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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Context-dependent transcriptional regulations between signal transduction pathways

Sohyun Hwang1, Sangwoo Kim1, Heesung Shin2 and Doheon Lee1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, KAIST, 373-1 Guseong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Deajeon, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Mathematics, Inha University, 253 Yonghyun-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea

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BMC Bioinformatics 2011, 12:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-19

Published: 13 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Cells coordinate their metabolism, proliferation, and cellular communication according to environmental cues through signal transduction. Because signal transduction has a primary role in cellular processes, many experimental techniques and approaches have emerged to discover the molecular components and dynamics that are dependent on cellular contexts. However, omics approaches based on genome-wide expression analysis data comparing one differing condition (e.g. complex disease patients and normal subjects) did not investigate the dynamics and inter-pathway cross-communication that are dependent on cellular contexts. Therefore, we introduce a new computational omics approach for discovering signal transduction pathways regulated by transcription and transcriptional regulations between pathways in signaling networks that are dependent on cellular contexts, especially focusing on a transcription-mediated mechanism of inter-pathway cross-communication.

Results

Applied to dendritic cells treated with lipopolysaccharide, our analysis well depicted how dendritic cells respond to the treatment through transcriptional regulations between signal transduction pathways in dendritic cell maturation and T cell activation.

Conclusions

Our new approach helps to understand the underlying biological phenomenon of expression data (e.g. complex diseases such as cancer) by providing a graphical network which shows transcriptional regulations between signal transduction pathways. The software programs are available upon request.