Reconstruction and analysis of the NF-kB pathway interactome: a systems biology approach

Tieri, Paolo (2010) Reconstruction and analysis of the NF-kB pathway interactome: a systems biology approach, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale: progetto n. 2 "Patologia sperimentale", 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2317.
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Background. One of the phenomena observed in human aging is the progressive increase of a systemic inflammatory state, a condition referred to as “inflammaging”, negatively correlated with longevity. A prominent mediator of inflammation is the transcription factor NF-kB, that acts as key transcriptional regulator of many genes coding for pro-inflammatory cytokines. Many different signaling pathways activated by very diverse stimuli converge on NF-kB, resulting in a regulatory network characterized by high complexity. NF-kB signaling has been proposed to be responsible of inflammaging. Scope of this analysis is to provide a wider, systemic picture of such intricate signaling and interaction network: the NF-kB pathway interactome. Methods. The study has been carried out following a workflow for gathering information from literature as well as from several pathway and protein interactions databases, and for integrating and analyzing existing data and the relative reconstructed representations by using the available computational tools. Strong manual intervention has been necessarily used to integrate data from multiple sources into mathematically analyzable networks. The reconstruction of the NF-kB interactome pursued with this approach provides a starting point for a general view of the architecture and for a deeper analysis and understanding of this complex regulatory system. Results. A “core” and a “wider” NF-kB pathway interactome, consisting of 140 and 3146 proteins respectively, were reconstructed and analyzed through a mathematical, graph-theoretical approach. Among other interesting features, the topological characterization of the interactomes shows that a relevant number of interacting proteins are in turn products of genes that are controlled and regulated in their expression exactly by NF-kB transcription factors. These “feedback loops”, not always well-known, deserve deeper investigation since they may have a role in tuning the response and the output consequent to NF-kB pathway initiation, in regulating the intensity of the response, or its homeostasis and balance in order to make the functioning of such critical system more robust and reliable. This integrated view allows to shed light on the functional structure and on some of the crucial nodes of thet NF-kB transcription factors interactome. Conclusion. Framing structure and dynamics of the NF-kB interactome into a wider, systemic picture would be a significant step toward a better understanding of how NF-kB globally regulates diverse gene programs and phenotypes. This study represents a step towards a more complete and integrated view of the NF-kB signaling system.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Tieri, Paolo
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
aging, longevity, inflammation, inflammaging, NF-kB, Nuclear Factor-kB, pathway, interactome, protein-protein interaction, graph theory, network biology, systems biology, computational biology
Data di discussione
16 Aprile 2010

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