[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is a disease of low bone mass most often caused by an increase in bone resorption that is not sufficiently compensated for by a corresponding increase in bone formation. As gut-derived serotonin (GDS) inhibits bone formation, we asked whether hampering its biosynthesis could treat osteoporosis through an anabolic mechanism (that is, by increasing bone formation). We synthesized and used LP533401, a small molecule inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (Tph-1), the initial enzyme in GDS biosynthesis. Oral administration of this small molecule once daily for up to six weeks acts prophylactically or therapeutically, in a dose-dependent manner, to treat osteoporosis in ovariectomized rodents because of an isolated increase in bone formation. These results provide a proof of principle that inhibiting GDS biosynthesis could become a new anabolic treatment for osteoporosis.
Nature medicine 02/2010; 16(3):308-12. DOI:10.1038/nm.2098 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viral infections induce multiple perturbations that spread along the links of the biological networks of the host cells. Understanding the impact of these cascading perturbations requires an exhaustive knowledge of the cellular machinery as well as a systems biology approach that reveals how individual components of the cellular system function together. Here we describe an integrative method that provides a new approach to studying virus-human interactions and its correlations with diseases. Our method involves the combined utilization of protein - protein interactions, protein -- DNA interactions, metabolomics and gene - disease associations to build a ``viraldiseasome''. By solely using high-throughput data, we map well-known viral associated diseases and predict new candidate viral diseases. We use microarray data of virus-infected tissues and patient medical history data to further test the implications of the viral diseasome. We apply this method to Epstein-Barr virus and Human Papillomavirus and shed light into molecular development of viral diseases and disease pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three-prime untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of metazoan messenger RNAs (mRNAs) contain numerous regulatory elements, yet remain largely uncharacterized. Using polyA capture, 3' rapid amplification of complementary DNA (cDNA) ends, full-length cDNAs, and RNA-seq, we defined ∼26,000 distinct 3'UTRs in Caenorhabditis elegans for ∼85% of the 18,328 experimentally supported protein-coding genes and revised ∼40% of gene models. Alternative 3'UTR isoforms are frequent, often differentially expressed during development. Average 3'UTR length decreases with animal age. Surprisingly, no polyadenylation signal (PAS) was detected for 13% of polyadenylation sites, predominantly among shorter alternative isoforms. Trans-spliced (versus non-trans-spliced) mRNAs possess longer 3'UTRs and frequently contain no PAS or variant PAS. We identified conserved 3'UTR motifs, isoform-specific predicted microRNA target sites, and polyadenylation of most histone genes. Our data reveal a rich complexity of 3'UTRs, both genome-wide and throughout development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Physical interactions mediated by proteins are critical for most cellular functions and altogether form a complex macromolecular "interactome" network. Systematic mapping of protein-protein, protein-DNA, protein-RNA, and protein-metabolite interactions at the scale of the whole proteome can advance understanding of interactome networks with applications ranging from single protein functional characterization to discoveries on local and global systems properties. Since the early efforts at mapping protein-protein interactome networks a decade ago, the field has progressed rapidly giving rise to a growing number of interactome maps produced using high-throughput implementations of either binary protein-protein interaction assays or co-complex protein association methods. Although high-throughput methods are often thought to necessarily produce lower quality information than low-throughput experiments, we have recently demonstrated that proteome-scale interactome datasets can be produced with equal or superior quality than that observed in literature-curated datasets derived from large numbers of small-scale experiments. In addition to performing all experimental steps thoroughly and including all necessary controls and quality standards, careful verification of all interacting pairs and validation tests using independent, orthogonal assays are crucial to ensure the release of interactome maps of the highest possible quality. This chapter describes a high-quality, high-throughput binary protein-protein interactome mapping pipeline that includes these features.
Methods in enzymology 01/2010; 470:281-315. DOI:10.1016/S0076-6879(10)70012-4 · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular functions are mediated through complex systems of macromolecules and metabolites linked through biochemical and physical interactions, represented in interactome models as 'nodes' and 'edges', respectively. Better understanding of genotype-to-phenotype relationships in human disease will require modeling of how disease-causing mutations affect systems or interactome properties. Here we investigate how perturbations of interactome networks may differ between complete loss of gene products ('node removal') and interaction-specific or edge-specific ('edgetic') alterations. Global computational analyses of approximately 50,000 known causative mutations in human Mendelian disorders revealed clear separations of mutations probably corresponding to those of node removal versus edgetic perturbations. Experimental characterization of mutant alleles in various disorders identified diverse edgetic interaction profiles of mutant proteins, which correlated with distinct structural properties of disease proteins and disease mechanisms. Edgetic perturbations seem to confer distinct functional consequences from node removal because a large fraction of cases in which a single gene is linked to multiple disorders can be modeled by distinguishing edgetic network perturbations. Edgetic network perturbation models might improve both the understanding of dissemination of disease alleles in human populations and the development of molecular therapeutic strategies.
Molecular Systems Biology 11/2009; 5(1):321. DOI:10.1038/msb.2009.80 · 10.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The idea that multi-scale dynamic complex systems formed by interacting macromolecules and metabolites, cells, organs and organisms underlie some of the most fundamental aspects of life was proposed by a few visionaries half a century ago. We are witnessing a powerful resurgence of this idea made possible by the availability of nearly complete genome sequences, ever improving gene annotations and interactome network maps, the development of sophisticated informatic and imaging tools, and importantly, the use of engineering and physics concepts such as control and graph theory. Alongside four other fundamental "great ideas" as suggested by Sir Paul Nurse, namely, the gene, the cell, the role of chemistry in biological processes, and evolution by natural selection, systems-level understanding of "What is Life" may materialize as one of the major ideas of biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genes and gene products do not function in isolation but within highly interconnected 'interactome' networks, modeled as graphs of nodes and edges representing macromolecules and interactions between them, respectively. We propose to investigate genotype-phenotype associations by methodical use of alleles that lack single interactions, while retaining all others, in contrast to genetic approaches designed to eliminate gene products completely. We describe an integrated strategy based on the reverse yeast two-hybrid system to isolate and characterize such edge-specific, or 'edgetic', alleles. We established a proof of concept with CED-9, a Caenorhabditis elegans BCL2 ortholog. Using ced-9 edgetic alleles, we uncovered a new potential functional link between apoptosis and a centrosomal protein. This approach is amenable to higher throughput and is particularly applicable to interactome network analysis in organisms for which transgenesis is straightforward.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although a highly accurate sequence of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome has been available for 10 years, the exact transcript structures of many of its protein-coding genes remain unsettled. Approximately two-thirds of the ORFeome has been verified reactively by amplifying and cloning computationally predicted transcript models; still a full third of the ORFeome remains experimentally unverified. To fully identify the protein-coding potential of the worm genome including transcripts that may not satisfy existing heuristics for gene prediction, we developed a computational and experimental platform adapting rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) for large-scale structural transcript annotation. We interrogated 2000 unverified protein-coding genes using this platform. We obtained RACE data for approximately two-thirds of the examined transcripts and reconstructed ORF and transcript models for close to 1000 of these. We defined untranslated regions, identified new exons, and redefined previously annotated exons. Our results show that as much as 20% of the C. elegans genome may be incorrectly annotated. Many annotation errors could be corrected proactively with our large-scale RACE platform.
Genome Research 10/2009; 19(12):2334-42. DOI:10.1101/gr.098640.109 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a highly regulated self-degradative mechanism required at a basal level for intracellular clearance and recycling of cytoplasmic contents. Upon intracellular pathogen invasion, autophagy can be induced as an innate immune mechanism to control infection. Nevertheless, pathogens have developed strategies to avoid or hijack autophagy for their own benefit. The molecular pathways inducing autophagy in response to infection remain poorly documented. We report here that the engagement of CD46, a ubiquitous human surface receptor able to bind several different pathogens, is sufficient to induce autophagy. CD46-Cyt-1, one of the two C-terminal splice variants of CD46, is linked to the autophagosome formation complex VPS34/Beclin1 via its interaction with the scaffold protein GOPC. Measles virus and group A Streptococcus, two CD46-binding pathogens, induce autophagy through a CD46-Cyt-1/GOPC pathway. Thus, upon microorganism recognition, a cell surface pathogen receptor can directly trigger autophagy, a critical step to control infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Significant diversity exists in protein structure and function, yet certain structural domains are used repeatedly across species to execute similar functions. The SH3 domain is one such common structural domain. It is found in signaling proteins and mediates protein–protein interactions by binding to short peptide sequences generally composed of proline. To investigate both the generality and selectivity of peptide binding by SH3 domains, we examined peptide specificity for almost all SH3 domains encoded within the proteome of the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using a range of experimental methods. We found that although most of the intrinsic binding specificity for SH3 domains can be summarized by the two previously described canonical binding modes, each individual SH3 domain that we studied utilizes unique features of its cognate ligand to achieve binding selectivity. Moreover, some domains exhibit binding specificities that are distinct from the two canonical classes. We integrated peptide-SH3 domain binding data from three complementary screening techniques using a Bayesian statistical model to generate a protein–protein interaction network for the budding yeast SH3 domain family. This network was highly enriched in endocytosis proteins and their interactions. By examining these interactions in detail, we show that our SH3 domain network can be used to predict the temporal localization of several previously uncharacterized proteins to dynamic complexes that orchestrate the process of endocytosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unequivocal discrimination between neutral variants and deleterious mutations is crucial for appropriate counseling of individuals with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 sequence change. An increasing number of variants of uncertain significance (VUS) are being identified, the unclassified biological effect of which poses clinical concerns. A multifactorial likelihood-based approach recently suggested disease causality for BRCA1 p.V1688del, a VUS recurrent in Italian breast/ovarian cancer families. Whether and how this single amino acid deletion in the BRCA1 COOH terminus (BRCT) domain affects the function of the mutant protein (DeltaValBRCA1) has not been elucidated. We undertook comprehensive functional characterization of DeltaValBRCA1, comprising comparative structural modeling, analysis of protein stability and associations, and analysis of DNA repair function. Our model predicted BRCT domain destabilization and folding disruption caused by BRCA1 p.V1688del. Consistently, the recombinant DeltaValBRCA1 was less stable than wild-type BRCA1 and, unlike the latter, failed to associate with BRIP1, CtIP, and Rap80 and to relocalize to sites of DNA damage. Yeast two-hybrid analysis revealed a compromised interaction with FHL2 and KPNA2, which is likely responsible for improper subcellular localization of DeltaValBRCA1. In addition, we found four new breast/ovarian cancer families of Italian ancestry who carried this sequence alteration. These results provide the first evidence of the effect of BRCA1 p.V1688del on protein stability and function, supporting the view that it is a deleterious mutation. Multimodal analyses like ours could advance understanding of tumor suppression by BRCA1 and ultimately contribute to developing efficient strategies for screening and characterization of VUS.
Cancer Research 09/2009; 69(17):7030-7. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1440 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With sequencing of thousands of organisms completed or in progress, there is a growing need to integrate gene prediction with metabolic network analysis. Using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model, we describe a systems-level methodology bridging metabolic network reconstruction with experimental verification of enzyme encoding open reading frames. Our quantitative and predictive metabolic model and its associated cloned open reading frames provide useful resources for metabolic engineering.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In eukaryotic cells the stability and function of many proteins are regulated by the addition of ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like peptides. This process is dependent upon the sequential action of an E1-activating enzyme, an E2-conjugating enzyme, and an E3 ligase. Different combinations of these proteins confer substrate specificity and the form of protein modification. However, combinatorial preferences within ubiquitination networks remain unclear. In this study, yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens were combined with true homology modeling methods to generate a high-density map of human E2/E3-RING interactions. These data include 535 experimentally defined novel E2/E3-RING interactions and >1300 E2/E3-RING pairs with more favorable predicted free-energy values than the canonical UBE2L3-CBL complex. The significance of Y2H predictions was assessed by both mutagenesis and functional assays. Significantly, 74/80 (>92%) of Y2H predicted complexes were disrupted by point mutations that inhibit verified E2/E3-RING interactions, and a approximately 93% correlation was observed between Y2H data and the functional activity of E2/E3-RING complexes in vitro. Analysis of the high-density human E2/E3-RING network reveals complex combinatorial interactions and a strong potential for functional redundancy, especially within E2 families that have undergone evolutionary expansion. Finally, a one-step extended human E2/E3-RING network, containing 2644 proteins and 5087 edges, was assembled to provide a resource for future functional investigations.
Genome Research 06/2009; 19(10):1905-11. DOI:10.1101/gr.093963.109 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The idea that genes and their products are the fundamental units of biology has profoundly influenced our scientific thinking during the second half of the past century. Today, this reductionism is challenged by a renaissance of a systems understanding of biology, focusing on the systems formed by interacting gene products rather than on individual gene products. This discipline, based on a complementary and more holistic approach, keeps expanding its scope thanks to biotechnological innovations as well as theoretical modeling. This review aims at showing how and why, since the beginning of the 21st century, in fundamental as well as biomedical research, systems biology is proving a promising paradigm for understanding emerging properties of complex biological systems.
Medecine sciences: M/S 06/2009; 25(6-7):578-84. DOI:10.1051/medsci/2009256-7578 · 0.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "Smart-pooling," in which test reagents are multiplexed in a highly redundant manner, is a promising strategy for achieving high efficiency, sensitivity, and specificity in systems-level projects. However, previous applications relied on low redundancy designs that do not leverage the full potential of smart-pooling, and more powerful theoretical constructions, such as the Shifted Transversal Design (STD), lack experimental validation. Here we evaluate STD smart-pooling in yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) interactome mapping. We employed two STD designs and two established methods to perform ORFeome-wide Y2H screens with 12 baits. We found that STD pooling achieves similar levels of sensitivity and specificity as one-on-one array-based Y2H, while the costs and workloads are divided by three. The screening-sequencing approach is the most cost- and labor-efficient, yet STD identifies about twofold more interactions. Screening-sequencing remains an appropriate method for quickly producing low-coverage interactomes, while STD pooling appears as the method of choice for obtaining maps with higher coverage.
Genome Research 06/2009; 19(7):1262-9. DOI:10.1101/gr.090019.108 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The main conclusion is that systems biology approaches can indeed advance cancer research, having already proved successful in a very wide variety of cancer-related areas, and are likely to prove superior to many current research strategies. Major points include: Systems biology and computational approaches can make important contributions to research and development in key clinical aspects of cancer and of cancer treatment, and should be developed for understanding and application to diagnosis, biomarkers, cancer progression, drug development and treatment strategies. Development of new measurement technologies is central to successful systems approaches, and should be strongly encouraged. The systems view of disease combined with these new technologies and novel computational tools will over the next 5-20 years lead to medicine that is predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory (P4 medicine).Major initiatives are in progress to gather extremely wide ranges of data for both somatic and germ-line genetic variations, as well as gene, transcript, protein and metabolite expression profiles that are cancer-relevant. Electronic databases and repositories play a central role to store and analyze these data. These resources need to be developed and sustained. Understanding cellular pathways is crucial in cancer research, and these pathways need to be considered in the context of the progression of cancer at various stages. At all stages of cancer progression, major areas require modelling via systems and developmental biology methods including immune system reactions, angiogenesis and tumour progression.A number of mathematical models of an analytical or computational nature have been developed that can give detailed insights into the dynamics of cancer-relevant systems. These models should be further integrated across multiple levels of biological organization in conjunction with analysis of laboratory and clinical data.Biomarkers represent major tools in determining the presence of cancer, its progression and the responses to treatments. There is a need for sets of high-quality annotated clinical samples, enabling comparisons across different diseases and the quantitative simulation of major pathways leading to biomarker development and analysis of drug effects.Education is recognized as a key component in the success of any systems biology programme, especially for applications to cancer research. It is recognized that a balance needs to be found between the need to be interdisciplinary and the necessity of having extensive specialist knowledge in particular areas.A proposal from this workshop is to explore one or more types of cancer over the full scale of their progression, for example glioblastoma or colon cancer. Such an exemplar project would require all the experimental and computational tools available for the generation and analysis of quantitative data over the entire hierarchy of biological information. These tools and approaches could be mobilized to understand, detect and treat cancerous processes and establish methods applicable across a wide range of cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spindle apparatus dictates the plane of cell cleavage, which is critical in the choice between symmetric or asymmetric division. Spindle positioning is controlled by an evolutionarily conserved pathway, which involves LIN-5/GPR-1/2/Galpha in Caenorhabditis elegans, Mud/Pins/Galpha in Drosophila and NuMA/LGN/Galpha in humans. GPR-1/2 and Galpha localize LIN-5 to the cell cortex, which engages dynein and controls the cleavage plane during early mitotic divisions in C. elegans. Here we identify ASPM-1 (abnormal spindle-like, microcephaly-associated) as a novel LIN-5 binding partner. ASPM-1, together with calmodulin (CMD-1), promotes meiotic spindle organization and the accumulation of LIN-5 at meiotic and mitotic spindle poles. Spindle rotation during maternal meiosis is independent of GPR-1/2 and Galpha, yet requires LIN-5, ASPM-1, CMD-1 and dynein. Our data support the existence of two distinct LIN-5 complexes that determine localized dynein function: LIN-5/GPR-1/2/Galpha at the cortex, and LIN-5/ASPM-1/CMD-1 at spindle poles. These functional interactions may be conserved in mammals, with implications for primary microcephaly.