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Identifying critical transitions and their leading biomolecular networks in complex diseases.

Scientific reports (2012-12-12)
Rui Liu, Meiyi Li, Zhi-Ping Liu, Jiarui Wu, Luonan Chen, Kazuyuki Aihara
ABSTRACT

Identifying a critical transition and its leading biomolecular network during the initiation and progression of a complex disease is a challenging task, but holds the key to early diagnosis and further elucidation of the essential mechanisms of disease deterioration at the network level. In this study, we developed a novel computational method for identifying early-warning signals of the critical transition and its leading network during a disease progression, based on high-throughput data using a small number of samples. The leading network makes the first move from the normal state toward the disease state during a transition, and thus is causally related with disease-driving genes or networks. Specifically, we first define a state-transition-based local network entropy (SNE), and prove that SNE can serve as a general early-warning indicator of any imminent transitions, regardless of specific differences among systems. The effectiveness of this method was validated by functional analysis and experimental data.

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Phosgene solution, 15 wt. % in toluene