Wang et al., 2005

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K Wang, N Banerjee, A Margolin, I Nemenman, K Basso, R Dalla Favera, and A Califano. Conditional network analysis identifies candidate regulator genes in human B cells. Unpublished manuscript, 2005. PDF, arXiv.

Cellular phenotypes are determined by the dynamical activity of networks of co-regulated genes. Elucidating such networks is crucial for the understanding of normal cell physiology as well as for the dissection of complex pathologic phenotypes. Existing methods for such "reverse engineering" of genetic networks from microarray expression data have been successful only in prokaryotes (E. coli) and lower eukaryotes (S. cerevisiae) with relatively simple genomes. Additionally, they have mostly attempted to reconstruct average properties about the network connectivity without capturing the highly conditional nature of the interactions. In this paper we extend the ARACNE algorithm, which we recently introduced and successfully applied to the reconstruction of whole genome transcriptional networks from mammalian cells, precisely to link the existence of specific network structures to the expression or lack thereof of specific regulator genes. This is accomplished by analyzing thousands of alternative network topologies generated by constraining the data set on the presence or absence of putative regulator genes. By considering interactions that are consistently supported across several such constraints, we identify many transcriptional interactions that would not have been detectable by the original method. By selecting genes that produce statistically significant changes in network topology, we identify novel candidate regulator genes. Further analysis shows that transcription factors, kinases, phosphatases, and other gene families known to effect biochemical interactions, are significantly overrepresented among the set of candidate regulator genes identified in silico, indirectly supporting the validity of the approach.