Genetic Network Analyzer: Modelling and simulation of genetic regulatory networks
Genetic Network Analyzer (GNA) is a computer tool for the modeling and simulation of genetic regulatory networks. The aim of GNA is to assist biologists and bioinformaticians in constructing a model of a genetic regulatory network using knowledge about regulatory interactions in combination with gene expression data.
Genetic Network Analyzer consists of a simulator of qualitative models of genetic regulatory networks in the form of piecewise-linear differential equations. Instead of exact numerical values for the parameters, which are often not available for networks of biological interest, the user of GNA specifies inequality constraints. This information is sufficient to generate a state transition graph that describes the qualitative dynamics of the network. The simulator has been implemented in Java 1.5 and has been applied to the analysis of various regulatory systems, such as the networks controlling the initiation of sporulation in B. subtilis and the carbon starvation response in E. coli. See the website of Genostar for references to these and other examples.
The current version is GNA 6.0. In comparison with the previously distributed version, GNA 6.0 has the following additional features:
A finer-grained representation of the qualitative dynamics, better adapted to available gene expression data;
A module for locating all steady states of a qualitative model and determining their stability;
The export of the state transition graph to standard model-checking tools in order to automate the analysis of important model properties.
The export and import of models in SBML format.
Obtaining and using Genetic Network Analyzer
Genetic Network Analyzer is freely available for non-profit academic research by making a user licence request. Non-academic users wishing to use GNA - or academic users wishing to use GNA for purposes not covered by the user licence - are invited to contact the Genostar company. Genostar has integrated GNA in its IOGMA environment for exploratory genomics.
More information on how to use GNA can be found in the tutorial and the installation guide.
Developers of Genetic Network Analyzer
The main developers of GNA are Bruno Besson, Estelle Dumas, Hidde de Jong, Pedro Monteiro, and Michel Page.
H. de Jong, J. Geiselmann, C. Hernandez, M. Page (2003), Genetic Network Analyzer: Qualitative simulation of genetic regulatory networks, Bioinformatics, 19(3):336-344.
G. Batt, D. Ropers, H. de Jong, J. Geiselmann, R. Mateescu, M. Page, D. Schneider (2005), Validation of qualitative models of genetic regulatory networks by model checking: Analysis of the nutritional stress response in Escherichia coli, Bioinformatics, 21(Suppl 1):i19-i28
H. de Jong, M. Page (2008), Search for steady states of piecewise-linear differential equation models of genetic regulatory networks, ACM/IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, in press.
GNA uses the following open-source software: JGraph, SAT4J, and CUP.