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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: BMC bioinformatics, 22 July 2014, Vol.15, pp.250
    Description: Network inference deals with the reconstruction of molecular networks from experimental data. Given N molecular species, the challenge is to find the underlying network. Due to data limitations, this typically is an ill-posed problem, and requires the integration of prior biological knowledge or strong regularization. We here focus on the situation when time-resolved measurements of a system's response after systematic perturbations are available. We present a novel method to infer signaling networks from time-course perturbation data. We utilize dynamic Bayesian networks with probabilistic Boolean threshold functions to describe protein activation. The model posterior distribution is analyzed using evolutionary MCMC sampling and subsequent clustering, resulting in probability distributions over alternative networks. We evaluate our method on simulated data, and study its performance with respect to data set size and levels of noise. We then use our method to study EGF-mediated signaling in the ERBB pathway. Dynamic Probabilistic Threshold Networks is a new method to infer signaling networks from time-series perturbation data. It exploits the dynamic response of a system after external perturbation for network reconstruction. On simulated data, we show that the approach outperforms current state of the art methods. On the ERBB data, our approach recovers a significant fraction of the known interactions, and predicts novel mechanisms in the ERBB pathway.
    Keywords: Algorithms ; Signal Transduction ; Systems Biology -- Methods
    E-ISSN: 1471-2105
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  • 2
    In: Bioinformatics, 2002, Vol.18(10), pp.1340-1349
    Description: Motivation: DNA arrays are a very useful tool to quickly identify biological agents present in some given sample, e.g. to identify viruses causing disease, for quality control in the food industry, or to determine bacteria contaminating drinking water. The selection of specific oligos to attach to the array surface is a relevant problem in the experiment design process. Given a set S of genomic sequences (the target sequences), the task is to find at least one oligonucleotide, called probe, for each sequence in S . This probe will be attached to the array surface, and must be chosen in a way that it will not hybridize to any other sequence but the intended target. Furthermore, all probes on the array must hybridize to their intended targets under the same reaction conditions, most importantly at the temperature T at which the experiment is conducted. Results: We present an efficient algorithm for the probe design problem. Melting temperatures are calculated for all possible probetarget interactions using an extended nearest-neighbor model, allowing for both non-WatsonCrick base-pairing and unpaired bases within a duplex. To compute temperatures efficiently, a combination of suffix trees and dynamic programming based alignment algorithms is introduced. Additional filtering steps during preprocessing increase the speed of the computation. The practicability of the algorithms is demonstrated by two case studies: The identification of HIV-1 subtypes, and of 28S rDNA sequences from 400 organisms. Availability: The software is available on request. Contact: kaderali@zpr.uni-koeln.de
    Keywords: Biology;
    ISSN: 1367-4803
    E-ISSN: 1460-2059
    E-ISSN: 13674811
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: BMC bioinformatics, 20 December 2011, Vol.12, pp.485
    Description: High-content, high-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) offers unprecedented possibilities to elucidate gene function and involvement in biological processes. Microscopy based screening allows phenotypic observations at the level of individual cells. It was recently shown that a cell's population context significantly influences results. However, standard analysis methods for cellular screens do not currently take individual cell data into account unless this is important for the phenotype of interest, i.e. when studying cell morphology. We present a method that normalizes and statistically scores microscopy based RNAi screens, exploiting individual cell information of hundreds of cells per knockdown. Each cell's individual population context is employed in normalization. We present results on two infection screens for hepatitis C and dengue virus, both showing considerable effects on observed phenotypes due to population context. In addition, we show on a non-virus screen that these effects can be found also in RNAi data in the absence of any virus. Using our approach to normalize against these effects we achieve improved performance in comparison to an analysis without this normalization and hit scoring strategy. Furthermore, our approach results in the identification of considerably more significantly enriched pathways in hepatitis C virus replication than using a standard analysis approach. Using a cell-based analysis and normalization for population context, we achieve improved sensitivity and specificity not only on a individual protein level, but especially also on a pathway level. This leads to the identification of new host dependency factors of the hepatitis C and dengue viruses and higher reproducibility of results.
    Keywords: RNA Interference ; Dengue -- Genetics ; Hepatitis C -- Genetics ; Phosphotransferases -- Genetics ; Single-Cell Analysis -- Methods
    E-ISSN: 1471-2105
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Cell Reports, 04 August 2015, Vol.12(5), pp.864-878
    Description: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) enters human hepatocytes through a multistep mechanism involving, among other host proteins, the virus receptor CD81. How CD81 governs HCV entry is poorly characterized, and CD81 protein interactions after virus binding remain elusive. We have developed a quantitative proteomics protocol to identify HCV-triggered CD81 interactions and found 26 dynamic binding partners. At least six of these proteins promote HCV infection, as indicated by RNAi. We further characterized serum response factor binding protein 1 (SRFBP1), which is recruited to CD81 during HCV uptake and supports HCV infection in hepatoma cells and primary human hepatocytes. SRFBP1 facilitates host cell penetration by all seven HCV genotypes, but not of vesicular stomatitis virus and human coronavirus. Thus, SRFBP1 is an HCV-specific, pan-genotypic host entry factor. These results demonstrate the use of quantitative proteomics to elucidate pathogen entry and underscore the importance of host protein-protein interactions during HCV invasion. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) enters human hepatocytes through a multistep mechanism. Gerold et al. apply quantitative proteomics to define the protein network responsible for HCV entry and identify SRFBP1 as a partner for the virus receptor CD81.
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 2211-1247
    E-ISSN: 2211-1247
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