The community structure of human cellular signaling network

Journal of Theoretical Biology,2007 Aug 21;247(4):608-615

YuanBo DIAO  , Menglong Li*  , Fang Zheng 


Living cell is highly responsive to specific chemicals in its environment, such as hormones and molecules in food or aromas. The reason is ascribed to the existence of widespread and diverse signal transduction pathways, between which crosstalks usually exist, thus constitute a complex signaling network. Evidently, knowledge of topology characteristic of this network could contribute a lot to the understanding of diverse cellular behaviors and life phenomena thus come into being. In this presentation, signal transduction data is extracted from KEGG to construct a cellular signaling network of Homo sapiens, which has 931 nodes and 6798 links in total. Computing the degree distribution, we find it is not a random network, but a scale-free network following a power-law of P(K) approximately K(-gamma), with gamma approximately equal to 2.2. Among three graph partition algorithms, the Guimera's simulated annealing method is chosen to study the details of topology structure and other properties of this cellular signaling network, as it shows the best performance. To reveal the underlying biological implications, further investigation is conducted on ad hoc community and sketch map of individual community is drawn accordingly. The involved experiment data can be found in the supplementary material.

Journal of Theoretical Biology