A graphical user interface for a method to infer kinetics and network architecture (MIKANA)


One of the main challenges in the biomedical sciences is the determination of reaction mechanisms that constitute a biochemical pathway. During the last decades, advances have been made in building complex diagrams showing the static interactions of proteins. The challenge for systems biologists is to build realistic models of the dynamical behavior of reactants, intermediates and products. For this purpose, several methods have been recently proposed to deduce the reaction mechanisms or to estimate the kinetic parameters of the elementary reactions that constitute the pathway. One such method is MIKANA: Method to Infer Kinetics And Network Architecture. MIKANA is a computational method to infer both reaction mechanisms and estimate the kinetic parameters of biochemical pathways from time course data. To make it available to the scientific community, we developed a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for MIKANA. Among other features, the GUI validates and processes an input time course data, displays the inferred reactions, generates the differential equations for the chemical species in the pathway and plots the prediction curves on top of the input time course data. We also added a new feature to MIKANA that allows the user to exclude a priori known reactions from the inferred mechanism. This addition improves the performance of the method. In this article, we illustrate the GUI for MIKANA with three examples: an irreversible Michaelis-Menten reaction mechanism; the interaction map of chemical species of the muscle glycolytic pathway; and the glycolytic pathway of Lactococcus lactis. We also describe the code and methods in sufficient detail to allow researchers to further develop the code or reproduce the experiments described. The code for MIKANA is open source, free for academic and non-academic use and is available for download (Information S1).

PLoS ONE 23, 233-244