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Simplistic pathways or complex networks?

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2010 Jan 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Jørgensen C* and Linding R*

*: Equal Authorship

 COGD cover

Signaling events are frequently described in textbooks as linear cascades. However, in reality, input cues are processed by dynamic and context-specific networks, which are assembled from numerous signaling molecules. Diseases, such as cancer, are typically associated with multiple genomic alterations that likely change the structure and dynamics of cellular signaling networks. To assess the impact of such genomic alterations on the structure of signaling networks and on the ability of cells to accurately translate environmental cues into phenotypic changes, we argue studies must be conducted on a network level. Advances in technologies and computational approaches for data integration have permitted network studies of signaling events in both cancer and normal cells. Here we will review recent advances and how they have impacted our view on signaling networks with a specific angle on signal processing in cancer.