A Canonical Correlation Analysis-Based Dynamic Bayesian Network Prior to Infer Gene Regulatory Networks from Multiple Types of Biological Data

Document Type




Format of Original

11 p.

Publication Date



Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Source Publication

Journal of Computational Biology

Source ISSN



One of the challenging and important computational problems in systems biology is to infer gene regulatory networks (GRNs) of biological systems. Several methods that exploit gene expression data have been developed to tackle this problem. In this study, we propose the use of copy number and DNA methylation data to infer GRNs. We developed an algorithm that scores regulatory interactions between genes based on canonical correlation analysis. In this algorithm, copy number or DNA methylation variables are treated as potential regulator variables, and expression variables are treated as potential target variables. We first validated that the canonical correlation analysis method is able to infer true interactions in high accuracy. We showed that the use of DNA methylation or copy number datasets leads to improved inference over steady-state expression. Our results also showed that epigenetic and structural information could be used to infer directionality of regulatory interactions. Additional improvements in GRN inference can be gleaned from incorporating the result in an informative prior in a dynamic Bayesian algorithm. This is the first study that incorporates copy number and DNA methylation into an informative prior in dynamic Bayesian framework. By closely examining top-scoring interactions with different sources of epigenetic or structural information, we also identified potential novel regulatory interactions.


Journal of Computational Biology, Vol. 22, No. 4 (April 2015): 289-299. DOI.