Multiscale characterization of ageing and cancer progression by a novel network entropy measure
We characterize different cell states, related to cancer and ageing phenotypes, by a measure of entropy of network ensembles, integrating gene expression profiling values and protein interaction network topology. In our case studies, network entropy, that by definition estimates the number of possible network instances satisfying the given constraints, can be interpreted as a measure of the “parameter space” available to the cell. Network entropy was able to characterize specific pathological conditions: normal versus cancer cells, primary tumours that developed metastasis or relapsed, and extreme longevity samples. Moreover, this approach has been applied at different scales, from whole network to specific subnetworks (biological pathways defined on a priori biological knowledge) and single nodes (genes), allowing a deeper understanding of the cell processes involved.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2015 Hot Articles in Molecular BioSystems