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See detailIntegrated metabolic modelling reveals cell-type specific epigenetic control points of the macrophage metabolic network
Pacheco, Maria UL; John, Elisabeth UL; Kaoma, Tony et al

in BMC Genomics (2015), 16(809),

Background: The reconstruction of context-specific metabolic models from easily and reliably measurable features such as transcriptomics data will be increasingly important in research and medicine ... [more ▼]

Background: The reconstruction of context-specific metabolic models from easily and reliably measurable features such as transcriptomics data will be increasingly important in research and medicine. Current reconstruction methods suffer from high computational effort and arbitrary threshold setting. Moreover, understanding the underlying epigenetic regulation might allow the identification of putative intervention points within metabolic networks. Genes under high regulatory load from multiple enhancers or super-enhancers are known key genes for disease and cell identity. However, their role in regulation of metabolism and their placement within the metabolic networks has not been studied. Methods: Here we present FASTCORMICS, a fast and robust workflow for the creation of high-quality metabolic models from transcriptomics data. FASTCORMICS is devoid of arbitrary parameter settings and due to its low computational demand allows cross-validation assays. Applying FASTCORMICS, we have generated models for 63 primary human cell types from microarray data, revealing significant differences in their metabolic networks. Results: To understand the cell type-specific regulation of the alternative metabolic pathways we built multiple models during differentiation of primary human monocytes to macrophages and performed ChIP-Seq experiments for histone H3 K27 acetylation (H3K27ac) to map the active enhancers in macrophages. Focusing on the metabolic genes under high regulatory load from multiple enhancers or super-enhancers, we found these genes to show the most cell type-restricted and abundant expression profiles within their respective pathways. Importantly, the high regulatory load genes are associated to reactions enriched for transport reactions and other pathway entry points, suggesting that they are critical regulatory control points for cell type-specific metabolism. Conclusions: By integrating metabolic modelling and epigenomic analysis we have identified high regulatory load as a common feature of metabolic genes at pathway entry points such as transporters within the macrophage metabolic network. Analysis of these control points through further integration of metabolic and gene regulatory networks in various contexts could be beneficial in multiple fields from identification of disease intervention strategies to cellular reprogramming. [less ▲]

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See detailCell type-selective disease-association of genes under high regulatory load
Galhardo, Mafalda Sofia UL; Berninger, Philipp; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong UL et al

in Nucleic Acids Research (2015), 43(18), 8839-8855

We previously showed that disease-linked metabolic genes are often under combinatorial regulation. Using the genome-wide ChIP-Seq binding profiles for 93 transcription factors in nine different cell lines ... [more ▼]

We previously showed that disease-linked metabolic genes are often under combinatorial regulation. Using the genome-wide ChIP-Seq binding profiles for 93 transcription factors in nine different cell lines, we show that genes under high regulatory load are significantly enriched for disease-association across cell types. We find that transcription factor load correlates with the enhancer load of the genes and thereby allows the identification of genes under high regulatory load by epigenomic mapping of active enhancers. Identification of the high enhancer load genes across 139 samples from 96 different cell and tissue types reveals a consistent enrichment for disease-associated genes in a cell type-selective manner. The underlying genes are not limited to super-enhancer genes and show several types of disease-association evidence beyond genetic variation (such as biomarkers). Interestingly, the high regulatory load genes are involved in more KEGG pathways than expected by chance, exhibit increased betweenness centrality in the interaction network of liver disease genes, and carry longer 3'UTRs with more microRNA (miRNA) binding sites than genes on average, suggesting a role as hubs integrating signals within regulatory networks. In summary, epigenetic mapping of active enhancers presents a promising and unbiased approach for identification of novel disease genes in a cell type-selective manner. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative integrated omics: identification of key functionalities in microbial community-wide metabolic networks
Roume, Hugo UL; Buschart, Anna UL; Muller, Emilie UL et al

in Biofilms and Microbiomes (2015), 1(15007),

BACKGROUND: Mixed microbial communities underpin important biotechnological processes such as biological wastewater treatment (BWWT). A detailed knowledge of community structure and function relationships ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mixed microbial communities underpin important biotechnological processes such as biological wastewater treatment (BWWT). A detailed knowledge of community structure and function relationships is essential for ultimately driving these systems towards desired outcomes, e.g., the enrichment in organisms capable of accumulating valuable resources during BWWT. METHODS: A comparative integrated omic analysis including metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics was carried out to elucidate functional differences between seasonally distinct oleaginous mixed microbial communities (OMMCs) sampled from an anoxic BWWT tank. A computational framework for the reconstruction of community-wide metabolic networks from multi-omic data was developed. These provide an overview of the functional capabilities by incorporating gene copy, transcript and protein abundances. To identify functional genes, which have a disproportionately important role in community function, we define a high relative gene expression and a high betweenness centrality relative to node degree as gene-centric and network topological features, respectively. RESULTS: Genes exhibiting high expression relative to gene copy abundance include genes involved in glycerolipid metabolism, particularly triacylglycerol lipase, encoded by known lipid accumulating populations, e.g., Candidatus Microthrix parvicella. Genes with a high relative gene expression and topologically important positions in the network include genes involved in nitrogen metabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis, encoded by Nitrosomonas spp. and Rhodococcus spp. Such genes may be regarded as ‘keystone genes’ as they are likely to be encoded by keystone species. CONCLUSION: The linking of key functionalities to community members through integrated omics opens up exciting possibilities for devising prediction and control strategies for microbial communities in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiscale model of dynamic neuromodulation integrating neuropeptide-induced signaling pathway activity with membrane electrophysiology.
Makadia, Hirenkumar K.; Anderson, Warren D.; Fey, Dirk et al

in Biophysical journal (2015), 108(1), 211-23

We developed a multiscale model to bridge neuropeptide receptor-activated signaling pathway activity with membrane electrophysiology. Typically, the neuromodulation of biochemical signaling and biophysics ... [more ▼]

We developed a multiscale model to bridge neuropeptide receptor-activated signaling pathway activity with membrane electrophysiology. Typically, the neuromodulation of biochemical signaling and biophysics have been investigated separately in modeling studies. We studied the effects of Angiotensin II (AngII) on neuronal excitability changes mediated by signaling dynamics and downstream phosphorylation of ion channels. Experiments have shown that AngII binding to the AngII receptor type-1 elicits baseline-dependent regulation of cytosolic Ca(2+) signaling. Our model simulations revealed a baseline Ca(2+)-dependent response to AngII receptor type-1 activation by AngII. Consistent with experimental observations, AngII evoked a rise in Ca(2+) when starting at a low baseline Ca(2+) level, and a decrease in Ca(2+) when starting at a higher baseline. Our analysis predicted that the kinetics of Ca(2+) transport into the endoplasmic reticulum play a critical role in shaping the Ca(2+) response. The Ca(2+) baseline also influenced the AngII-induced excitability changes such that lower Ca(2+) levels were associated with a larger firing rate increase. We examined the relative contributions of signaling kinases protein kinase C and Ca(2+)/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II to AngII-mediated excitability changes by simulating activity blockade individually and in combination. We found that protein kinase C selectively controlled firing rate adaptation whereas Ca(2+)/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II induced a delayed effect on the firing rate increase. We tested whether signaling kinetics were necessary for the dynamic effects of AngII on excitability by simulating three scenarios of AngII-mediated KDR channel phosphorylation: (1), an increased steady state; (2), a step-change increase; and (3), dynamic modulation. Our results revealed that the kinetics emerging from neuromodulatory activation of the signaling network were required to account for the dynamical changes in excitability. In summary, our integrated multiscale model provides, to our knowledge, a new approach for quantitative investigation of neuromodulatory effects on signaling and electrophysiology. [less ▲]

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See detailThe oncogenic FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha fusion protein displays skewed signaling properties compared to its wild-type PDGFRalpha counterpart.
Haan, Serge UL; Bahlawane, Christelle UL; Wang, Jiali UL et al

in JAK-STAT (2015), 4(1), 1062596

Aberrant activation of oncogenic kinases is frequently observed in human cancers, but the underlying mechanism and resulting effects on global signaling are incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate ... [more ▼]

Aberrant activation of oncogenic kinases is frequently observed in human cancers, but the underlying mechanism and resulting effects on global signaling are incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that the oncogenic FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha kinase exhibits a significantly different signaling pattern compared to its PDGFRalpha wild type counterpart. Interestingly, the activation of primarily membrane-based signal transduction processes (such as PI3-kinase- and MAP-kinase- pathways) is remarkably shifted toward a prominent activation of STAT factors. This diverging signaling pattern compared to classical PDGF-receptor signaling is partially coupled to the aberrant cytoplasmic localization of the oncogene, since membrane targeting of FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha restores activation of MAPK- and PI3K-pathways. In stark contrast to the classical cytokine-induced STAT activation process, STAT activation by FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha does neither require Janus kinase activity nor Src kinase activity. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism of STAT5 activation via FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha in more detail and found that STAT5 activation does not involve an SH2-domain-mediated binding mechanism. We thus demonstrate that STAT5 activation occurs via a non-canonical activation mechanism in which STAT5 may be subject to a direct phosphorylation by FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha. [less ▲]

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See detailConstitutive activation of oncogenic PDGFRalpha-mutant proteins occurring in GIST patients induces receptor mislocalisation and alters PDGFRalpha signalling characteristics.
Bahlawane, Christelle UL; Eulenfeld, Rene; Wiesinger, Monique UL et al

in Cell Communication and Signaling (2015), 13

BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) are mainly characterised by the presence of activating mutations in either of the two receptor tyrosine kinases c-KIT or platelet-derived growth factor ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) are mainly characterised by the presence of activating mutations in either of the two receptor tyrosine kinases c-KIT or platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFRalpha). Most mechanistic studies dealing with GIST mutations have focused on c-KIT and far less is known about the signalling characteristics of the mutated PDGFRalpha proteins. Here, we study the signalling capacities and corresponding transcriptional responses of the different PDGFRalpha proteins under comparable genomic conditions. RESULTS: We demonstrate that the constitutive signalling via the oncogenic PDGFRalpha mutants favours a mislocalisation of the receptors and that this modifies the signalling characteristics of the mutated receptors. We show that signalling via the oncogenic PDGFRalpha mutants is not solely characterised by a constitutive activation of the conventional PDGFRalpha signalling pathways. In contrast to wild-type PDGFRalpha signal transduction, the activation of STAT factors (STAT1, STAT3 and STAT5) is an integral part of signalling mediated via mutated PDGF-receptors. Furthermore, this unconventional STAT activation by mutated PDGFRalpha is already initiated in the endoplasmic reticulum whereas the conventional signalling pathways rather require cell surface expression of the receptor. Finally, we demonstrate that the activation of STAT factors also translates into a biologic response as highlighted by the induction of STAT target genes. CONCLUSION: We show that the overall oncogenic response is the result of different signatures emanating from different cellular compartments. Furthermore, STAT mediated responses are an integral part of mutated PDGFRalpha signalling. [less ▲]

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See detailRole of Calprotectin as a Modulator of the IL27-Mediated Proinflammatory Effect on Endothelial Cells
Dorosz, Susann Antonia UL; Ginolhac, Aurélien UL; Kähne, Thilo et al

in Mediators of Inflammation (2015), 2015

An underlying endothelial dysfunction plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular events and is the central feature of atherosclerosis. The protein-based communication between ... [more ▼]

An underlying endothelial dysfunction plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular events and is the central feature of atherosclerosis. The protein-based communication between leukocytes and inflamed endothelial cells leading to diapedesis has been largely investigated and several key players such as IL6, TNFα, or the damage associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP) calprotectin are now well identified. However, regarding cytokine IL27, the controversial current knowledge about its inflammatory role and the involved regulatory elements requires clarification. Therefore, we examined the inflammatory impact of IL27 on primary endothelial cells and the potentially modulatory effect of calprotectin on both transcriptome and proteome levels. A qPCR-based screening demonstrated high IL27-mediated gene expression of IL7, IL15, CXCL10, and CXCL11. Calprotectin time-dependent downregulatory effects were observed on IL27-induced IL15 and CXCL10 gene expression. A mass spectrometry-based approach of IL27 ± calprotectin cell stimulation enlightened a calprotectin modulatory role in the expression of 28 proteins, mostly involved in the mechanism of leukocyte transmigration. Furthermore, we showed evidence for STAT1 involvement in this process. Our findings provide new evidence about the IL27-dependent proinflammatory signaling which may be under the control of calprotectin and highlight the need for further investigations on molecules which might have antiatherosclerotic functions. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards improved genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions: unification, transcript specificity and beyond.
Pfau, Thomas UL; Pacheco, Maria UL; Sauter, Thomas UL

in Briefings in bioinformatics (2015)

Genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions provide a basis for the investigation of the metabolic properties of an organism. There are reconstructions available for multiple organisms, from ... [more ▼]

Genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions provide a basis for the investigation of the metabolic properties of an organism. There are reconstructions available for multiple organisms, from prokaryotes to higher organisms and methods for the analysis of a reconstruction. One example is the use of flux balance analysis to improve the yields of a target chemical, which has been applied successfully. However, comparison of results between existing reconstructions and models presents a challenge because of the heterogeneity of the available reconstructions, for example, of standards for presenting gene-protein-reaction associations, nomenclature of metabolites and reactions or selection of protonation states. The lack of comparability for gene identifiers or model-specific reactions without annotated evidence often leads to the creation of a new model from scratch, as data cannot be properly matched otherwise. In this contribution, we propose to improve the predictive power of metabolic models by switching from gene-protein-reaction associations to transcript-isoform-reaction associations, thus taking advantage of the improvement of precision in gene expression measurements. To achieve this precision, we discuss available databases that can be used to retrieve this type of information and point at issues that can arise from their neglect. Further, we stress issues that arise from non-standardized building pipelines, like inconsistencies in protonation states. In addition, problems arising from the use of non-specific cofactors, e.g. artificial futile cycles, are discussed, and finally efforts of the metabolic modelling community to unify model reconstructions are highlighted. [less ▲]

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See detailThe neural stem cell fate determinant TRIM32 regulates complex behavioral traits
Hillje, Anna-Lena UL; Beckmann, Elisabeth; Pavlou, Maria Angeliki UL et al

in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (2015)

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See detailChIP-seq profiling of the active chromatin marker H3K4me3 and PPARγ, CEBPα and LXR target genes in human SGBS adipocytes
Galhardo, Mafalda Sofia UL; Sinkkonen, Lasse UL; Berninger, Philipp et al

in Genomics Data (2014), 2

Transcription factors (TFs) represent key factors to establish a cellular phenotype. It is known that several TFs could play a role in disease, yet less is known so far how their targets overlap. We ... [more ▼]

Transcription factors (TFs) represent key factors to establish a cellular phenotype. It is known that several TFs could play a role in disease, yet less is known so far how their targets overlap. We focused here on identifying the most highly induced TFs and their putative targets during human adipogenesis. Applying chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq) in the human SGBS pre-adipocyte cell line, we identified genes with binding sites in their vicinity for the three TFs studied, PPARγ, CEBPα and LXR. Here we describe the experimental design and quality controls in detail for the deep sequencing data and related results published by Galhardo et al. in Nucleic Acids Research 2014 [1] associated with the data uploaded to NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (). [less ▲]

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See detailTranscriptomics profiling of human SGBS adipogenesis
Galhardo, Mafalda Sofia UL; Sinkkonen, Lasse UL; Berninger, Philipp et al

in Genomics Data (2014), 2

Obesity is an ever-growing epidemic where tissue homeostasis is influenced by the differentiation of adipocytes that function in lipid metabolism, endocrine and inflammatory processes. While this ... [more ▼]

Obesity is an ever-growing epidemic where tissue homeostasis is influenced by the differentiation of adipocytes that function in lipid metabolism, endocrine and inflammatory processes. While this differentiation process has been well-characterized in mice, limited data is available from human cells. Applying microarray expression profiling in the human SGBS pre-adipocyte cell line, we identified genes with differential expression during differentiation in combination with constraint-based modeling of metabolic pathway activity. Here we describe the experimental design and quality controls in detail for the gene expression and related results published by Galhardo et al. in Nucleic Acids Research 2014 associated with the data uploaded to NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (). [less ▲]

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See detailoptPBN: An Optimisation Toolbox for Probabilistic Boolean Networks
Trairatphisan, Panuwat UL; Mizera, Andrzej UL; Pang, Jun UL et al

in PLoS ONE (2014), 9(7), 980011-15

Background There exist several computational tools which allow for the optimisation and inference of biological networks using a Boolean formalism. Nevertheless, the results from such tools yield only ... [more ▼]

Background There exist several computational tools which allow for the optimisation and inference of biological networks using a Boolean formalism. Nevertheless, the results from such tools yield only limited quantitative insights into the complexity of biological systems because of the inherited qualitative nature of Boolean networks. Results We introduce optPBN, a Matlab-based toolbox for the optimisation of probabilistic Boolean networks (PBN) which operates under the framework of the BN/PBN toolbox. optPBN offers an easy generation of probabilistic Boolean networks from rule-based Boolean model specification and it allows for flexible measurement data integration from multiple experiments. Subsequently, optPBN generates integrated optimisation problems which can be solved by various optimisers. In term of functionalities, optPBN allows for the construction of a probabilistic Boolean network from a given set of potential constitutive Boolean networks by optimising the selection probabilities for these networks so that the resulting PBN fits experimental data. Furthermore, the optPBN pipeline can also be operated on large-scale computational platforms to solve complex optimisation problems. Apart from exemplary case studies which we correctly inferred the original network, we also successfully applied optPBN to study a large-scale Boolean model of apoptosis where it allows identifying the inverse correlation between UVB irradiation, NFκB and Caspase 3 activations, and apoptosis in primary hepatocytes quantitatively. Also, the results from optPBN help elucidating the relevancy of crosstalk interactions in the apoptotic network. Summary The optPBN toolbox provides a simple yet comprehensive pipeline for integrated optimisation problem generation in the PBN formalism that can readily be solved by various optimisers on local or grid-based computational platforms. optPBN can be further applied to various biological studies such as the inference of gene regulatory networks or the identification of the interaction's relevancy in signal transduction networks. [less ▲]

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See detailCombinatorial regulation of lipoprotein lipase by microRNAs during mouse adipogenesis
Liivrand, Maria UL; Heinäniemi, Merja UL; John, Elisabeth UL et al

in RNA Biology (2014), 11(1), 76-91

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression directly through base pairing to their targets or indirectly through participating in multi-scale regulatory networks. Often miRNAs take part in feed-forward ... [more ▼]

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression directly through base pairing to their targets or indirectly through participating in multi-scale regulatory networks. Often miRNAs take part in feed-forward motifs where a miRNA and a transcription factor act on shared targets to achieve accurate regulation of processes such as cell differentiation. Here we show that the expression levels of miR-27a and miR-29a inversely correlate with the mRNA levels of lipoprotein lipase (Lpl), their predicted combinatorial target, and its key transcriptional regulator peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (Pparg) during 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. More importantly, we show that Lpl, a key lipogenic enzyme, can be negatively regulated by the two miRNA families in a combinatorial fashion on the mRNA and functional level in maturing adipocytes. This regulation is mediated through the Lpl 3′UTR as confirmed by reporter gene assays. In addition, a small mathematical model captures the dynamics of this feed-forward motif and predicts the changes in Lpl mRNA levels upon network perturbations. The obtained results might offer an explanation to the dysregulation of LPL in diabetic conditions and could be extended to quantitative modeling of regulation of other metabolic genes under similar regulatory network motifs. [less ▲]

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See detailFast reconstruction of compact context-specific metabolic network models
Vlassis, Nikos UL; Pacheco, Maria UL; Sauter, Thomas UL

in PLoS Computational Biology (2014), 10(1), 1003424

Systemic approaches to the study of a biological cell or tissue rely increasingly on the use of context-specific metabolic network models. The reconstruction of such a model from high-throughput data can ... [more ▼]

Systemic approaches to the study of a biological cell or tissue rely increasingly on the use of context-specific metabolic network models. The reconstruction of such a model from high-throughput data can routinely involve large numbers of tests under different conditions and extensive parameter tuning, which calls for fast algorithms. We present FASTCORE, a generic algorithm for reconstructing context-specific metabolic network models from global genome-wide metabolic network models such as Recon X. FASTCORE takes as input a core set of reactions that are known to be active in the context of interest (e.g., cell or tissue), and it searches for a flux consistent subnetwork of the global network that contains all reactions from the core set and a minimal set of additional reactions. Our key observation is that a minimal consistent reconstruction can be defined via a set of sparse modes of the global network, and FASTCORE iteratively computes such a set via a series of linear programs. Experiments on liver data demonstrate speedups of several orders of magnitude, and significantly more compact reconstructions, over a rival method. Given its simplicity and its excellent performance, FASTCORE can form the backbone of many future metabolic network reconstruction algorithms. [less ▲]

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See detailBasic Regulatory Principles of Escherichia coli's Electron Transport Chain for Varying Oxygen Conditions.
Henkel, Sebastian G.; Beek, Alexander Ter; Steinsiek, Sonja et al

in PloS one (2014), 9(9), 107640

For adaptation between anaerobic, micro-aerobic and aerobic conditions Escherichia coli's metabolism and in particular its electron transport chain (ETC) is highly regulated. Although it is known that the ... [more ▼]

For adaptation between anaerobic, micro-aerobic and aerobic conditions Escherichia coli's metabolism and in particular its electron transport chain (ETC) is highly regulated. Although it is known that the global transcriptional regulators FNR and ArcA are involved in oxygen response it is unclear how they interplay in the regulation of ETC enzymes under micro-aerobic chemostat conditions. Also, there are diverse results which and how quinones (oxidised/reduced, ubiquinone/other quinones) are controlling the ArcBA two-component system. In the following a mathematical model of the E. coli ETC linked to basic modules for substrate uptake, fermentation product excretion and biomass formation is introduced. The kinetic modelling focusses on regulatory principles of the ETC for varying oxygen conditions in glucose-limited continuous cultures. The model is based on the balance of electron donation (glucose) and acceptance (oxygen or other acceptors). Also, it is able to account for different chemostat conditions due to changed substrate concentrations and dilution rates. The parameter identification process is divided into an estimation and a validation step based on previously published and new experimental data. The model shows that experimentally observed, qualitatively different behaviour of the ubiquinone redox state and the ArcA activity profile in the micro-aerobic range for different experimental conditions can emerge from a single network structure. The network structure features a strong feed-forward effect from the FNR regulatory system to the ArcBA regulatory system via a common control of the dehydrogenases of the ETC. The model supports the hypothesis that ubiquinone but not ubiquinol plays a key role in determining the activity of ArcBA in a glucose-limited chemostat at micro-aerobic conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailA mathematical model of metabolism and regulation provides a systems-level view of how Escherichia coli responds to oxygen
Ederer, M; Steinsiek, S; Stagge, S et al

in Frontiers in Microbiology (2014), 5(124),

The efficient redesign of bacteria for biotechnological purposes, such as biofuel production, waste disposal or specific biocatalytic functions, requires a quantitative systems-level understanding of ... [more ▼]

The efficient redesign of bacteria for biotechnological purposes, such as biofuel production, waste disposal or specific biocatalytic functions, requires a quantitative systems-level understanding of energy supply, carbon, and redox metabolism. The measurement of transcript levels, metabolite concentrations and metabolic fluxes per se gives an incomplete picture. An appreciation of the interdependencies between the different measurement values is essential for systems-level understanding. Mathematical modeling has the potential to provide a coherent and quantitative description of the interplay between gene expression, metabolite concentrations, and metabolic fluxes. Escherichia coli undergoes major adaptations in central metabolism when the availability of oxygen changes. Thus, an integrated description of the oxygen response provides a benchmark of our understanding of carbon, energy, and redox metabolism. We present the first comprehensive model of the central metabolism of E. coli that describes steady-state metabolism at different levels of oxygen availability. Variables of the model are metabolite concentrations, gene expression levels, transcription factor activities, metabolic fluxes, and biomass concentration. We analyze the model with respect to the production capabilities of central metabolism of E. coli. In particular, we predict how precursor and biomass concentration are affected by product formation. - See more at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00124/abstract#sthash.Ocu5zSDe.dpuf [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of New IkappaBalpha Complexes by an Iterative Experimental and Mathematical Modeling Approach.
Konrath, Fabian; Witt, Johannes; Sauter, Thomas UL et al

in PLoS computational biology (2014), 10(3), 1003528

The transcription factor nuclear factor kappa-B (NFkappaB) is a key regulator of pro-inflammatory and pro-proliferative processes. Accordingly, uncontrolled NFkappaB activity may contribute to the ... [more ▼]

The transcription factor nuclear factor kappa-B (NFkappaB) is a key regulator of pro-inflammatory and pro-proliferative processes. Accordingly, uncontrolled NFkappaB activity may contribute to the development of severe diseases when the regulatory system is impaired. Since NFkappaB can be triggered by a huge variety of inflammatory, pro-and anti-apoptotic stimuli, its activation underlies a complex and tightly regulated signaling network that also includes multi-layered negative feedback mechanisms. Detailed understanding of this complex signaling network is mandatory to identify sensitive parameters that may serve as targets for therapeutic interventions. While many details about canonical and non-canonical NFkappaB activation have been investigated, less is known about cellular IkappaBalpha pools that may tune the cellular NFkappaB levels. IkappaBalpha has so far exclusively been described to exist in two different forms within the cell: stably bound to NFkappaB or, very transiently, as unbound protein. We created a detailed mathematical model to quantitatively capture and analyze the time-resolved network behavior. By iterative refinement with numerous biological experiments, we yielded a highly identifiable model with superior predictive power which led to the hypothesis of an NFkappaB-lacking IkappaBalpha complex that contains stabilizing IKK subunits. We provide evidence that other but canonical pathways exist that may affect the cellular IkappaBalpha status. This additional IkappaBalpha:IKKgamma complex revealed may serve as storage for the inhibitor to antagonize undesired NFkappaB activation under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrated analysis of transcript-level regulation of metabolism reveals disease-relevant nodes of the human metabolic network
Galhardo, Mafalda Sofia UL; Sinkkonen, Lasse UL; Berninger, Philippe et al

in Nucleic Acids Research (2013)

Metabolic diseases and comorbidities represent an ever-growing epidemic where multiple cell types impact tissue homeostasis. Here, the link between the metabolic and gene regulatory networks was studied ... [more ▼]

Metabolic diseases and comorbidities represent an ever-growing epidemic where multiple cell types impact tissue homeostasis. Here, the link between the metabolic and gene regulatory networks was studied through experimental and computational analysis. Integrating gene regulation data with a human metabolic network prompted the establishment of an open-sourced web portal, IDARE (Integrated Data Nodes of Regulation), for visualizing various gene-related data in context of metabolic pathways. Motivated by increasing availability of deep sequencing studies, we obtained ChIP-seq data from widely studied human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Interestingly, we found that association of metabolic genes with multiple transcription factors (TFs) enriched disease-associated genes. To demonstrate further extensions enabled by examining these networks together, constraintbased modeling was applied to data from human preadipocyte differentiation. In parallel, data on gene expression, genome-wide ChIP-seq profiles for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) c, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (CEBP) a, liver X receptor (LXR) and H3K4me3 and microRNA target identification for miR-27a, miR-29a and miR-222 were collected. Disease-relevant key nodes, including mitochondrial glycerol-phosphateacyltransferase (GPAM), were exposed from metabolic pathways predicted to change activity by focusing on association with multiple regulators. In both cell types, our analysis reveals the convergence of microRNAs and TFs within the branched chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolic pathway, possibly providing an explanation for its downregulation in obese and diabetic conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailRecent development and biomedical applications of probabilistic Boolean networks
Trairatphisan, Panuwat UL; Mizera, Andrzej UL; Pang, Jun UL et al

in Cell Communication and Signaling (2013), 11(46),

Probabilistic Boolean network (PBN) modelling is a semi-quantitative approach widely used for the study of the topology and dynamic aspects of biological systems. The combined use of rule-based ... [more ▼]

Probabilistic Boolean network (PBN) modelling is a semi-quantitative approach widely used for the study of the topology and dynamic aspects of biological systems. The combined use of rule-based representation and probability makes PBN appealing for large-scale modelling of biological networks where degrees of uncertainty need to be considered. A considerable expansion of our knowledge in the field of theoretical research on PBN can be observed over the past few years, with a focus on network inference, network intervention and control. With respect to areas of applications, PBN is mainly used for the study of gene regulatory networks though with an increasing emergence in signal transduction, metabolic, and also physiological networks. At the same time, a number of computational tools, facilitating the modelling and analysis of PBNs, are continuously developed. A concise yet comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art on PBN modelling is offered in this article, including a comparative discussion on PBN versus similar models with respect to concepts and biomedical applications. Due to their many advantages, we consider PBN to stand as a suitable modelling framework for the description and analysis of complex biological systems, ranging from molecular to physiological levels. [less ▲]

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See detailMathematical modelling of the Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) signalling pathway
Mizera, Andrzej UL; Pang, Jun UL; Sauter, Thomas UL et al

in Proceedings of 4th Workshop on Computational Models for Cell Processes (CompMod'13) (2013)

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