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      BiNoM 2.0, a Cytoscape plugin for accessing and analyzing pathways using standard systems biology formats

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          Abstract

          Background

          Public repositories of biological pathways and networks have greatly expanded in recent years. Such databases contain many pathways that facilitate the analysis of high-throughput experimental work and the formulation of new biological hypotheses to be tested, a fundamental principle of the systems biology approach. However, large-scale molecular maps are not always easy to mine and interpret.

          Results

          We have developed BiNoM (Biological Network Manager), a Cytoscape plugin, which provides functions for the import-export of some standard systems biology file formats (import from CellDesigner, BioPAX Level 3 and CSML; export to SBML, CellDesigner and BioPAX Level 3), and a set of algorithms to analyze and reduce the complexity of biological networks. BiNoM can be used to import and analyze files created with the CellDesigner software. BiNoM provides a set of functions allowing to import BioPAX files, but also to search and edit their content. As such, BiNoM is able to efficiently manage large BioPAX files such as whole pathway databases (e.g. Reactome). BiNoM also implements a collection of powerful graph-based functions and algorithms such as path analysis, decomposition by involvement of an entity or cyclic decomposition, subnetworks clustering and decomposition of a large network in modules.

          Conclusions

          Here, we provide an in-depth overview of the BiNoM functions, and we also detail novel aspects such as the support of the BioPAX Level 3 format and the implementation of a new algorithm for the quantification of pathways for influence networks. At last, we illustrate some of the BiNoM functions on a detailed biological case study of a network representing the G1/S transition of the cell cycle, a crucial cellular process disturbed in most human tumors.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Integration of biological networks and gene expression data using Cytoscape.

          Cytoscape is a free software package for visualizing, modeling and analyzing molecular and genetic interaction networks. This protocol explains how to use Cytoscape to analyze the results of mRNA expression profiling, and other functional genomics and proteomics experiments, in the context of an interaction network obtained for genes of interest. Five major steps are described: (i) obtaining a gene or protein network, (ii) displaying the network using layout algorithms, (iii) integrating with gene expression and other functional attributes, (iv) identifying putative complexes and functional modules and (v) identifying enriched Gene Ontology annotations in the network. These steps provide a broad sample of the types of analyses performed by Cytoscape.
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            Modelling and analysis of gene regulatory networks.

            Gene regulatory networks have an important role in every process of life, including cell differentiation, metabolism, the cell cycle and signal transduction. By understanding the dynamics of these networks we can shed light on the mechanisms of diseases that occur when these cellular processes are dysregulated. Accurate prediction of the behaviour of regulatory networks will also speed up biotechnological projects, as such predictions are quicker and cheaper than lab experiments. Computational methods, both for supporting the development of network models and for the analysis of their functionality, have already proved to be a valuable research tool.
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              The Systems Biology Graphical Notation.

              Circuit diagrams and Unified Modeling Language diagrams are just two examples of standard visual languages that help accelerate work by promoting regularity, removing ambiguity and enabling software tool support for communication of complex information. Ironically, despite having one of the highest ratios of graphical to textual information, biology still lacks standard graphical notations. The recent deluge of biological knowledge makes addressing this deficit a pressing concern. Toward this goal, we present the Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN), a visual language developed by a community of biochemists, modelers and computer scientists. SBGN consists of three complementary languages: process diagram, entity relationship diagram and activity flow diagram. Together they enable scientists to represent networks of biochemical interactions in a standard, unambiguous way. We believe that SBGN will foster efficient and accurate representation, visualization, storage, exchange and reuse of information on all kinds of biological knowledge, from gene regulation, to metabolism, to cellular signaling.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Syst Biol
                BMC Syst Biol
                BMC Systems Biology
                BioMed Central
                1752-0509
                2013
                1 March 2013
                : 7
                : 18
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institut Curie, 26 rue d’Ulm, Paris, F-75248, France
                [2 ]INSERM, U900, Paris, F-75248, France
                [3 ]Mines ParisTech, Fontainebleau, F-77300, France
                Article
                1752-0509-7-18
                10.1186/1752-0509-7-18
                3646686
                23453054
                Copyright © 2013 Bonnet et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Software

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