A statistical framework for revealing signaling pathways perturbed by DNA variants

Roni Wilentzik, Irit Gat-Viks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much of the inter-individual variation in gene expression is triggered via perturbations of signaling networks by DNA variants. We present a novel probabilistic approach for identifying the particular pathways by which DNA variants perturb the signaling network. Our procedure, called PINE, relies on a systematic integration of established biological knowledge of signaling networks with data on transcriptional responses to various experimental conditions. Unlike previous approaches, PINE provides statistical aspects that are critical for prioritizing hypotheses for followup experiments. Using simulated data, we show that higher accuracy is attained with PINE than with existing methods. We used PINE to analyze transcriptional responses of immune dendritic cells to several pathogenic stimulations. PINE identified statistically significant genetic perturbations in the pathogen-sensing signaling network, suggesting previously uncharacterized regulatory mechanisms for functional DNA variants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere74
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2015


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