Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Biomolecular Network Structure and Function

  • Lan V. Zhang
  • Frederick P. Roth
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_38-3

Definition of the Subject

Biological research over the past century or so has been dominated by reductionism – identifying and characterizing individual biomolecules – and has enjoyed enormous success. Throughout this history, however, it has become increasingly clear that an individual biomolecule can rarely account for a discrete biological function on its own. A biological process is almost always the result of a complex interplay of relationships among biomolecules (Alon 2003; Bray 2003; Hartwell et al. 1999; Hasty et al. 2002; Kitano 2002; Koonin et al. 2002; Oltvai and Barabasi 2002; Wall et al. 2004), and the treatment of these relationships as a graph is a natural and useful abstraction.

Broadly speaking, a biomolecular networkis a graph representation of relationships (of which there are many types) among a group of biomolecules. Vertices or nodes represent biomolecules, including macromolecules such as genes, proteins, and RNAs, or small biomolecules like amino acids,...


Degree Distribution Preferential Attachment Network Motif Transcriptional Regulatory Network Biomolecular Interaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular PharmacologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA