Boolean factor graph model for biological systems: The yeast cell-cycle network
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Kotiang, S., & Eslami, A. (2021). Boolean factor graph model for biological systems: The yeast cell-cycle network. BMC Bioinformatics, 22(1) doi:10.1186/s12859-021-04361-8
Background: The desire to understand genomic functions and the behavior of complex gene regulatory networks has recently been a major research focus in systems biology. As a result, a plethora of computational and modeling tools have been proposed to identify and infer interactions among biological entities. Here, we consider the general question of the effect of perturbation on the global dynamical network behavior as well as error propagation in biological networks to incite research pertaining to intervention strategies. Results: This paper introduces a computational framework that combines the formulation of Boolean networks and factor graphs to explore the global dynamical features of biological systems. A message-passing algorithm is proposed for this formalism to evolve network states as messages in the graph. In addition, the mathematical formulation allows us to describe the dynamics and behavior of error propagation in gene regulatory networks by conducting a density evolution (DE) analysis. The model is applied to assess the network state progression and the impact of gene deletion in the budding yeast cell cycle. Simulation results show that our model predictions match published experimental data. Also, our findings reveal that the sample yeast cell-cycle network is not only robust but also consistent with real high-throughput expression data. Finally, our DE analysis serves as a tool to find the optimal values of network parameters for resilience against perturbations, especially in the inference of genetic graphs. Conclusion: Our computational framework provides a useful graphical model and analytical tools to study biological networks. It can be a powerful tool to predict the consequences of gene deletions before conducting wet bench experiments because it proves to be a quick route to predicting biologically relevant dynamic properties without tunable kinetic parameters.
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