Signalling maps in cancer research: construction and data analysis

Database (Oxford). 2018 Jan 1:2018:bay036. doi: 10.1093/database/bay036.


Generation and usage of high-quality molecular signalling network maps can be augmented by standardizing notations, establishing curation workflows and application of computational biology methods to exploit the knowledge contained in the maps. In this manuscript, we summarize the major aims and challenges of assembling information in the form of comprehensive maps of molecular interactions. Mainly, we share our experience gained while creating the Atlas of Cancer Signalling Network. In the step-by-step procedure, we describe the map construction process and suggest solutions for map complexity management by introducing a hierarchical modular map structure. In addition, we describe the NaviCell platform, a computational technology using Google Maps API to explore comprehensive molecular maps similar to geographical maps and explain the advantages of semantic zooming principles for map navigation. We also provide the outline to prepare signalling network maps for navigation using the NaviCell platform. Finally, several examples of cancer high-throughput data analysis and visualization in the context of comprehensive signalling maps are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Data Curation*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Electronic Data Processing*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*