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Inferring Reaction Network Structure From Single-cell, Multiplex Data, Using Toric Systems Theory
Published 2019 · Biology, Computer Science
The goal of many single-cell studies on eukaryotic cells is to gain insight into the biochemical reactions that control cell fate and state. In this paper we introduce the concept of effective stoichiometric space (ESS) to guide the reconstruction of biochemical networks from multiplexed, fixed time-point, single-cell data. In contrast to methods based solely on statistical models of data, the ESS method leverages the power of the geometric theory of toric varieties to begin unraveling the structure of chemical reaction networks (CRN). This application of toric theory enables a data-driven mapping of covariance relationships in single cell measurements into stoichiometric information, one in which each cell subpopulation has its associated ESS interpreted in terms of CRN theory. In the development of ESS we reframe certain aspects of the theory of CRN to better match data analysis. As an application of our approach we process cytomery- and image-based single-cell datasets and identify differences in cells treated with kinase inhibitors. Our approach is directly applicable to data acquired using readily accessible experimental methods such as Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) and multiplex immunofluorescence. Author summary We introduce a new notion, which we call the effective stoichiometric space (ESS), that elucidates network structure from the covariances of single-cell multiplexed data. The ESS approach differs from methods that are based on purely statistical models of data: it allows a completely new and data-driven translation of the theory of toric varieties in geometry and specifically their role in chemical reaction networks (CRN). In the process, we reframe certain aspects of the theory of CRN. As illustrations of our approach, we find stoichiometry in different single-cell datasets, and pinpoint dose-dependence of network perturbations in drug-treated cells.