Boolean networks are an important class of computational models for molecular interaction networks. Boolean canalization, a type of hierarchical clustering of the inputs of a Boolean function, has been extensively studied in the context of network modeling where each layer of canalization adds a degree of stability in the dynamics of the network. Recently, dynamic network control approaches have been used for the design of new therapeutic interventions and for other applications such as stem cell reprogramming. This work studies the role of canalization in the control of Boolean molecular networks. It provides a method for identifying the potential edges to control in the wiring diagram of a network for avoiding undesirable state transitions. The method is based on identifying appropriate input-output combinations on undesirable transitions that can be modified using the edges in the wiring diagram of the network. Moreover, a method for estimating the number of changed transitions in the state space of the system as a result of an edge deletion in the wiring diagram is presented. The control methods of this paper were applied to a mutated cell-cycle model and to a p53-mdm2 model to identify potential control targets.

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Published in EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, v. 2015, article 9, p. 1-8.

© 2015 Murrugarra and Dimitrova.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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The second author was supported by NSF Award #1419038.

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