A Network-Based Approach on Elucidating the Multi-Faceted Nature of Chronological Aging in S. cerevisiae

Department of Chemical Engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 12/2011; 6(12):e29284. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029284
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cellular mechanisms leading to aging and therefore increasing susceptibility to age-related diseases are a central topic of research since aging is the ultimate, yet not understood mechanism of the fate of a cell. Studies with model organisms have been conducted to ellucidate these mechanisms, and chronological aging of yeast has been extensively used as a model for oxidative stress and aging of postmitotic tissues in higher eukaryotes.
The chronological aging network of yeast was reconstructed by integrating protein-protein interaction data with gene ontology terms. The reconstructed network was then statistically "tuned" based on the betweenness centrality values of the nodes to compensate for the computer automated method. Both the originally reconstructed and tuned networks were subjected to topological and modular analyses. Finally, an ultimate "heart" network was obtained via pooling the step specific key proteins, which resulted from the decomposition of the linear paths depicting several signaling routes in the tuned network.
The reconstructed networks are of scale-free and hierarchical nature, following a power law model with γ  =  1.49. The results of modular and topological analyses verified that the tuning method was successful. The significantly enriched gene ontology terms of the modular analysis confirmed also that the multifactorial nature of chronological aging was captured by the tuned network. The interplay between various signaling pathways such as TOR, Akt/PKB and cAMP/Protein kinase A was summarized in the "heart" network originated from linear path analysis. The deletion of four genes, TCB3, SNA3, PST2 and YGR130C, was found to increase the chronological life span of yeast. The reconstructed networks can also give insight about the effect of other cellular machineries on chronological aging by targeting different signaling pathways in the linear path analysis, along with unraveling of novel proteins playing part in these pathways.

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