Multivariate Statistical Analysis Applied to an IL6 Signal Transduction Model in Hepatocytes

This paper introduces the application of linear multivariate statistical techniques, including partial least squares (PLS), canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and reduced rank regression (RRR), into the area of Systems Biology. This new approach aims to extract the important proteins embedded in complex signal transduction pathway models.

The analysis is performed on a model of intracellular signalling along the janus-associated kinases/signal transducers and transcription factors (JAK/STAT) and mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) signal transduction pathways in interleukin-6 (IL6) stimulated hepatocytes, which produce signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 3 (STAT3).

A region of redundancy within the MAPK pathway that does not affect the STAT3 transcription was identified using CCA. This is the core finding of this analysis and cannot be obtained by inspecting the model by eye. In addition, RRR was found to isolate terms that do not significantly contribute to changes in protein concentrations, while the application of PLS does not provide such a detailed picture by virtue of its construction.
This analysis has a similar objective to conventional model reduction techniques with the advantage of maintaining the meaning of the states prior to and after the reduction process. A significant model reduction is performed, with a marginal loss in accuracy, offering a more concise model while maintaining the main influencing factors on the STAT3 transcription.

The findings offer a deeper understanding of the reaction terms involved, confirm the relevance of several proteins to the production of Acute Phase Proteins and complement existing findings regarding cross-talk between the two signalling pathways.


A. McArdle, U. Kruger, and J. Hahn. "Multivariate Statistical Analysis Applied to an IL6 Signal Transduction Model in Hepatocytes"

Statistics in Medicine 28 , No. 19, pp. 2401-2434 (2009)