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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27819. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027819. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Existence of inverted profile in chemically responsive molecular pathways in the zebrafish liver.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Queenstown, Singapore.


How a living organism maintains its healthy equilibrium in response to endless exposure of potentially harmful chemicals is an important question in current biology. By transcriptomic analysis of zebrafish livers treated by various chemicals, we defined hubs as molecular pathways that are frequently perturbed by chemicals and have high degree of functional connectivity to other pathways. Our network analysis revealed that these hubs were organized into two groups showing inverted functionality with each other. Intriguingly, the inverted activity profiles in these two groups of hubs were observed to associate only with toxicopathological states but not with physiological changes. Furthermore, these inverted profiles were also present in rat, mouse, and human under certain toxicopathological conditions. Thus, toxicopathological-associated anti-correlated profiles in hubs not only indicate their potential use in diagnosis but also development of systems-based therapeutics to modulate gene expression by chemical approach in order to rewire the deregulated activities of hubs back to normal physiology.

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