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BMC Bioinformatics. 2017 Dec 28;18(Suppl 16):551. doi: 10.1186/s12859-017-1958-4.

The node-weighted Steiner tree approach to identify elements of cancer-related signaling pathways.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3010, Australia. yahuis@student.unimelb.edu.au.
2
Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3010, Australia.
3
Research School of Engineering, College of Engineering & Computer Science, The Australian National University, Canberra, 2601, ACT, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cancer constitutes a momentous health burden in our society. Critical information on cancer may be hidden in its signaling pathways. However, even though a large amount of money has been spent on cancer research, some critical information on cancer-related signaling pathways still remains elusive. Hence, new works towards a complete understanding of cancer-related signaling pathways will greatly benefit the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

RESULTS:

We propose the node-weighted Steiner tree approach to identify important elements of cancer-related signaling pathways at the level of proteins. This new approach has advantages over previous approaches since it is fast in processing large protein-protein interaction networks. We apply this new approach to identify important elements of two well-known cancer-related signaling pathways: PI3K/Akt and MAPK. First, we generate a node-weighted protein-protein interaction network using protein and signaling pathway data. Second, we modify and use two preprocessing techniques and a state-of-the-art Steiner tree algorithm to identify a subnetwork in the generated network. Third, we propose two new metrics to select important elements from this subnetwork. On a commonly used personal computer, this new approach takes less than 2 s to identify the important elements of PI3K/Akt and MAPK signaling pathways in a large node-weighted protein-protein interaction network with 16,843 vertices and 1,736,922 edges. We further analyze and demonstrate the significance of these identified elements to cancer signal transduction by exploring previously reported experimental evidences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our node-weighted Steiner tree approach is shown to be both fast and effective to identify important elements of cancer-related signaling pathways. Furthermore, it may provide new perspectives into the identification of signaling pathways for other human diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Big data; Bioinformatics; Data mining; Systems biology

PMID:
29297291
PMCID:
PMC5751691
DOI:
10.1186/s12859-017-1958-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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