Pathway and Network Analysis
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6.5 years ago
Deepak Tanwar ★ 4.2k

What is the difference between Pathway analysis and Network analysis?

 

P.S.: This question could be a stupid one, but I am still not able to differentiate between them.

Pathway Network • 5.8k views
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6.5 years ago
ethan.kaufman ▴ 380

This comes down to the difference between pathways and networks. 

Pathways:

  • schematic of biological knowledge
  • indicates many different types of interactions
  • tend to be human curated, hence tend to cover only a fraction of the genome
  • eg. KEGG, Reactome

Networks:

  • a set of bimolecular interactions represented as a graph (directed or undirected)
  • can capture well-studied and not so well-studied biology
  • much higher coverage than pathways, but supported by less data
  • eg. BioGRID, IntAct

Pathway analysis uses more complex models to try to utilize the additional mechanistic and regulatory information that pathways contain.  Network analysis usually means overlaying a set of genes on top of a pre-existing network and asking whether they cluster in some region.

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6.5 years ago
andrew ▴ 530

I would add this slightly nuanced definition:

Pathway analysis is analyzing a list of genes against an a priori set of pathways with known interactions for various systems, and identifying which pathway is most impacted.

Network analysis is analyzing how a set of genes are connected given a known set of direct interactions, and identifying which genes cluster in a network.

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