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Advances in Bioinformatics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 360678, 11 pages
Research Article

Gene Regulation, Modulation, and Their Applications in Gene Expression Data Analysis

1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
2Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
3Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

Received 2 December 2012; Accepted 24 January 2013

Academic Editor: Mohamed Nounou

Copyright © 2013 Mario Flores et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Common microarray and next-generation sequencing data analysis concentrate on tumor subtype classification, marker detection, and transcriptional regulation discovery during biological processes by exploring the correlated gene expression patterns and their shared functions. Genetic regulatory network (GRN) based approaches have been employed in many large studies in order to scrutinize for dysregulation and potential treatment controls. In addition to gene regulation and network construction, the concept of the network modulator that has significant systemic impact has been proposed, and detection algorithms have been developed in past years. Here we provide a unified mathematic description of these methods, followed with a brief survey of these modulator identification algorithms. As an early attempt to extend the concept to new RNA regulation mechanism, competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA), into a modulator framework, we provide two applications to illustrate the network construction, modulation effect, and the preliminary finding from these networks. Those methods we surveyed and developed are used to dissect the regulated network under different modulators. Not limit to these, the concept of “modulation” can adapt to various biological mechanisms to discover the novel gene regulation mechanisms.