Original Publication Date
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
DOI of Original Publication
Date of Submission
Understanding relationships between architectural properties of gene-regulatory networks (GRNs) has been one of the major goals in systems biology and bioinformatics, as it can provide insights into, e.g., disease dynamics and drug development. Such GRNs are characterized by their scale-free degree distributions and existence of network motifs – i.e., small-node subgraphs that occur more abundantly in GRNs than expected from chance alone. Because these transcriptional modules represent “building blocks” of complex networks and exhibit a wide range of functional and dynamical properties, they may contribute to the remarkable robustness and dynamical stability associated with the whole of GRNs. Here, we developed network-construction models to better understand this relationship, which produce randomized GRNs by using transcriptional motifs as the fundamental growth unit in contrast to other methods that construct similar networks on a node-by-node basis. Because this model produces networks with a prescribed lower bound on the number of choice transcriptional motifs (e.g., downlinks, feed-forward loops), its fidelity to the motif distributions observed in model organisms represents an improvement over existing methods, which we validated by contrasting their resultant motif and degree distributions against existing network-growth models and data from the model organism of the bacteriumEscherichia coli. These models may therefore serve as novel testbeds for further elucidating relationships between the topology of transcriptional motifs and network-wide dynamical properties.
Copyright: © 2015 Abdelzaher, Al-Musawi, Ghosh, Mayo and Perkins. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Is Part Of
VCU Computer Science Publications