Analysis of the failure of cell signaling networks is an important topic in systems biology and has applications in target discovery and drug development. In this paper, some advanced methods for fault diagnosis in signaling networks are developed and then applied to a caspase network and an SHP2 network. The goal is to understand how, and to what extent, the dysfunction of molecules in a network contributes to the failure of the entire network. Network dysfunction (failure) is defined as failure to produce the expected outputs in response to the input signals. Vulnerability level of a molecule is defined as the probability of the network failure, when the molecule is dysfunctional. In this study, a method to calculate the vulnerability level of single molecules for different combinations of input signals is developed. Furthermore, a more complex yet biologically meaningful method for calculating the multi-fault vulnerability levels is suggested, in which two or more molecules are simultaneously dysfunctional. Finally, a method is developed for fault diagnosis of networks based on a ternary logic model, which considers three activity levels for a molecule instead of the previously published binary logic model, and provides equations for the vulnerabilities of molecules in a ternary framework. Multi-fault analysis shows that the pairs of molecules with high vulnerability typically include a highly vulnerable molecule identified by the single fault analysis. The ternary fault analysis for the caspase network shows that predictions obtained using the more complex ternary model are about the same as the predictions of the simpler binary approach. This study suggests that by increasing the number of activity levels the complexity of the model grows; however, the predictive power of the ternary model does not appear to be increased proportionally.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)