Boolean function network analysis of time course liver transcriptome data to reveal novel circadian transcriptional regulators in mammals

Maria Simak, Horng-Shing Lu*, Jinn-Moon Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Many biological processes in mammals are subject to circadian control at the molecular level. Disruption of circadian rhythms has been demonstrated to be associated with a wide range of diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, mental disorders, and cancer. Although the core circadian genes are well established, there are multiple reports of novel peripheral circadian regulators. The goal of this study was to provide a comprehensive computational analysis to identify novel potential circadian transcriptional regulators. Methods: To fulfill the aforementioned goal, we applied a Boolean function network method to analyze the microarray time course mouse and rat liver datasets available in the literature. The inferred direct pairwise relations were further investigated using the functional annotation tool. This approach generated a list of transcription factors (TFs) and cofactors, which were associated with significantly enriched circadian gene ontology (GO) categories. Results: As a result, we identified 93 transcriptional circadian regulators in mouse and 95 transcriptional circadian regulators in rat. Of these, 19 regulators in mouse and 21 regulators in rat were known, whereas the rest were novel. Furthermore, we validated novel circadian TFs with bioinformatics databases, previous large-scale circadian studies, and related small-scale studies. Moreover, according to predictions inferred from ChIP-Seq experiments reported in the database, 40 of our candidate circadian regulators were confirmed to have circadian genes as direct regulatory targets. In addition, we annotated candidate circadian regulators with disorders that were often associated with disruptions of circadian rhythm in the literature. Conclusion: In summary, our computational analysis, which was followed by an extensive verification by means of a literature review, can contribute to translational study from endocrinology to cancer research and provide insights for future investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-880
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Chronobiology discipline
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Computational biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Boolean function network analysis of time course liver transcriptome data to reveal novel circadian transcriptional regulators in mammals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this