We developed the software package STASNet (STeady-STate Analysis of Signalling Networks) that provides an augmented and extended version of MRA suited to model signalling networks from incomplete perturbation schemes and multi-perturbation data. Using data from the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods challenge, we show that predictions from STASNet models are among the top-performing methods. We applied the method to study the effect of SHP2, a protein that has been implicated in resistance to targeted therapy in colon cancer, using a novel dataset from the colon cancer cell line Widr and a SHP2-depleted derivative. We find that SHP2 is required for mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling, whereas AKT signalling only partially depends on SHP2.
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
An R-package is available at https://github.com/molsysbio/STASNet.
Intracellular signalling is realized by complex signalling networks, which are almost impossible to understand without network models, especially if feedbacks are involved. Modular Response Analysis (MRA) is a convenient modelling method to study signalling networks in various contexts.