Molecular interaction maps of bioregulatory networks: a general rubric for systems biology.


A standard for bioregulatory network diagrams is urgently needed in the same way that circuit diagrams are needed in electronics. Several graphical notations have been proposed, but none has become standard. We have prepared many detailed bioregulatory network diagrams using the molecular interaction map (MIM) notation, and we now feel confident that it is suitable as a standard. Here, we describe the MIM notation formally and discuss its merits relative to alternative proposals. We show by simple examples how to denote all of the molecular interactions commonly found in bioregulatory networks. There are two forms of MIM diagrams. "Heuristic" MIMs present the repertoire of interactions possible for molecules that are colocalized in time and place. "Explicit" MIMs define particular models (derived from heuristic MIMs) for computer simulation. We show also how pathways or processes can be highlighted on a canonical heuristic MIM. Drawing a MIM diagram, adhering to the rules of notation, imposes a logical discipline that sharpens one's understanding of the structure and function of a network.

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@article{Kohn2006MolecularIM, title={Molecular interaction maps of bioregulatory networks: a general rubric for systems biology.}, author={Kurt W. Kohn and Mirit I. Aladjem and John N. Weinstein and Yves Pommier}, journal={Molecular biology of the cell}, year={2006}, volume={17 1}, pages={1-13} }