On a fundamental structure of gene networks in living cells

Nataly Kravchenko-Balasha, Alexander Levitzki, Andrew Goldstein, Varda Rotter, A. Gross, F. Remacle, R. D. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computers are organized into hardware and software. Using a theoretical approach to identify patterns in gene expression in a variety of species, organs, and cell types, we found that biological systems similarly are comprised of a relatively unchanging hardware-like gene pattern. Orthogonal patterns of software-like transcripts vary greatly, even among tumors of the same type from different individuals. Two distinguishable classes could be identified within the hardware-like component: those transcripts that are highly expressed and stable and an adaptable subset with lower expression that respond to external stimuli. Importantly, we demonstrate that this structure is conserved across organisms. Deletions of transcripts from the highly stable core are predicted to result in cell mortality. The approach provides a conceptual thermodynamic-like framework for the analysis of geneexpression levels and networks and their variations in diseased cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4702-4707
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2012


  • Disease patterns
  • Firmware
  • Genomics
  • Surprisal analysis
  • Thermodynamic analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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