Stationary and structural control in gene regulatory networks: Basic concepts

Edward R. Dougherty, Ranadip Pal, Xiaoning Qian, Michael L. Bittner, Aniruddha Datta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A major reason for constructing gene regulatory networks is to use them as models for determining therapeutic intervention strategies by deriving ways of altering their long-run dynamics in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of entering undesirable states. In general, two paradigms have been taken for gene network intervention: (1) stationary external control is based on optimally altering the status of a control gene (or genes) over time to drive network dynamics; and (2) structural intervention involves an optimal one-time change of the network structure (wiring) to beneficially alter the long-run behaviour of the network. These intervention approaches have mainly been developed within the context of the probabilistic Boolean network model for gene regulation. This article reviews both types of intervention and applies them to reducing the metastatic competence of cells via intervention in a melanoma-related network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Systems Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Control
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Genomic signal processing
  • Markov chains
  • Perturbation theory


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