From systems to structure: bridging networks and mechanism

Mol Cell. 2013 Jan 24;49(2):222-31. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.01.003.


There is a wide gap between the generation of large-scale biological data sets and more-detailed, structural and mechanistic studies. However, recent studies that explicitly combine data from systems and structural biological approaches are having a profound effect on our ability to predict how mutations and small molecules affect atomic-level mechanisms, disrupt systems-level networks, and ultimately lead to changes in organismal fitness. In fact, we argue that a shared framework for analysis of nonadditive genetic and thermodynamic responses to perturbations will accelerate the integration of reductionist and global approaches. A stronger bridge between these two areas will allow for a deeper and more-complete understanding of complex biological phenomenon and ultimately provide needed breakthroughs in biomedical research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • Systems Biology
  • Thermodynamics