Doctoral thesis (Dissertations and theses)
Fast reconsonstruction of compact context-specific network models
Pacheco, Maria


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Keywords :
metabolic modelling; algorithm; omics data
Abstract :
[en] Recent progress in high-throughput data acquisition has shifted the focus from data generation to the processing and understanding of now easily collected patient-specific information. Metabolic models, which have already proven to be very powerful for the integration and analysis of such data sets, might be successfully applied in precision medicine in the near future. Context-specific reconstructions extracted from generic genome-scale models like Reconstruction X (ReconX) (Duarte et al., 2007; Thiele et al., 2013) or Human Metabolic Reconstruction (HMR) (Agren et al., 2012; Mardinoglu et al., 2014a) thereby have the potential to become a diagnostic and treatment tool tailored to the analysis of specific groups of individuals. The use of computational algorithms as a tool for the routinely diagnosis and analysis of metabolic diseases requires a high level of predictive power, robustness and sensitivity. Although multiple context-specific reconstruction algorithms were published in the last ten years, only a fraction of them is suitable for model building based on human high-throughput data. Beside other reasons, this might be due to problems arising from the limitation to only one metabolic target function or arbitrary thresholding. The aim of this thesis was to create a family of robust and fast algorithms for the building of context-specific models that could be used for the integration of different types of omics data and which should be sensitive enough to be used in the framework of precision medicine. FASTCORE (Vlassis et al., 2014), which was developed in the frame of this thesis is among the first context-specific building algorithms that do not optimize for a biological function and that has a computational time around seconds. Furthermore, FASTCORE is devoid of heuristic parameter settings. FASTCORE requires as input a set of reactions that are known to be active in the context of interest (core reactions) and a genome-scale reconstruction. FASTCORE uses an approximation of the cardinality function to force the core set of reactions to carry a flux above a threshold. Then an L1-minimization is applied to penalize the activation of reactions with low confidence level while still constraining the set of core reactions to carry a flux. The rationale behind FASTCORE is to reconstruct a compact consistent (all the reactions of the model have the potential to carry non zero-flux) output model that contains all the core reactions and a small number of non-core reactions. Then, in order to cope with the non-negligible amount of noise that impede direct comparison within genes, FASTCORE was extended to the FASTCORMICS workflow (Pires Pacheco and Sauter, 2014; Pires Pacheco et al., 2015a) for the building of models via the integration of microarray data . FASTCORMICS was applied to reveal control points regulated by genes under high regulatory load in the metabolic network of monocyte derived macrophages (Pires Pacheco et al., 2015a) and to investigate the effect of the TRIM32 mutation on the metabolism of brain cells of mice (Hillje et al., 2013). The use of metabolic modelling in the frame of personalized medicine, high-throughput data analysis and integration of omics data calls for a significant improvement in quality of existing algorithms and generic metabolic reconstructions used as input for the former. To this aim and to initiate a discussion in the community on how to improve the quality of context-specific reconstruction, benchmarking procedures were proposed and applied to seven recent contextspecific algorithms including FASTCORE and FASTCORMICS (Pires Pacheco et al., 2015a). Further, the problems arising from a lack of standardization of building and annotation pipelines and the use of non-specific identifiers was discussed in the frame of a review. In this review, we also advocated for a switch from gene-centred protein rules (GPR rules) to transcript-centred protein rules (Pfau et al., 2015).
Disciplines :
Life sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Pacheco, Maria ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Life Science Research Unit
Language :
Title :
Fast reconsonstruction of compact context-specific network models
Defense date :
01 September 2016
Number of pages :
164 + 117
Institution :
Unilu - University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Degree :
Docteur en Biologie
Promotor :
President :
Secretary :
Azuaje, Francisco
Jury member :
Klamt, Steffen
Elmer, Heinzle
Focus Area :
Systems Biomedicine
FnR Project :
FNR6041230 - Fast Reconstruction Of Context Specific Metabolic Network Models, 2013 (01/04/2013-31/10/2016) - Maria Irene Pires Pacheco
Name of the research project :
Fast reconstruction of compact context-specific metabolic network models
Funders :
FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche [LU]
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since 13 January 2017


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