ModuleBlast: Identifying activated sub-networks within and across species

Guy E. Zinman, Shoshana Naiman, Dawn M. O'Dee, Nishant Kumar, Gerard J. Nau, Haim Y. Cohen, Ziv Bar-Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Identifying conserved and divergent response patterns in gene networks is becoming increasingly important. A common approach is integrating expression information with gene association networks in order to find groups of connected genes that are activated or repressed. In many cases, researchers are also interested in comparisons across species (or conditions). Finding an active sub-network is a hard problem and applying it across species requires further considerations (e.g. orthology information, expression data and networks from different sources). To address these challenges we devised ModuleBlast, which uses both expression and network topology to search for highly relevant subnetworks. We have applied ModuleBlast to expression and interaction data from mouse, macaque and human to study immune response and aging. The immune response analysis identified several relevant modules, consistent with recent findings on apoptosis and NFκB activation following infection. Temporal analysis of these data revealed cascades of modules that are dynamically activated within and across species. We have experimentally validated some of the novel hypotheses resulting from the analysis of the ModuleBlast results leading to new insights into the mechanisms used by a key mammalian aging protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e20
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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