Center for Quantitative Medicine
A method to reverse engineer gene regulatory networks from experimental data. The modeling framework used is time-discrete deterministic dynamical systems, with a finite set of states for each of the variables. The simplest examples of such models are Boolean networks, in which variables have only two possible states. The use of a larger number of possible states allows a finer discretization of experimental data and more than one possible mode of action for the variables, depending on threshold values. Furthermore, with a suitable choice of state set, one can employ powerful tools from computational algebra, that underlie the reverse-engineering algorithm, avoiding costly enumeration strategies. To perform well, the algorithm requires wildtype together with perturbation time courses. This makes it suitable for small to meso-scale networks rather than networks on a genome-wide scale. An analysis of the complexity of the algorithm is performed. The algorithm is validated on a recently published Boolean network model of segment polarity development in Drosophila melanogaster.