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PLoS Comput Biol. 2005 Dec;1(7):e74. Epub 2005 Dec 23.

Functional alignment of regulatory networks: a study of temperate phages.

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Department of Theoretical Physics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


The relationship between the design and functionality of molecular networks is now a key issue in biology. Comparison of regulatory networks performing similar tasks can provide insights into how network architecture is constrained by the functions it directs. Here, we discuss methods of network comparison based on network architecture and signaling logic. Introducing local and global signaling scores for the difference between two networks, we quantify similarities between evolutionarily closely and distantly related bacteriophages. Despite the large evolutionary separation between phage lambda and 186, their networks are found to be similar when difference is measured in terms of global signaling. We finally discuss how network alignment can be used to pinpoint protein similarities viewed from the network perspective.

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