Gene networks: how to put the function in genomics

Trends Biotechnol. 2002 Nov;20(11):467-72. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7799(02)02053-x.


An increasingly popular model of regulation is to represent networks of genes as if they directly affect each other. Although such gene networks are phenomenological because they do not explicitly represent the proteins and metabolites that mediate cell interactions, they are a logical way of describing phenomena observed with transcription profiling, such as those that occur with popular microarray technology. The ability to create gene networks from experimental data and use them to reason about their dynamics and design principles will increase our understanding of cellular function. We propose that gene networks are also a good way to describe function unequivocally, and that they could be used for genome functional annotation. Here, we review some of the concepts and methods associated with gene networks, with emphasis on their construction based on experimental data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Genes / genetics*
  • Genes / physiology*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Genome
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger