Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota


  • Xianwen RenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_467


Pathway refers to a functional path in the biological networks. It is characterized by its connectivity, orientation, functionality, and dynamics. Thus, not all paths are pathways in biological networks.

In metabolic networks, it is often called metabolic pathways as a whole (Horton et al. 2005). In protein-protein interaction networks, it is often the same as the signaling pathways (Lewin 2003). In gene regulatory networks, it often means the mechanism under which expression quantitative trait loci regulate the expression of their target transcripts. In KEGG (Ogata et al. 1999), the pathway concept is also extended to cell communication, organismal systems, diseases, and drug responses.



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Systems Biology of Pathogens, Ministry of HealthInstitute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina