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Publication : Using evolutionary computations to understand the design and evolution of gene and cell regulatory networks.

First Author  Spirov Alexander Year  2013
Journal  Methods Volume  62
Pages  39-55 PubMed ID  23726941
Abstract Text  This paper surveys modeling approaches for studying the evolution of gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Modeling of the design or 'wiring' of GRNs has become increasingly common in developmental and medical biology, as a means of quantifying gene-gene interactions, the response to perturbations, and the overall dynamic motifs of networks. Drawing from developments in GRN 'design' modeling, a number of groups are now using simulations to study how GRNs evolve, both for comparative genomics and to uncover general principles of evolutionary processes. Such work can generally be termed evolution in silico. Complementary to these biologically-focused approaches, a now well-established field of computer science is Evolutionary Computations (ECs), in which highly efficient optimization techniques are inspired from evolutionary principles. In surveying biological simulation approaches, we discuss the considerations that must be taken with respect to: (a) the precision and completeness of the data (e.g. are the simulations for very close matches to anatomical data, or are they for more general exploration of evolutionary principles); (b) the level of detail to model (we proceed from 'coarse-grained' evolution of simple gene-gene interactions to 'fine-grained' evolution at the DNA sequence level); (c) to what degree is it important to include the genome's cellular context; and (d) the efficiency of computation. With respect to the latter, we argue that developments in computer science EC offer the means to perform more complete simulation searches, and will lead to more comprehensive biological predictions. Doi  10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.05.013
Issue  1 Month  Jul

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