Quantitative Biology

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 310–319 | Cite as

A survey on biomarker identification based on molecular networks

  • Guanghui Zhu
  • Xing-Ming Zhao
  • Jun Wu



Identifying biomarkers for accurate diagnosis and prognosis of diseases is important for the prevention of disease development. The molecular networks that describe the functional relationships among molecules provide a global view of the complex biological systems. With the molecular networks, the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases can be unveiled, which helps identify biomarkers in a systematic way.


In this survey, we report the recent progress on identifying biomarkers based on the topology of molecular networks, and we categorize those biomarkers into three groups, including node biomarkers, edge biomarkers and network biomarkers. These distinct types of biomarkers can be detected under different conditions depending on the data available.


The biomarkers identified based on molecular networks can provide more accurate diagnosis and prognosis. The pros and cons of different types of biomarkers as well as future directions to improve the methods for identifying biomarkers are also discussed.


biomarker molecular network module pathway 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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