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1.  Assessing the gain of biological data integration in gene networks inference 
BMC Genomics  2012;13(Suppl 6):S7.
A current challenge in gene annotation is to define the gene function in the context of the network of relationships instead of using single genes. The inference of gene networks (GNs) has emerged as an approach to better understand the biology of the system and to study how several components of this network interact with each other and keep their functions stable. However, in general there is no sufficient data to accurately recover the GNs from their expression levels leading to the curse of dimensionality, in which the number of variables is higher than samples. One way to mitigate this problem is to integrate biological data instead of using only the expression profiles in the inference process. Nowadays, the use of several biological information in inference methods had a significant increase in order to better recover the connections between genes and reduce the false positives. What makes this strategy so interesting is the possibility of confirming the known connections through the included biological data, and the possibility of discovering new relationships between genes when observed the expression data. Although several works in data integration have increased the performance of the network inference methods, the real contribution of adding each type of biological information in the obtained improvement is not clear.
We propose a methodology to include biological information into an inference algorithm in order to assess its prediction gain by using biological information and expression profile together. We also evaluated and compared the gain of adding four types of biological information: (a) protein-protein interaction, (b) Rosetta stone fusion proteins, (c) KEGG and (d) KEGG+GO.
Results and conclusions
This work presents a first comparison of the gain in the use of prior biological information in the inference of GNs by considering the eukaryote (P. falciparum) organism. Our results indicates that information based on direct interaction can produce a higher improvement in the gain than data about a less specific relationship as GO or KEGG. Also, as expected, the results show that the use of biological information is a very important approach for the improvement of the inference. We also compared the gain in the inference of the global network and only the hubs. The results indicates that the use of biological information can improve the identification of the most connected proteins.
PMCID: PMC3481449  PMID: 23134775
2.  Constraint-based analysis of gene interactions using restricted boolean networks and time-series data 
BMC Proceedings  2011;5(Suppl 2):S5.
A popular model for gene regulatory networks is the Boolean network model. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to perform an analysis of gene regulatory interactions using the Boolean network model and time-series data. Actually, the Boolean network is restricted in the sense that only a subset of all possible Boolean functions are considered. We explore some mathematical properties of the restricted Boolean networks in order to avoid the full search approach. The problem is modeled as a Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP) and CSP techniques are used to solve it.
We applied the proposed algorithm in two data sets. First, we used an artificial dataset obtained from a model for the budding yeast cell cycle. The second data set is derived from experiments performed using HeLa cells. The results show that some interactions can be fully or, at least, partially determined under the Boolean model considered.
The algorithm proposed can be used as a first step for detection of gene/protein interactions. It is able to infer gene relationships from time-series data of gene expression, and this inference process can be aided by a priori knowledge available.
PMCID: PMC3090763  PMID: 21554763
3.  Steady-State Analysis of Genetic Regulatory Networks Modelled by Probabilistic Boolean Networks 
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.
PMCID: PMC2447305  PMID: 18629023

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