BioFNet: biological functional network database for analysis and synthesis of biological systems

Brief Bioinform. 2014 Sep;15(5):699-709. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbt048. Epub 2013 Jul 27.


In synthetic biology and systems biology, a bottom-up approach can be used to construct a complex, modular, hierarchical structure of biological networks. To analyze or design such networks, it is critical to understand the relationship between network structure and function, the mechanism through which biological parts or biomolecules are assembled into building blocks or functional networks. A functional network is defined as a subnetwork of biomolecules that performs a particular function. Understanding the mechanism of building functional networks would help develop a methodology for analyzing the structure of large-scale networks and design a robust biological circuit to perform a target function. We propose a biological functional network database, named BioFNet, which can cover the whole cell at the level of molecular interactions. The BioFNet takes an advantage in implementing the simulation program for the mathematical models of the functional networks, visualizing the simulated results. It presents a sound basis for rational design of biochemical networks and for understanding how functional networks are assembled to create complex high-level functions, which would reveal design principles underlying molecular architectures.

Keywords: biological database; functional network; network motif; rational design; simulator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Database Management Systems*
  • Models, Theoretical*