Integrative approaches for finding modular structure in biological networks

Nat Rev Genet. 2013 Oct;14(10):719-32. doi: 10.1038/nrg3552.


A central goal of systems biology is to elucidate the structural and functional architecture of the cell. To this end, large and complex networks of molecular interactions are being rapidly generated for humans and model organisms. A recent focus of bioinformatics research has been to integrate these networks with each other and with diverse molecular profiles to identify sets of molecules and interactions that participate in a common biological function - that is, 'modules'. Here, we classify such integrative approaches into four broad categories, describe their bioinformatic principles and review their applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics*
  • Genome, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Models, Biological*
  • Systems Biology / methods*