Network-based modeling and analysis have been widely used for capturing molecular trajectories of cellular processes. For complex diseases like cancers, if we can utilize network models to capture adequate features, we can gain a better insight of the mechanisms of cancers, which will further facilitate the identification of molecular vulnerabilities and the development targeted therapy. Based on this rationale, we conducted the following four studies.A novel algorithm ‘FFBN’ is developed for reconstructing directional regulatory networks (DEGs) from tissue expression data to identify molecular features. ‘FFBN’ shows unique capability of fast and accurately reconstructing genome-wide DEGs compared to existing methods. FFBN is further used to capture molecular features among liver metastasis, primary liver cancers and primary colon cancers. Comparisons among these features lead to new understandings of how liver metastasis is similar to its primary and distant cancers.‘SCN’ is a novel algorithm that incorporates multiple types of omics data to reconstruct functional networks for not only revealing molecular vulnerabilities but also predicting drug targets on top of that. The molecular vulnerabilities are discovered via tissue-specific networks and drug targets are predicted via cell-line specific networks. SCN is tested on primary pancreatic cancers and the predictions coincide with current treatment plans.‘SCN website’ is a web application of ‘SCN’ algorithm. It allows users to easily submit their own data and get predictions online. Meanwhile the predictions are displayed along with network graphs and survival curves. ‘DSCN’ is a novel algorithm derived from ‘SCN’. Instead of predicting single targets like ‘SCN’, ‘DSCN’ applies a novel approach for predicting target combinations using multiple omics data and network models. In conclusion, these four studies revealed how genes regulate each other in the form of networks and how these networks can be used for unveiling cancer-related biological processes. The algorithms and website facilitate capturing molecular features for cancers and predicting novel drug targets.
|Advisor:||Liu, Xiaowen, Wu, Huanmei|
|Commitee:||Zhang, Chi, Wan, Jun, Cao, Sha, Li, Lang|
|School:||Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Bioinformatics, Computer science, Biology|
|Keywords:||Bayesian networks, Cancer biology, Data integration, Drug target, Functional networks, Network models|
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