An overview of bioinformatics methods for modeling biological pathways in yeast

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The advent of high-throughput genomics techniques, along with the completion of genome sequencing projects, identification of protein–protein interactions and reconstruction of genome-scale pathways, has accelerated the development of systems biology research in the yeast organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In particular, discovery of biological pathways in yeast has become an important forefront in systems biology, which aims to understand the interactions among molecules within a cell leading to certain cellular processes in response to a specific environment. While the existing theoretical and experimental approaches enable the investigation of well-known pathways involved in metabolism, gene regulation and signal transduction, bioinformatics methods offer new insights into computational modeling of biological pathways. A wide range of computational approaches has been proposed in the past for reconstructing biological pathways from high-throughput datasets. Here we review selected bioinformatics approaches for modeling biological pathways in S. cerevisiae, including metabolic pathways, gene-regulatory pathways and signaling pathways. We start with reviewing the research on biological pathways followed by discussing key biological databases. In addition, several representative computational approaches for modeling biological pathways in yeast are discussed.

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