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Prioritizing functional modules mediating genetic perturbations and their phenotypic effects: a global strategy

Li Wang1, Fengzhu Sun12 and Ting Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular and Computational Biology, Department of Biology Sciences, University of Southern California, 1050 Childs Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2910, USA

2 MOE Key Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Bioinformatics Division, TNLIST/Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China

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Genome Biology 2008, 9:R174  doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-12-r174

Published: 16 December 2008

Abstract

We have developed a global strategy based on the Bayesian network framework to prioritize the functional modules mediating genetic perturbations and their phenotypic effects among a set of overlapping candidate modules. We take lethality in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human cancer as two examples to show the effectiveness of this approach. We discovered that lethality is more conserved at the module level than at the gene level and we identified several potentially 'new' cancer-related biological processes.