Reconstructing gene regulatory networks: from random to scale-free connectivity

J Wildenhain, E J Crampin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The manipulation of organisms using combinations of gene knockout, RNAi and drug interaction experiments can be used to reveal regulatory interactions between genes. Several algorithms have been proposed that try to reconstruct the underlying regulatory networks from gene expression data sets arising from such experiments. Often these approaches assume that each gene has approximately the same number of interactions within the network, and the methods rely on prior knowledge, or the investigator's best guess, of the average network connectivity. Recent evidence points to scale-free properties in biological networks, however, where network connectivity follows a power-law distribution. For scale-free networks, the average number of regulatory interactions per gene does not satisfactorily characterise the network. With this in mind, a new reverse engineering approach is introduced that does not require prior knowledge of network connectivity and its performance is compared with other published algorithms using simulated gene expression data with biologically relevant network structures. Because this new approach does not make any assumptions about the distribution of network connections, it is suitable for application to scale-free networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-56
Number of pages10
JournalSystems Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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