Biochemical systems analysis of signaling pathways to understand fungal pathogenicity.
ABSTRACT Over the past decade, researchers have recognized the need to study biological systems as integrated systems. While the reductionist approaches of the past century have made remarkable advances of our understanding of life, the next phase of understanding comes from systems-level investigations. Additionally, biology has become a data-intensive field of research. The introduction of high throughput sequencing, microarrays, high throughput proteomics, metabolomics, and now lipidomics are producing significantly more data than can be interpreted using existing methods. The field of systems biology brings together methods from computer science, modeling, statistics, engineering, and biology to explore the volumes of data now being produced and to develop mathematical representations of metabolic, signaling, and gene regulatory systems. Advances in these methods are allowing biologists to develop new insights into the complexities of life, to predict cellular responses and treatment outcomes, and to effectively plan experiments that extend our understanding. In this chapter, we are providing the basic steps of developing and analyzing a small S-system model of a biochemical pathway related to sphingolipid metabolism in the regulation of virulence of the human fungal microbial pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn).