models of biological networks using continuum dynamics, renormalization, maximum likelihood estimation and information theory. Such coarse graining approaches identify features that are essential for certain processes performed by underlying biological networks. We find that long-range connections in the brain allow for global scale feature detection in a signal. These also suppress the noise and remove any gaps present in the signal. Hierarchical organization with long-range connections leads to large-scale connectivity at low synapse numbers. Time delays can be utilized to separate a mixture of signals with temporal scales. Our observations indicate that the rules in multivariate signal processing are quite different from traditional single unit signal processing.

  8. Decentralized control of ecological and biological networks through Evolutionary Network Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary Network Control (ENC has been recently introduced to allow the control of any kind of ecological and biological networks, with an arbitrary number of nodes and links, acting from inside and/or outside. To date, ENC has been applied using a centralized approach where an arbitrary number of network nodes and links could be tamed. This approach has shown to be effective in the control of ecological and biological networks. However a decentralized control, where only one node and the correspondent input/output links are controlled, could be more economic from a computational viewpoint, in particular when the network is very large (i.e. big data. In this view, ENC is upgraded here to realize the decentralized control of ecological and biological nets.

  9. Improved reconstruction of in silico gene regulatory networks by integrating knockout and perturbation data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Y Yip

    Full Text Available We performed computational reconstruction of the in silico gene regulatory networks in the DREAM3 Challenges. Our task was to learn the networks from two types of data, namely gene expression profiles in deletion strains (the 'deletion data' and time series trajectories of gene expression after some initial perturbation (the 'perturbation data'. In the course of developing the prediction method, we observed that the two types of data contained different and complementary information about the underlying network. In particular, deletion data allow for the detection of direct regulatory activities with strong responses upon the deletion of the regulator while perturbation data provide richer information for the identification of weaker and more complex types of regulation. We applied different techniques to learn the regulation from the two types of data. For deletion data, we learned a noise model to distinguish real signals from random fluctuations using an iterative method. For perturbation data, we used differential equations to model the change of expression levels of a gene along the trajectories due to the regulation of other genes. We tried different models, and combined their predictions. The final predictions were obtained by merging the results from the two types of data. A comparison with the actual regulatory networks suggests that our approach is effective for networks with a range of different sizes. The success of the approach demonstrates the importance of integrating heterogeneous data in network reconstruction.

  10. Genome-wide inference of regulatory networks in Streptomyces coelicolor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro-Melchor, Marlene; Charaniya, Salim; Karypis, George; Takano, Eriko; Hu, Wei-Shou

    2010-01-01

    Background: The onset of antibiotics production in Streptomyces species is co-ordinated with differentiation events. An understanding of the genetic circuits that regulate these coupled biological phenomena is essential to discover and engineer the pharmacologically important natural products made b

  11. Prediction and testing of biological networks underlying intestinal cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishal N Patel

    Full Text Available Colorectal cancer progresses through an accumulation of somatic mutations, some of which reside in so-called "driver" genes that provide a growth advantage to the tumor. To identify points of intersection between driver gene pathways, we implemented a network analysis framework using protein interactions to predict likely connections--both precedented and novel--between key driver genes in cancer. We applied the framework to find significant connections between two genes, Apc and Cdkn1a (p21, known to be synergistic in tumorigenesis in mouse models. We then assessed the functional coherence of the resulting Apc-Cdkn1a network by engineering in vivo single node perturbations of the network: mouse models mutated individually at Apc (Apc(1638N+/- or Cdkn1a (Cdkn1a(-/-, followed by measurements of protein and gene expression changes in intestinal epithelial tissue. We hypothesized that if the predicted network is biologically coherent (functional, then the predicted nodes should associate more specifically with dysregulated genes and proteins than stochastically selected genes and proteins. The predicted Apc-Cdkn1a network was significantly perturbed at the mRNA-level by both single gene knockouts, and the predictions were also strongly supported based on physical proximity and mRNA coexpression of proteomic targets. These results support the functional coherence of the proposed Apc-Cdkn1a network and also demonstrate how network-based predictions can be statistically tested using high-throughput biological data.

  12. Uncovering Biological Network Function via Graphlet Degree Signatures

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    Nataša Pržulj

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivation: Proteins are essential macromolecules of life and thus understanding their function is of great importance. The number of functionally unclassified proteins is large even for simple and well studied organisms such as baker’s yeast. Methods for determining protein function have shifted their focus from targeting specific proteins based solely on sequence homology to analyses of the entire proteome based on protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. Since proteins interact to perform a certain function, analyzing structural properties of PPI networks may provide useful clues about the biological function of individual proteins, protein complexes they participate in, and even larger subcellular machines.Results: We design a sensitive graph theoretic method for comparing local structures of node neighborhoods that demonstrates that in PPI networks, biological function of a node and its local network structure are closely related. The method summarizes a protein’s local topology in a PPI network into the vector of graphlet degrees called the signature of the protein and computes the signature similarities between all protein pairs. We group topologically similar proteins under this measure in a PPI network and show that these protein groups belong to the same protein complexes, perform the same biological functions, are localized in the same subcellular compartments, and have the same tissue expressions. Moreover, we apply our technique on a proteome-scale network data and infer biological function of yet unclassified proteins demonstrating that our method can provide valuable guidelines for future experimental research such as disease protein prediction.Availability: Data is available upon request.

  13. A modulated empirical Bayes model for identifying topological and temporal estrogen receptor α regulatory networks in breast cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Yuming

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogens regulate diverse physiological processes in various tissues through genomic and non-genomic mechanisms that result in activation or repression of gene expression. Transcription regulation upon estrogen stimulation is a critical biological process underlying the onset and progress of the majority of breast cancer. Dynamic gene expression changes have been shown to characterize the breast cancer cell response to estrogens, the every molecular mechanism of which is still not well understood. Results We developed a modulated empirical Bayes model, and constructed a novel topological and temporal transcription factor (TF regulatory network in MCF7 breast cancer cell line upon stimulation by 17β-estradiol stimulation. In the network, significant TF genomic hubs were identified including ER-alpha and AP-1; significant non-genomic hubs include ZFP161, TFDP1, NRF1, TFAP2A, EGR1, E2F1, and PITX2. Although the early and late networks were distinct ( Conclusions We identified a number of estrogen regulated target genes and established estrogen-regulated network that distinguishes the genomic and non-genomic actions of estrogen receptor. Many gene targets of this network were not active anymore in anti-estrogen resistant cell lines, possibly because their DNA methylation and histone acetylation patterns have changed.

  14. M-matrix-based stability conditions for genetic regulatory networks with time-varying delays and noise perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Li-Ping; Shi, Zhong-Ke; Liu, Li-Zhi; Wu, Fang-Xiang

    2013-10-01

    Stability is essential for designing and controlling any dynamic systems. Recently, the stability of genetic regulatory networks has been widely studied by employing linear matrix inequality (LMI) approach, which results in checking the existence of feasible solutions to high-dimensional LMIs. In the previous study, the authors present several stability conditions for genetic regulatory networks with time-varying delays, based on M-matrix theory and using the non-smooth Lyapunov function, which results in determining whether a low-dimensional matrix is a non-singular M-matrix. However, the previous approach cannot be applied to analyse the stability of genetic regulatory networks with noise perturbations. Here, the authors design a smooth Lyapunov function quadratic in state variables and employ M-matrix theory to derive new stability conditions for genetic regulatory networks with time-varying delays. Theoretically, these conditions are less conservative than existing ones in some genetic regulatory networks. Then the results are extended to genetic regulatory networks with time-varying delays and noise perturbations. For genetic regulatory networks with n genes and n proteins, the derived conditions are to check if an n × n matrix is a non-singular M-matrix. To further present the new theories proposed in this study, three example regulatory networks are analysed.

  15. Regulatory networks in pollen development under cold stress

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    Kamal Dev Sharma

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cold stress modifies anthers’ metabolic pathways to induce pollen sterility. Cold-tolerant plants, unlike the susceptible ones, produce high proportion of viable pollen. Anthers in susceptible plants, when exposed to cold stress, increase abscisic acid (ABA metabolism and reduce ABA catabolism. Increased ABA negatively regulates expression of tapetum cell wall bound invertase and monosaccharide transport genes resulting in distorted carbohydrate pool in anther. Cold-stress also reduces endogenous levels of the bioactive gibberellins (GAs, GA4 and GA7, in susceptible anthers by repression of the GA biosynthesis genes. Here we discuss recent findings on mechanisms of cold susceptibility in anthers which determine pollen sterility. We also discuss differences in regulatory pathways between cold-stressed anthers of susceptible and tolerant plants that decide pollen sterility or viability.

  16. Regulatory Network Construction in Arabidopsis using genome-wide gene expression QTLs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keurentjes, J.J.B.; Fu, J.J.; Terpstra, I.R.; Garcia, J.M.; van den Ackerveken, G.; Snoek, L.B.; Peeters, A.J.M.; Vreugdenhil, D.; Koornreef, M.; Jansen, R.C.

    2007-01-01

    Regulatory network construction in Arabidopsis by using genome-wide gene expression quantitative trait loci.Keurentjes JJ, Fu J, Terpstra IR, Garcia JM, van den Ackerveken G, Snoek LB, Peeters AJ, Vreugdenhil D, Koornneef M, Jansen RC. Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4,

  17. Statistical inference and reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks from observational expression data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmert-Streib, Frank; Glazko, Galina V; Altay, Gökmen; de Matos Simoes, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we present a systematic and conceptual overview of methods for inferring gene regulatory networks from observational gene expression data. Further, we discuss two classic approaches to infer causal structures and compare them with contemporary methods by providing a conceptual categorization thereof. We complement the above by surveying global and local evaluation measures for assessing the performance of inference algorithms.

  18. Identification and reconstitution of genetic regulatory networks for improved microbial tolerance to isooctane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Aram; Chang, Matthew Wook

    2012-04-01

    Microbial tolerance to hydrocarbons has been studied in an effort to improve the productivity of biochemical processes and to enhance the efficiency of hydrocarbon bioremediation. Despite these studies, few attempts have been made to design rational strategies to improve microbial tolerance to hydrocarbons. Herein, we present an engineering framework that enables us to harness our understanding of genetic regulatory networks to improve hydrocarbon tolerance. In this study, isooctane was used as a representative hydrocarbon due to its use in petroleum refining and in biochemical processes. To increase isooctane tolerance, we first identified essential transcriptional determinants and genetic regulatory networks underlying cellular responses to isooctane in Escherichia coli using genome-wide microarray analysis. Based on functional transcriptome and bioinformatics analysis, a range of combinations of transcription factors whose activity was predictably perturbed by isooctane were knocked out and overexpressed to reconstitute the regulatory networks. We demonstrated that the reconstitution of the regulatory networks led to a significant improvement in isooctane tolerance, and especially, engineered E. coli strains lacking and overexpressing some of the perturbed transcription factors showed 3- to 5-fold improvement. This microbe with high tolerance to isooctane can be harnessed for biochemical processes, fuel oil bioremediation and metabolic engineering for biofuel production. Furthermore, we envision that the engineering framework employed to improve the tolerance in this study can be exploited for developing other microbes with desired phenotypes.

  19. Biology and clinical observations of regulatory T cells in cancer immunology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Michele W L; Ritchie, David S; Neeson, Paul; Smyth, Mark J

    2011-01-01

    This review specifically examines the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in cancer in both mice and the clinic. Due to the rapid refinement of the definition of Tregs and their heterogeneity, emphasis is given to research findings over the past three years. For clarity, this review is broadly divided into three short sections that outline the basic biology of Tregs - (1) Treg lineage and development, (2) Treg subsets, and (3) mechanisms of Treg-mediated immune suppression; followed by two more comprehensive sections that cover; (4) clinical observations of Tregs and cancer, and (5) modifications of Treg biology as cancer immunotherapies. The latter two sections discuss the measurement of function and frequency of Treg in model systems and clinical trials and possible ways to interfere with Treg-mediated immune suppression with the focus on recent pre-clinical and clinical findings.

  20. Discovering networks of perturbed biological processes in hepatocyte cultures.

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    Christopher D Lasher

    Full Text Available The liver plays a vital role in glucose homeostasis, the synthesis of bile acids and the detoxification of foreign substances. Liver culture systems are widely used to test adverse effects of drugs and environmental toxicants. The two most prevalent liver culture systems are hepatocyte monolayers (HMs and collagen sandwiches (CS. Despite their wide use, comprehensive transcriptional programs and interaction networks in these culture systems have not been systematically investigated. We integrated an existing temporal transcriptional dataset for HM and CS cultures of rat hepatocytes with a functional interaction network of rat genes. We aimed to exploit the functional interactions to identify statistically significant linkages between perturbed biological processes. To this end, we developed a novel approach to compute Contextual Biological Process Linkage Networks (CBPLNs. CBPLNs revealed numerous meaningful connections between different biological processes and gene sets, which we were successful in interpreting within the context of liver metabolism. Multiple phenomena captured by CBPLNs at the process level such as regulation, downstream effects, and feedback loops have well described counterparts at the gene and protein level. CBPLNs reveal high-level linkages between pathways and processes, making the identification of important biological trends more tractable than through interactions between individual genes and molecules alone. Our approach may provide a new route to explore, analyze, and understand cellular responses to internal and external cues within the context of the intricate networks of molecular interactions that control cellular behavior.

  1. Biologically Inspired Optimization of Building District Heating Networks

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    Leiming Shang

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we show that a biologically inspired model can be successfully applied to problems of building optimal district heating network. The model is based on physiological observations of the true slime mold Physarumpolycephalum, but can also be used for path-finding in the complicated networks of mazes and road maps. A strategy of optimally building heating distribution network was guided by the model and a well-tuned ant colony algorithm and genetic algorithm. The results indicate that although there are not large-scale efficiency savings to be made, the biologically inspired amoeboid movement model is capable of finding results of equal or better optimality than a comparable ant colony algorithm and genetic algorithm.

  2. Autocatalytic, bistable, oscillatory networks of biologically relevant organic reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenov, Sergey N.; Kraft, Lewis J.; Ainla, Alar; Zhao, Mengxia; Baghbanzadeh, Mostafa; Campbell, Victoria E.; Kang, Kyungtae; Fox, Jerome M.; Whitesides, George M.

    2016-09-01

    Networks of organic chemical reactions are important in life and probably played a central part in its origin. Network dynamics regulate cell division, circadian rhythms, nerve impulses and chemotaxis, and guide the development of organisms. Although out-of-equilibrium networks of chemical reactions have the potential to display emergent network dynamics such as spontaneous pattern formation, bistability and periodic oscillations, the principles that enable networks of organic reactions to develop complex behaviours are incompletely understood. Here we describe a network of biologically relevant organic reactions (amide formation, thiolate-thioester exchange, thiolate-disulfide interchange and conjugate addition) that displays bistability and oscillations in the concentrations of organic thiols and amides. Oscillations arise from the interaction between three subcomponents of the network: an autocatalytic cycle that generates thiols and amides from thioesters and dialkyl disulfides; a trigger that controls autocatalytic growth; and inhibitory processes that remove activating thiol species that are produced during the autocatalytic cycle. In contrast to previous studies that have demonstrated oscillations and bistability using highly evolved biomolecules (enzymes and DNA) or inorganic molecules of questionable biochemical relevance (for example, those used in Belousov-Zhabotinskii-type reactions), the organic molecules we use are relevant to metabolism and similar to those that might have existed on the early Earth. By using small organic molecules to build a network of organic reactions with autocatalytic, bistable and oscillatory behaviour, we identify principles that explain the ways in which dynamic networks relevant to life could have developed. Modifications of this network will clarify the influence of molecular structure on the dynamics of reaction networks, and may enable the design of biomimetic networks and of synthetic self-regulating and evolving

  3. Plasticity of gene-regulatory networks controlling sex determination: of masters, slaves, usual suspects, newcomers, and usurpators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herpin, Amaury; Schartl, Manfred

    2015-10-01

    Sexual dimorphism is one of the most pervasive and diverse features of animal morphology, physiology, and behavior. Despite the generality of the phenomenon itself, the mechanisms controlling how sex is determined differ considerably among various organismic groups, have evolved repeatedly and independently, and the underlying molecular pathways can change quickly during evolution. Even within closely related groups of organisms for which the development of gonads on the morphological, histological, and cell biological level is undistinguishable, the molecular control and the regulation of the factors involved in sex determination and gonad differentiation can be substantially different. The biological meaning of the high molecular plasticity of an otherwise common developmental program is unknown. While comparative studies suggest that the downstream effectors of sex-determining pathways tend to be more stable than the triggering mechanisms at the top, it is still unclear how conserved the downstream networks are and how all components work together. After many years of stasis, when the molecular basis of sex determination was amenable only in the few classical model organisms (fly, worm, mouse), recently, sex-determining genes from several animal species have been identified and new studies have elucidated some novel regulatory interactions and biological functions of the downstream network, particularly in vertebrates. These data have considerably changed our classical perception of a simple linear developmental cascade that makes the decision for the embryo to develop as male or female, and how it evolves.

  4. A synthetic biology approach to self-regulatory recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragosits Martin

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recombinant protein production is a process of great industrial interest, with products that range from pharmaceuticals to biofuels. Since high level production of recombinant protein imposes significant stress in the host organism, several methods have been developed over the years to optimize protein production. So far, these trial-and-error techniques have proved laborious and sensitive to process parameters, while there has been no attempt to address the problem by applying Synthetic Biology principles and methods, such as integration of standardized parts in novel synthetic circuits. Results We present a novel self-regulatory protein production system that couples the control of recombinant protein production with a stress-induced, negative feedback mechanism. The synthetic circuit allows the down-regulation of recombinant protein expression through a stress-induced promoter. We used E. coli as the host organism, since it is widely used in recombinant processes. Our results show that the introduction of the self-regulatory circuit increases the soluble/insoluble ratio of recombinant protein at the expense of total protein yield. To further elucidate the dynamics of the system, we developed a computational model that is in agreement with the observed experimental data, and provides insight on the interplay between protein solubility and yield. Conclusion Our work introduces the idea of a self-regulatory circuit for recombinant protein products, and paves the way for processes with reduced external control or monitoring needs. It demonstrates that the library of standard biological parts serves as a valuable resource for initial synthetic blocks that needs to be further refined to be successfully applied in practical problems of biotechnological significance. Finally, the development of a predictive model in conjunction with experimental validation facilitates a better understanding of the underlying dynamics and can be

  5. PyPanda: a Python package for gene regulatory network reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    van IJzendoorn, David G.P.; Glass, Kimberly; Quackenbush, John; Kuijjer, Marieke L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary: PANDA (Passing Attributes between Networks for Data Assimilation) is a gene regulatory network inference method that uses message-passing to integrate multiple sources of ‘omics data. PANDA was originally coded in C ++. In this application note we describe PyPanda, the Python version of PANDA. PyPanda runs considerably faster than the C ++ version and includes additional features for network analysis. Availability and implementation: The open source PyPanda Python package is freely available at http://github.com/davidvi/pypanda. Contact: mkuijjer@jimmy.harvard.edu or d.g.p.van_ijzendoorn@lumc.nl PMID:27402905

  6. Composite nanowire networks for biological sensor platforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabal, Jamie Marie Francisco

    The main goal of this research is to design, fabricate, and test a nanomaterial-based platform adequate for the measurement of physiological changes in living cells. The two primary objectives toward this end are (1) the synthesis and selection of a suitable nanomaterial and (2) the demonstration of cellular response to a direct stimulus. Determining a useful nanomaterial morphology and behavior within a sensor configuration presented challenges based on cellular integration and access to electrochemical characterization. The prospect for feasible optimization and eventual scale-up in technology were also significant. Constraining criteria are that the nanomaterial detector must (a) be cheap and relatively easy to fabricate controllably, (b) encourage cell attachment, (c) exhibit consistent wettability over time, and (d) facilitate electrochemical processes. The ultimate goal would be to transfer a proof-of-principle and proof-of-design for a whole-cell sensor technology that is cost effective and has a potential for hand-held packaging. Initial tasks were to determine an effective and highly-functional nanomaterial for biosensors by assessing wettability, morphology and conductivity behavior of several candidate materials: gallium nitride nanowires, silicon dioxide nanosprings and nanowires, and titania nanofibers. Electrospinning poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)-coated titania nano- and microfibers (O20 nm--2 microm) into a pseudo-random network is controllable to a uniformity of 1--2° in contact angle. The final electrode can be prepared with a precise wettability ranging from partial wetting to ultrahydrophobic (170°) on a variety of substrates: glass, indium tin oxide, silicon, and aluminum. Fiber mats exhibit excellent mechanical stability against rinsing, and support the incubation of epithelial (skin) and pancreatic cells. Impedance spectroscopy on the whole-cell sensor shows resistive changes attributed to cell growth as well as complex frequency

  7. Deciphering ascorbic acid regulatory pathways in ripening tomato fruit using a weighted gene correlation network analysis approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Chao; Ju, Zheng; Li, Shan; Zuo, Jinhua; Fu, Daqi; Tian, Huiqin; Luo, Yunbo; Zhu, Benzhong

    2013-11-01

    Genotype is generally determined by the co-expression of diverse genes and multiple regulatory pathways in plants. Gene co-expression analysis combining with physiological trait data provides very important information about the gene function and regulatory mechanism. L-Ascorbic acid (AsA), which is an essential nutrient component for human health and plant metabolism, plays key roles in diverse biological processes such as cell cycle, cell expansion, stress resistance, hormone synthesis, and signaling. Here, we applied a weighted gene correlation network analysis approach based on gene expression values and AsA content data in ripening tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit with different AsA content levels, which leads to identification of AsA relevant modules and vital genes in AsA regulatory pathways. Twenty-four modules were compartmentalized according to gene expression profiling. Among these modules, one negatively related module containing genes involved in redox processes and one positively related module enriched with genes involved in AsA biosynthetic and recycling pathways were further analyzed. The present work herein indicates that redox pathways as well as hormone-signal pathways are closely correlated with AsA accumulation in ripening tomato fruit, and allowed us to prioritize candidate genes for follow-up studies to dissect this interplay at the biochemical and molecular level.

  8. Deciphering Ascorbic Acid Regulatory Pathways in Ripening Tomato Fruit Using a Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis Approach

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chao Gao; Zheng Ju; Shan Li; Jinhua Zuo; Daqi Fu; Huiqin Tian; Yunbo Luo; Benzhong Zhu

    2013-01-01

    Genotype is generally determined by the co-expression of diverse genes and multiple regulatory pathways in plants. Gene co-expression analysis combining with physiological trait data provides very important information about the gene function and regulatory mechanism. L-Ascorbic acid (AsA), which is an essential nutrient component for human health and plant metabolism, plays key roles in diverse biological processes such as cell cycle, cell expansion, stress resistance, hormone synthesis, and signaling. Here, we applied a weighted gene correlation network analysis approach based on gene expression values and AsA content data in ripening tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit with different AsA content levels, which leads to identification of AsA relevant modules and vital genes in AsA regulatory pathways. Twenty-four modules were compartmentalized according to gene expression profiling. Among these modules, one negatively related module containing genes involved in redox processes and one positively related module enriched with genes involved in AsA biosynthetic and recycling pathways were further analyzed. The present work herein indicates that redox pathways as well as hormone-signal pathways are closely correlated with AsA accumulation in ripening tomato fruit, and allowed us to prioritize candidate genes for follow-up studies to dissect this interplay at the biochemical and molecular level.

  9. Functional splicing network reveals extensive regulatory potential of the core spliceosomal machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papasaikas, Panagiotis; Tejedor, J Ramón; Vigevani, Luisa; Valcárcel, Juan

    2015-01-08

    Pre-mRNA splicing relies on the poorly understood dynamic interplay between >150 protein components of the spliceosome. The steps at which splicing can be regulated remain largely unknown. We systematically analyzed the effect of knocking down the components of the splicing machinery on alternative splicing events relevant for cell proliferation and apoptosis and used this information to reconstruct a network of functional interactions. The network accurately captures known physical and functional associations and identifies new ones, revealing remarkable regulatory potential of core spliceosomal components, related to the order and duration of their recruitment during spliceosome assembly. In contrast with standard models of regulation at early steps of splice site recognition, factors involved in catalytic activation of the spliceosome display regulatory properties. The network also sheds light on the antagonism between hnRNP C and U2AF, and on targets of antitumor drugs, and can be widely used to identify mechanisms of splicing regulation.

  10. Generation of intervention strategy for a genetic regulatory network represented by a family of Markov Chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlow, Noah; Pal, Ranadip

    2011-01-01

    Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs) are frequently modeled as Markov Chains providing the transition probabilities of moving from one state of the network to another. The inverse problem of inference of the Markov Chain from noisy and limited experimental data is an ill posed problem and often generates multiple model possibilities instead of a unique one. In this article, we address the issue of intervention in a genetic regulatory network represented by a family of Markov Chains. The purpose of intervention is to alter the steady state probability distribution of the GRN as the steady states are considered to be representative of the phenotypes. We consider robust stationary control policies with best expected behavior. The extreme computational complexity involved in search of robust stationary control policies is mitigated by using a sequential approach to control policy generation and utilizing computationally efficient techniques for updating the stationary probability distribution of a Markov chain following a rank one perturbation.

  11. Fixed Points in Discrete Models for Regulatory Genetic Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orozco Edusmildo

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available It is desirable to have efficient mathematical methods to extract information about regulatory iterations between genes from repeated measurements of gene transcript concentrations. One piece of information is of interest when the dynamics reaches a steady state. In this paper we develop tools that enable the detection of steady states that are modeled by fixed points in discrete finite dynamical systems. We discuss two algebraic models, a univariate model and a multivariate model. We show that these two models are equivalent and that one can be converted to the other by means of a discrete Fourier transform. We give a new, more general definition of a linear finite dynamical system and we give a necessary and sufficient condition for such a system to be a fixed point system, that is, all cycles are of length one. We show how this result for generalized linear systems can be used to determine when certain nonlinear systems (monomial dynamical systems over finite fields are fixed point systems. We also show how it is possible to determine in polynomial time when an ordinary linear system (defined over a finite field is a fixed point system. We conclude with a necessary condition for a univariate finite dynamical system to be a fixed point system.

  12. SEBINI-CABIN: An Analysis Pipeline for Biological Network Inference, with a Case Study in Protein-Protein Interaction Network Reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, Ronald C.; Singhal, Mudita; Daly, Don S.; Domico, Kelly O.; White, Amanda M.; Auberry, Deanna L.; Auberry, Kenneth J.; Hooker, Brian S.; Hurst, G. B.; McDermott, Jason E.; McDonald, W. Hayes; Pelletier, Dale A.; Schmoyer, Denise D.; Cannon, William R.

    2007-12-01

    One of the core tasks of the emerging discipline of systems biology is the reconstruction of the various biological networks in an organism. The importance of understanding such regulatory, interaction, and signaling networks has fueled the development by bioinformatics researchers of many inference algorithms for determining their structure. The Software Environment for BIological Network Inference (SEBINI) has been created to provide an interactive environment for the deployment, testing, and improvement of algorithms used to reconstruct the structures of regulatory and interaction networks from high-throughput expression data. Networks inferred from the SEBINI software platform can be further analyzed using the Collective Analysis of Biological Interaction Networks (CABIN) tool, a software package for exploratory data analysis that allows basic integration and analysis of protein-protein interaction and gene-to-gene regulatory evidence obtained from multiple sources. Thus, the combined SEBINI–CABIN platform aids in the more accurate determination of biological networks, in less time, with less effort. In this paper, we present a case study demonstrating the use of the SEBINI and CABIN tools for protein-protein interaction network reconstruction. Incorporating the Bayesian Estimator of Protein-Protein Association Probabilities (BEPro) algorithm into the SEBINI toolkit, we have created a pipeline for structural inference and supplemental analysis of protein-protein interaction networks from sets of mass spectrometry bait-prey experiment data. To the best of our knowledge the pipeline so designed is the first to be publicly available for such use. A demonstration web site for SEBINI can be accessed from https://www.emsl.pnl.gov/NIT/NIT.html. Source code and PostgreSQL database schema are available under open source license. Contact: ronald.taylor@pnl.gov. For commercial use, some algorithms included in SEBINI require licensing from the original developers. The

  13. Putative regulatory sites unraveled by network-embedded thermodynamic analysis of metabolome data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kümmel, Anne; Panke, Sven; Heinemann, Matthias

    2006-01-01

    As one of the most recent members of the omics family, large-scale quantitative metabolomics data are currently complementing our systems biology data pool and offer the chance to integrate the metabolite level into the functional analysis of cellular networks. Network-embedded thermodynamic analysi

  14. NetDiff - Bayesian model selection for differential gene regulatory network inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Thomas

    2016-12-16

    Differential networks allow us to better understand the changes in cellular processes that are exhibited in conditions of interest, identifying variations in gene regulation or protein interaction between, for example, cases and controls, or in response to external stimuli. Here we present a novel methodology for the inference of differential gene regulatory networks from gene expression microarray data. Specifically we apply a Bayesian model selection approach to compare models of conserved and varying network structure, and use Gaussian graphical models to represent the network structures. We apply a variational inference approach to the learning of Gaussian graphical models of gene regulatory networks, that enables us to perform Bayesian model selection that is significantly more computationally efficient than Markov Chain Monte Carlo approaches. Our method is demonstrated to be more robust than independent analysis of data from multiple conditions when applied to synthetic network data, generating fewer false positive predictions of differential edges. We demonstrate the utility of our approach on real world gene expression microarray data by applying it to existing data from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases with and without mutations in C9orf72, and controls, where we are able to identify differential network interactions for further investigation.

  15. Localizing potentially active post-transcriptional regulations in the Ewing's sarcoma gene regulatory network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delyon Bernard

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A wide range of techniques is now available for analyzing regulatory networks. Nonetheless, most of these techniques fail to interpret large-scale transcriptional data at the post-translational level. Results We address the question of using large-scale transcriptomic observation of a system perturbation to analyze a regulatory network which contained several types of interactions - transcriptional and post-translational. Our method consisted of post-processing the outputs of an open-source tool named BioQuali - an automatic constraint-based analysis mimicking biologist's local reasoning on a large scale. The post-processing relied on differences in the behavior of the transcriptional and post-translational levels in the network. As a case study, we analyzed a network representation of the genes and proteins controlled by an oncogene in the context of Ewing's sarcoma. The analysis allowed us to pinpoint active interactions specific to this cancer. We also identified the parts of the network which were incomplete and should be submitted for further investigation. Conclusions The proposed approach is effective for the qualitative analysis of cancer networks. It allows the integrative use of experimental data of various types in order to identify the specific information that should be considered a priority in the initial - and possibly very large - experimental dataset. Iteratively, new dataset can be introduced into the analysis to improve the network representation and make it more specific.

  16. Regulatory network analysis of microRNAs and genes in imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltani, Ismael; Gharbi, Hanen; Hassine, Islem Ben; Bouguerra, Ghada; Douzi, Kais; Teber, Mouheb; Abbes, Salem; Menif, Samia

    2016-09-16

    Targeted therapy in the form of selective breakpoint cluster region-abelson (BCR/ABL) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (imatinib mesylate) has successfully been introduced in the treatment of the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, acquired resistance against imatinib mesylate (IM) has been reported in nearly half of patients and has been recognized as major issue in clinical practice. Multiple resistance genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) are thought to be involved in the IM resistance process. These resistance genes and miRNAs tend to interact with each other through a regulatory network. Therefore, it is crucial to study the impact of these interactions in the IM resistance process. The present study focused on miRNA and gene network analysis in order to elucidate the role of interacting elements and to understand their functional contribution in therapeutic failure. Unlike previous studies which were centered only on genes or miRNAs, the prime focus of the present study was on relationships. To this end, three regulatory networks including differentially expressed, related, and global networks were constructed and analyzed in search of similarities and differences. Regulatory associations between miRNAs and their target genes, transcription factors and miRNAs, as well as miRNAs and their host genes were also macroscopically investigated. Certain key pathways in the three networks, especially in the differentially expressed network, were featured. The differentially expressed network emerged as a fault map of IM-resistant CML. Theoretically, the IM resistance process could be prevented by correcting the included errors. The present network-based approach to study resistance miRNAs and genes might help in understanding the molecular mechanisms of IM resistance in CML as well as in the improvement of CML therapy.

  17. Human Metabolic Network: Reconstruction, Simulation, and Applications in Systems Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ming; Chan, Christina

    2012-01-01

    Metabolism is crucial to cell growth and proliferation. Deficiency or alterations in metabolic functions are known to be involved in many human diseases. Therefore, understanding the human metabolic system is important for the study and treatment of complex diseases. Current reconstructions of the global human metabolic network provide a computational platform to integrate genome-scale information on metabolism. The platform enables a systematic study of the regulation and is applicable to a wide variety of cases, wherein one could rely on in silico perturbations to predict novel targets, interpret systemic effects, and identify alterations in the metabolic states to better understand the genotype-phenotype relationships. In this review, we describe the reconstruction of the human metabolic network, introduce the constraint based modeling approach to analyze metabolic networks, and discuss systems biology applications to study human physiology and pathology. We highlight the challenges and opportunities in network reconstruction and systems modeling of the human metabolic system. PMID:24957377

  18. Gibberellins - a multifaceted hormone in plant growth regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantait, Saikat; Sinniah, Uma Rani; Ali, Md Nasim; Sahu, Narayan Chandra

    2015-01-01

    Plants tend to acclimatize to unfavourable environs by integrating growth and development to environmentally activated signals. Phytohormones strongly regulate convergent developmental and stress adaptive procedures and synchronize cellular reaction to the exogenous and endogenous conditions within the adaptive signaling networks. Gibberellins (GA), a group of tetracyclic diterpenoids, being vital regulators of plant growth, are accountable for regulating several aspects of growth and development of higher plants. If the element of reproduction is considered as an absolute requisite then for a majority of the higher plants GA signaling is simply indispensable. Latest reports have revealed unique conflicting roles of GA and other phytohormones in amalgamating growth and development in plants through environmental signaling. Numerous physiological researches have detailed substantial crosstalk between GA and other hormones like abscisic acid, auxin, cytokinin, and jasmonic acid. In this review, a number of explanations and clarifications for this discrepancy are explored based on the crosstalk among GA and other phytohormones.

  19. Expanding the Regulatory Network for Meristem Size in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galli, Mary; Gallavotti, Andrea

    2016-06-01

    The remarkable plasticity of post-embryonic plant development is due to groups of stem-cell-containing structures called meristems. In the shoot, meristems continuously produce organs such as leaves, flowers, and stems. Nearly two decades ago the WUSCHEL/CLAVATA (WUS/CLV) negative feedback loop was established as being essential for regulating the size of shoot meristems by maintaining a delicate balance between stem cell proliferation and cell recruitment for the differentiation of lateral primordia. Recent research in various model species (Arabidopsis, tomato, maize, and rice) has led to discoveries of additional components that further refine and improve the current model of meristem regulation, adding new complexity to a vital network for plant growth and productivity.

  20. The impact of gene expression variation on the robustness and evolvability of a developmental gene regulatory network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Garfield

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Regulatory interactions buffer development against genetic and environmental perturbations, but adaptation requires phenotypes to change. We investigated the relationship between robustness and evolvability within the gene regulatory network underlying development of the larval skeleton in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We find extensive variation in gene expression in this network throughout development in a natural population, some of which has a heritable genetic basis. Switch-like regulatory interactions predominate during early development, buffer expression variation, and may promote the accumulation of cryptic genetic variation affecting early stages. Regulatory interactions during later development are typically more sensitive (linear, allowing variation in expression to affect downstream target genes. Variation in skeletal morphology is associated primarily with expression variation of a few, primarily structural, genes at terminal positions within the network. These results indicate that the position and properties of gene interactions within a network can have important evolutionary consequences independent of their immediate regulatory role.

  1. Imposing early stability to ecological and biological networks through Evolutionary Network Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The stability analysis of the dynamical networks is a well-studied topic, both in ecology and in biology. In this work, I adopt a different perspective: instead of analysing the stability of an arbitrary ecological network, I seek here to impose such stability as soon as possible (or, contrariwise, as late as possible during network dynamics. Evolutionary Network Control (ENC is a theoretical and methodological framework aimed to the control of ecological and biological networks by coupling network dynamics and evolutionary modelling. ENC covers several topics of network control, for instance a the global control from inside and b from outside, c the local (step-by-step control, and the computation of: d control success, e feasibility, and f degree of uncertainty. In this work, I demonstrate that ENC can also be employed to impose early (but, also, late stability to arbitrary ecological and biological networks, and provide an applicative example based on the nonlinear, widely-used, Lotka-Volterra model.

  2. Classification of biological and non-biological fluvial particles using image processing and artificial neural network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Bim Prasad; Shrestha, Nabin Kumar; Poudel, Laxman

    2009-04-01

    Particles flowing along with water largely affect safe drinking water, irrigation, aquatic life preservation and hydropower generation. This research describes activities that lead to development of fluvial particle characterization that includes detection of biological and non-biological particles and shape characterization using Image Processing and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Fluvial particles are characterized based on multi spectral images processing using ANN. Images of wavelength of 630nm and 670nm are taken as most distinctive characterizing properties of biological and non-biological particles found in Bagmati River of Nepal. The samples were collected at pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Random samples were selected and multi spectral images are processed using MATLAB 6.5. Thirty matrices were built from each sample. The obtained data of 42 rows and 60columns were taken as input training with an output matrix of 42 rows and 2 columns. Neural Network of Perceptron model was created using a transfer function. The system was first validated and later on tested at 18 different strategic locations of Bagmati River of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. This network classified biological and non biological particles. Development of new non-destructive technique to characterize biological and non-biological particles from fluvial sample in a real time has a significance breakthrough. This applied research method and outcome is an attractive model for real time monitoring of particles and has many applications that can throw a significant outlet to many researches and for effective utilization of water resources. It opened a new horizon of opportunities for basic and applied research at Kathmandu University in Nepal.

  3. Comparative analysis of the transcription-factor gene regulatory networks of E. coli and S. cerevisiae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santillán Moisés

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The regulatory interactions between transcription factors (TF and regulated genes (RG in a species genome can be lumped together in a single directed graph. The TF's and RG's conform the nodes of this graph, while links are drawn whenever a transcription factor regulates a gene's expression. Projections onto TF nodes can be constructed by linking every two nodes regulating a common gene. Similarly, projections onto RG nodes can be made by linking every two regulated genes sharing at least one common regulator. Recent studies of the connectivity pattern in the transcription-factor regulatory network of many organisms have revealed some interesting properties. However, the differences between TF and RG nodes have not been widely explored. Results After analysing the RG and TF projections of the transcription-factor gene regulatory networks of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we found several common characteristic as well as some noticeable differences. To better understand these differences, we compared the properties of the E. coli and S. cerevisiae RG- and TF-projected networks with those of the corresponding projections built from randomized versions of the original bipartite networks. These last results indicate that the observed differences are mostly due to the very different ratios of TF to RG counts of the E. coli and S. cerevisiae bipartite networks, rather than to their having different connectivity patterns. Conclusion Since E. coli is a prokaryotic organism while S. cerevisiae is eukaryotic, there are important differences between them concerning processing of mRNA before translation, DNA packing, amount of junk DNA, and gene regulation. From the results in this paper we conclude that the most important effect such differences have had on the development of the corresponding transcription-factor gene regulatory networks is their very different ratios of TF to RG numbers. This ratio is more than three

  4. Slow poisoning and destruction of networks: edge proximity and its implications for biological and infrastructure networks

    CERN Document Server

    Banerjee, Soumya Jyoti; Roy, Soumen

    2014-01-01

    There have been many studies on malicious targeting of network nodes using degree, betweenness etc. We propose a new network metric, edge proximity, ${\\cal P}_e$, which demonstrates the importance of specific edges in a network, hitherto not captured by existing network metrics. Effects of removing edges with high ${\\cal P}_e$ might initially seem inconspicuous but is eventually shown to be very harmful for the network. When compared to existing strategies, removal of edges by ${\\cal P}_e$, leads to remarkable increase of diameter and average path length in real and random networks till the first disconnection and beyond. ${\\cal P}_e$ can be consistently used to rupture the network into two nearly equal parts, thus presenting a very potent strategy to greatly harm a network. Targeting by ${\\cal P}_e$ causes notable efficiency loss in US and European power grid. ${\\cal P}_e$ identifies proteins with essential cellular functions in protein-protein interaction networks. It pinpoints regulatory neural connections...

  5. Integrated Network Analysis and Effective Tools in Plant Systems Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi eFukushima

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the ultimate goals in plant systems biology is to elucidate the genotype-phenotype relationship in plant cellular systems. Integrated network analysis that combines omics data with mathematical models has received particular attention. Here we focus on the latest cutting-edge computational advances that facilitate their combination. We highlight (1 network visualization tools, (2 pathway analyses, (3 genome-scale metabolic reconstruction, and (4 the integration of high-throughput experimental data and mathematical models. Multi-omics data that contain the genome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome and mathematical models are expected to integrate and expand our knowledge of complex plant metabolisms.

  6. Biologically-inspired Learning in Pulsed Neural Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehmann, Torsten; Woodburn, Robin

    1999-01-01

    Self-learning chips to implement many popular ANN (artificial neural network) algorithms are very difficult to design. We explain why this is so and say what lessons previous work teaches us in the design of self-learning systems. We offer a contribution to the `biologically-inspired' approach......, explaining what we mean by this term and providing an example of a robust, self-learning design that can solve simple classical-conditioning tasks. We give details of the design of individual circuits to perform component functions, which can then be combined into a network to solve the task. We argue...

  7. Learning gene regulatory networks from gene expression data using weighted consensus

    KAUST Repository

    Fujii, Chisato

    2016-08-25

    An accurate determination of the network structure of gene regulatory systems from high-throughput gene expression data is an essential yet challenging step in studying how the expression of endogenous genes is controlled through a complex interaction of gene products and DNA. While numerous methods have been proposed to infer the structure of gene regulatory networks, none of them seem to work consistently over different data sets with high accuracy. A recent study to compare gene network inference methods showed that an average-ranking-based consensus method consistently performs well under various settings. Here, we propose a linear programming-based consensus method for the inference of gene regulatory networks. Unlike the average-ranking-based one, which treats the contribution of each individual method equally, our new consensus method assigns a weight to each method based on its credibility. As a case study, we applied the proposed consensus method on synthetic and real microarray data sets, and compared its performance to that of the average-ranking-based consensus and individual inference methods. Our results show that our weighted consensus method achieves superior performance over the unweighted one, suggesting that assigning weights to different individual methods rather than giving them equal weights improves the accuracy. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

  8. Dynamic regulatory on/off minimization for biological systems under internal temporal perturbations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleessen Sabrina

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Flux balance analysis (FBA together with its extension, dynamic FBA, have proven instrumental for analyzing the robustness and dynamics of metabolic networks by employing only the stoichiometry of the included reactions coupled with adequately chosen objective function. In addition, under the assumption of minimization of metabolic adjustment, dynamic FBA has recently been employed to analyze the transition between metabolic states. Results Here, we propose a suite of novel methods for analyzing the dynamics of (internally perturbed metabolic networks and for quantifying their robustness with limited knowledge of kinetic parameters. Following the biochemically meaningful premise that metabolite concentrations exhibit smooth temporal changes, the proposed methods rely on minimizing the significant fluctuations of metabolic profiles to predict the time-resolved metabolic state, characterized by both fluxes and concentrations. By conducting a comparative analysis with a kinetic model of the Calvin-Benson cycle and a model of plant carbohydrate metabolism, we demonstrate that the principle of regulatory on/off minimization coupled with dynamic FBA can accurately predict the changes in metabolic states. Conclusions Our methods outperform the existing dynamic FBA-based modeling alternatives, and could help in revealing the mechanisms for maintaining robustness of dynamic processes in metabolic networks over time.

  9. Regulatory Roles of Metabolites in Cell Signaling Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Feng Li; Wei Xu; Shimin Zhao

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that cellular metabolites,in addition to being sources of fuel and macromolecular substrates,are actively involved in signaling and epigenetic regulation.Many metabolites,such as cyclic AMP,which regulates phosphorylation/dephosphorylation,have been identified to modulate DNA and histone methylation and protein stability.Metabolite-driven cellular regulation occurs through two distinct mechanisms:proteins allosterically bind or serve as substrates for protein signaling pathways,and metabolites covalently modify proteins to regulate their functions.Such novel protein metabolites include fumarate,succinyl-CoA,propionyl-CoA,butyryl-CoA and crontonyl-CoA.Other metabolites,including α-ketoglutarate,succinate and fumarate,regulate epigenetic processes and cell signaling via protein binding.Here,we summarize recent progress in metabolite-derived post-translational protein modification and metabolite-binding associated signaling regulation.Uncovering metabolites upstream of cell signaling and epigenetic networks permits the linkage of metabolic disorders and human diseases,and suggests that metabolite modulation may be a strategy for innovative therapeutics and disease prevention techniques.

  10. Quantitative utilization of prior biological knowledge in the Bayesian network modeling of gene expression data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gao Shouguo

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bayesian Network (BN is a powerful approach to reconstructing genetic regulatory networks from gene expression data. However, expression data by itself suffers from high noise and lack of power. Incorporating prior biological knowledge can improve the performance. As each type of prior knowledge on its own may be incomplete or limited by quality issues, integrating multiple sources of prior knowledge to utilize their consensus is desirable. Results We introduce a new method to incorporate the quantitative information from multiple sources of prior knowledge. It first uses the Naïve Bayesian classifier to assess the likelihood of functional linkage between gene pairs based on prior knowledge. In this study we included cocitation in PubMed and schematic similarity in Gene Ontology annotation. A candidate network edge reservoir is then created in which the copy number of each edge is proportional to the estimated likelihood of linkage between the two corresponding genes. In network simulation the Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithm is adopted, and samples from this reservoir at each iteration to generate new candidate networks. We evaluated the new algorithm using both simulated and real gene expression data including that from a yeast cell cycle and a mouse pancreas development/growth study. Incorporating prior knowledge led to a ~2 fold increase in the number of known transcription regulations recovered, without significant change in false positive rate. In contrast, without the prior knowledge BN modeling is not always better than a random selection, demonstrating the necessity in network modeling to supplement the gene expression data with additional information. Conclusion our new development provides a statistical means to utilize the quantitative information in prior biological knowledge in the BN modeling of gene expression data, which significantly improves the performance.

  11. Networks and their applications to biological systems: From ecological dynamics to gene regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevim, Volkan

    In this dissertation, we study three biological applications of networks. The first one is a biological coevolution model, in which a species is defined by a genome in the form of a finite bitstring and the interactions between species are given by a fixed matrix with randomly distributed elements. Here we study a version of the model, in which the matrix elements are correlated to a controllable degree by means of an averaging scheme. This method allows creation of mutants resembling their ancestors (wildtype). We compare long kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of models with uncorrelated and correlated interactions. We find that while there are quantitative differences, most qualitative features, such as 1/f behavior in power spectral densities for the diversity indices and the power-law distribution of species lifetimes, are not significantly affected by the correlations in the interaction matrix. The second application is the growth of a directed network, in which the growth is constrained by the cost of adding links to the existing nodes. This is a new preferential-attachment scheme, in which a new node attaches to an existing node i with probability pi(k i, k'i ) ∝ ( k'i /ki)gamma, where ki and k'i are the number of outgoing and incoming links at i, respectively, and gamma is a constant. First, we calculate the degree distribution for the outgoing links for a simplified form of this function, pi( ki) ∝ k-1i , both analytically and by Monte Carlo simulations. The distribution decays like kmuk/Gamma(k) for large k, where mu is a constant. We relate this mechanism to simple food-web models by implementing it in the cascade model. We also study the generalized case, pi(ki, k'i ) ∝ ( k'i /ki)gamma, by simulations. The third application is the evolution of robustness to mutations and noise in gene regulatory networks. It has been shown that robustness to mutations and noise can evolve through stabilizing selection for optimal phenotypes in model gene regulatory

  12. Analysis of complex networks from biology to linguistics

    CERN Document Server

    Dehmer, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    Mathematical problems such as graph theory problems are of increasing importance for the analysis of modelling data in biomedical research such as in systems biology, neuronal network modelling etc. This book follows a new approach of including graph theory from a mathematical perspective with specific applications of graph theory in biomedical and computational sciences. The book is written by renowned experts in the field and offers valuable background information for a wide audience.

  13. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  14. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Yang, Jian-Guo; Chen, Li; Wang, Ji-Long; Cheng, Qi; Dixon, Ray; Wang, Yi-Ping

    2013-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54)-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54)-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  15. NetDecoder: a network biology platform that decodes context-specific biological networks and gene activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Rocha, Edroaldo Lummertz; Ung, Choong Yong; McGehee, Cordelia D; Correia, Cristina; Li, Hu

    2016-06-02

    The sequential chain of interactions altering the binary state of a biomolecule represents the 'information flow' within a cellular network that determines phenotypic properties. Given the lack of computational tools to dissect context-dependent networks and gene activities, we developed NetDecoder, a network biology platform that models context-dependent information flows using pairwise phenotypic comparative analyses of protein-protein interactions. Using breast cancer, dyslipidemia and Alzheimer's disease as case studies, we demonstrate NetDecoder dissects subnetworks to identify key players significantly impacting cell behaviour specific to a given disease context. We further show genes residing in disease-specific subnetworks are enriched in disease-related signalling pathways and information flow profiles, which drive the resulting disease phenotypes. We also devise a novel scoring scheme to quantify key genes-network routers, which influence many genes, key targets, which are influenced by many genes, and high impact genes, which experience a significant change in regulation. We show the robustness of our results against parameter changes. Our network biology platform includes freely available source code (http://www.NetDecoder.org) for researchers to explore genome-wide context-dependent information flow profiles and key genes, given a set of genes of particular interest and transcriptome data. More importantly, NetDecoder will enable researchers to uncover context-dependent drug targets.

  16. Statistical and regulatory considerations in assessments of interchangeability of biological drug products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tóthfalusi, Lászlo; Endrényi, László; Chow, Shein-Chung

    2014-05-01

    When the patent of a brand-name, marketed drug expires, new, generic products are usually offered. Small-molecule generic and originator drug products are expected to be chemically identical. Their pharmaceutical similarity can be typically assessed by simple regulatory criteria such as the expectation that the 90% confidence interval for the ratio of geometric means of some pharmacokinetic parameters be between 0.80 and 1.25. When such criteria are satisfied, the drug products are generally considered to exhibit therapeutic equivalence. They are then usually interchanged freely within individual patients. Biological drugs are complex proteins, for instance, because of their large size, intricate structure, sensitivity to environmental conditions, difficult manufacturing procedures, and the possibility of immunogenicity. Generic and brand-name biologic products can be expected to show only similarity but not identity in their various features and clinical effects. Consequently, the determination of biosimilarity is also a complicated process which involves assessment of the totality of the evidence for the close similarity of the two products. Moreover, even when biosimilarity has been established, it may not be assumed that the two biosimilar products can be automatically substituted by pharmacists. This generally requires additional, careful considerations. Without declaring interchangeability, a new product could be prescribed, i.e. it is prescribable. However, two products can be automatically substituted only if they are interchangeable. Interchangeability is a statistical term and it means that products can be used in any order in the same patient without considering the treatment history. The concepts of interchangeability and prescribability have been widely discussed in the past but only in relation to small molecule generics. In this paper we apply these concepts to biosimilars and we discuss: definitions of prescribability and interchangeability and

  17. Integrative identification of deregulated miRNA/TF-mediated gene regulatory loops and networks in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afshar, Ali Sobhi; Xu, Joseph; Goutsias, John

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have attracted a great deal of attention in biology and medicine. It has been hypothesized that miRNAs interact with transcription factors (TFs) in a coordinated fashion to play key roles in regulating signaling and transcriptional pathways and in achieving robust gene regulation. Here, we propose a novel integrative computational method to infer certain types of deregulated miRNA-mediated regulatory circuits at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and signaling levels. To reliably predict miRNA-target interactions from mRNA/miRNA expression data, our method collectively utilizes sequence-based miRNA-target predictions obtained from several algorithms, known information about mRNA and miRNA targets of TFs available in existing databases, certain molecular structures identified to be statistically over-represented in gene regulatory networks, available molecular subtyping information, and state-of-the-art statistical techniques to appropriately constrain the underlying analysis. In this way, the method exploits almost every aspect of extractable information in the expression data. We apply our procedure on mRNA/miRNA expression data from prostate tumor and normal samples and detect numerous known and novel miRNA-mediated deregulated loops and networks in prostate cancer. We also demonstrate instances of the results in a number of distinct biological settings, which are known to play crucial roles in prostate and other types of cancer. Our findings show that the proposed computational method can be used to effectively achieve notable insights into the poorly understood molecular mechanisms of miRNA-mediated interactions and dissect their functional roles in cancer in an effort to pave the way for miRNA-based therapeutics in clinical settings.

  18. Evolution of Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Pseudomonas aeruginosa During Long Time Growth in Human Hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Eva Kammer

    ) as a natural model system, the work has focused on characterising a number of mutations in global regulators that are known to provide an adaptive advantage in this specific environment. The aim has been to provide a molecular explanation of the effects of the specific mutations in relation to regulatory...... network remodelling, and to provide in