Constructing an integrated genetic and epigenetic cellular network for whole cellular mechanism using high-throughput next-generation sequencing data.

BMC systems biology

PubMedID: 26897165

Chen BS, Li CW. Constructing an integrated genetic and epigenetic cellular network for whole cellular mechanism using high-throughput next-generation sequencing data. BMC Syst Biol. 2016;10(1):18.
BACKGROUND
Epigenetics has been investigated in cancer initiation, and development, especially, since the appearance of epigenomics. Epigenetics may be defined as the mechanisms that lead to heritable changes in gene function and without affecting the sequence of genome. These mechanisms explain how individuals with the same genotype produce phenotypic differences in response to environmental stimuli. Recently, with the accumulation of high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) data, a key goal of systems biology is to construct networks for different cellular levels to explore whole cellular mechanisms. At present, there is no satisfactory method to construct an integrated genetic and epigenetic cellular network (IGECN), which combines NGS omics data with gene regulatory networks (GRNs), microRNAs (miRNAs) regulatory networks, protein-protein interaction networks (PPINs), and epigenetic regulatory networks of methylation using high-throughput NGS data.

RESULTS
We investigated different kinds of NGS omics data to develop a systems biology method to construct an integrated cellular network based on three coupling models that describe genetic regulatory networks, protein-protein interaction networks, microRNA (miRNA) regulatory networks, and methylation regulation. The proposed method was applied to construct IGECNs of gastric cancer and the human immune response to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, to elucidate human defense response mechanisms. We successfully constructed an IGECN and validated it by using evidence from literature search. The integration of NGS omics data related to transcription regulation, protein-protein interactions, and miRNA and methylation regulation has more predictive power than independent datasets. We found that dysregulation of MIR7 contributes to the initiation and progression of inflammation-induced gastric cancer; dysregulation of MIR9 contributes to HIV-1 infection to hijack CD4+ T cells through dysfunction of the immune and hormone pathways; dysregulation of MIR139-5p, MIRLET7i, and MIR10a contributes to the HIV-1 integration/replication stage; dysregulation of MIR101, MIR141, and MIR152 contributes to the HIV-1 virus assembly and budding mechanisms; dysregulation of MIR302a contributes to not only microvesicle-mediated transfer of miRNAs but also dysfunction of NF-?B signaling pathway in hepatocarcinogenesis.

CONCLUSION
The coupling dynamic systems of the whole IGECN can allow us to investigate genetic and epigenetic cellular mechanisms via omics data and big database mining, and are useful for further experiments in the field of systems and synthetic biology.