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Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine

Julia M Rogers, Martha L Bulyk
Sequence-specific transcription factors (TFs) bind short DNA sequences in the genome to regulate the expression of target genes. In the last decade, numerous technical advances have enabled the determination of the DNA-binding specificities of many of these factors. Large-scale screens of many TFs enabled the creation of databases of TF DNA-binding specificities, typically represented as position weight matrices (PWMs). Although great progress has been made in determining and predicting binding specificities systematically, there are still many surprises to be found when studying a particular TF's interactions with DNA in detail...
April 25, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Victor Olariu, Carsten Peterson
As cell and molecular biology is becoming increasingly quantitative, there is an upsurge of interest in mechanistic modeling at different levels of resolution. Such models mostly concern kinetics and include gene and protein interactions as well as cell population dynamics. The final goal of these models is to provide experimental predictions, which is now taking on. However, even without matured predictions, kinetic models serve the purpose of compressing a plurality of experimental results into something that can empower the data interpretation, and importantly, suggesting new experiments by turning "knobs" in silico...
April 16, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Stephanie Grainger, Karl Willert
The Wnt signaling pathway is a highly conserved system that regulates complex biological processes across all metazoan species. At the cellular level, secreted Wnt proteins serve to break symmetry and provide cells with positional information that is critical to the patterning of the entire body plan. At the organismal level, Wnt signals are employed to orchestrate fundamental developmental processes, including the specification of the anterior-posterior body axis, induction of the primitive streak and ensuing gastrulation movements, and the generation of cell and tissue diversity...
March 30, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Sabato Santaniello, John T Gale, Sridevi V Sarma
Over the last 30 years, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used to treat chronic neurological diseases like dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, and more recently, dementias, depression, cognitive disorders, and epilepsy. Despite its wide use, DBS presents numerous challenges for both clinicians and engineers. One challenge is the design of novel, more efficient DBS therapies, which are hampered by the lack of complete understanding about the cellular mechanisms of therapeutic DBS...
March 20, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Evan Tsiklidis, Carrie Sims, Talid Sinno, Scott L Diamond
Trauma with hypovolemic shock is an extreme pathological state that challenges the body to maintain blood pressure and oxygenation in the face of hemorrhagic blood loss. In conjunction with surgical actions and transfusion therapy, survival requires the patient's blood to maintain hemostasis to stop bleeding. The physics of the problem are multiscale: (a) the systemic circulation sets the global blood pressure in response to blood loss and resuscitation therapy, (b) local tissue perfusion is altered by localized vasoregulatory mechanisms and bleeding, and (c) altered blood and vessel biology resulting from the trauma as well as local hemodynamics control the assembly of clotting components at the site of injury...
February 27, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Magdalena Harakalova, Folkert W Asselbergs
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a form of severe failure of cardiac muscle caused by a long list of etiologies ranging from myocardial infarction, DNA mutations in cardiac genes, to toxics. Systems analysis integrating next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based omics approaches, such as the sequencing of DNA, RNA, and chromatin, provide valuable insights into DCM mechanisms. The outcome and interpretation of NGS methods can be affected by the localization of cardiac biopsy, level of tissue degradation, and variable ratios of different cell populations, especially in the presence of fibrosis...
February 27, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Julia M Barbarino, Michelle Whirl-Carrillo, Russ B Altman, Teri E Klein
As precision medicine becomes increasingly relevant in healthcare, the field of pharmacogenomics (PGx) also continues to gain prominence in the clinical setting. Leading institutions have begun to implement PGx testing and the amount of published PGx literature increases yearly. The Pharmacogenomics Knowledgebase (PharmGKB; is one of the foremost worldwide resources for PGx knowledge, and the organization has been adapting and refocusing its mission along with the current revolution in genomic medicine...
February 23, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Kathryn R Tringale, John Pang, Quyen T Nguyen
Primary treatment for many solid cancers includes surgical excision or radiation therapy, with or without the use of adjuvant therapy. This can include the addition of radiation and chemotherapy after primary surgical therapy, or the addition of chemotherapy and salvage surgery to primary radiation therapy. Both primary therapies, surgery and radiation, require precise anatomic localization of tumor. If tumor is not targeted adequately with initial treatment, disease recurrence may ensue, and if targeting is too broad, unnecessary morbidity may occur to nearby structures or remaining normal tissue...
May 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Vijay Rajagopal, William R Holmes, Peter Vee Sin Lee
Cellular cytoskeletal mechanics plays a major role in many aspects of human health from organ development to wound healing, tissue homeostasis and cancer metastasis. We summarize the state-of-the-art techniques for mathematically modeling cellular stiffness and mechanics and the cytoskeletal components and factors that regulate them. We highlight key experiments that have assisted model parameterization and compare the advantages of different models that have been used to recapitulate these experiments. An overview of feed-forward mechanisms from signaling to cytoskeleton remodeling is provided, followed by a discussion of the rapidly growing niche of encapsulating feedback mechanisms from cytoskeletal and cell mechanics to signaling...
March 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Chris Fields, Michael Levin
A fundamental aspect of life is the modification of anatomy, physiology, and behavior in the face of changing conditions. This is especially illustrated by the adaptive regulation of growth and form that underlies the ability of most organisms-from single cells to complex large metazoa-to develop, remodel, and regenerate to specific anatomical patterns. What is the relationship of the genome and other cellular components to the robust computations that underlie this remarkable pattern homeostasis? Here we examine the role of constraints defined at the cellular level, especially endogenous bioelectricity, in generating and propagating biological information...
March 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Shao Thing Teoh, Sophia Y Lunt
Metabolic changes accompany tumor progression and metastatic dissemination of cancer cells. Yet, until recently, metabolism has received little attention in the study of cancer metastasis. Cancer cells undergo significant metabolic rewiring as they acquire metastatic traits and adapt to survive in multiple environments with varying nutrient availability, oxygen concentrations, and extracellular signals. Therefore, to effectively treat metastatic cancer, it is important to understand the metabolic strategies adopted by cancer cells during the metastatic process...
March 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Monica P McNerney, Mark P Styczynski
Small molecules have many important roles across the tree of life: they regulate processes from metabolism to transcription, they enable signaling within and between species, and they serve as the biochemical building blocks for cells. They also represent valuable phenotypic endpoints that are promising for use as biomarkers of disease states. In the context of engineering cell-based therapeutics, they hold particularly great promise for enabling finer control over the therapeutic cells and allowing them to be responsive to extracellular cues...
March 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Kevin R Costello, Dustin E Schones
Metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are complex diseases resulting from multiple genetic and environmental factors, such as diet and activity levels. These factors are well known contributors to the development of metabolic diseases. One manner by which environmental factors can influence metabolic disease progression is through modifications to chromatin. These modifications can lead to altered gene regulatory programs, which alters disease risk. Furthermore, there is evidence that parents exposed to environmental factors can influence the metabolic health of offspring, especially if exposures are during intrauterine growth periods...
January 25, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Matthew D Wiens, Robert E Campbell
Mapping the protein-protein interaction (PPi) landscape is of critical importance to furthering our understanding how cells and organisms function. Optogenetic methods, that is, approaches that utilize genetically encoded fluorophores or fluorogenic enzyme reactions, uniquely enable the visualization of biochemical phenomena in live cells with high spatial and temporal accuracy. Applying optogenetic methods to the detection of PPis requires the engineering of protein-based systems in which an optical signal undergoes a substantial change when the two proteins of interest interact...
January 15, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
D Rose Ewald, Susan C J Sumner
Far from being just "bugs in our guts," the microbiota interacts with the body in previously unimagined ways. Research into the genome and the microbiome has revealed that the human body and the microbiota have a long-established but only recently recognized symbiotic relationship; homeostatic balance between them regulates body function. That balance is fragile, easily disturbed, and plays a fundamental role in human health-our very survival depends on the healthy functioning of these microorganisms...
January 9, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Wei Leong Chew
Genome-editing therapeutics are poised to treat human diseases. As we enter clinical trials with the most promising CRISPR-Cas9 and CRISPR-Cas12a (Cpf1) modalities, the risks associated with administering these foreign biomolecules into human patients become increasingly salient. Preclinical discovery with CRISPR-Cas9 and CRISPR-Cas12a systems and foundational gene therapy studies indicate that the host immune system can mount undesired responses against the administered proteins and nucleic acids, the gene-edited cells, and the host itself...
January 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Feng Liu, Paul S Mischel
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that is critical for normal development and function. EGFR is also amplified or mutated in a variety of cancers including in nearly 60% of cases of the highly lethal brain cancer glioblastoma (GBM). EGFR amplification and mutation reprogram cellular metabolism and broadly alter gene transcription to drive tumor formation and progression, rendering EGFR as a compelling drug target. To date, brain tumor patients have yet to benefit from anti-EGFR therapy due in part to an inability to achieve sufficient intratumoral drug levels in the brain, cultivating adaptive mechanisms of resistance...
January 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Gianmarco Rinaldi, Matteo Rossi, Sarah-Maria Fendt
Metabolism is tied into complex interactions with cell intrinsic and extrinsic processes that go beyond the conversion of nutrients into energy and biomass. Indeed, metabolism is a central cellular hub that interconnects and influences the microenvironment, the cellular phenotype, cell signaling, and the (epi)genetic landscape. While these interactions evolved to support survival and function of normal cells, they are hijacked by cancer cells to enable cancer maintenance and progression. Thus, a mechanistic and functional understanding of complex metabolic interactions provides a basis for the discovery of novel metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer...
January 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Stefano Donati, Timur Sander, Hannes Link
Cells employ various mechanisms for dynamic control of enzyme expression. An important mechanism is mutual feedback-or crosstalk-between transcription and metabolism. As recently suggested, enzyme levels are often much higher than absolutely needed to maintain metabolic flux. However, given the potential burden of high enzyme levels it seems likely that cells control enzyme expression to meet other cellular objectives. In this review, we discuss whether crosstalk between metabolism and transcription could inform cells about how much enzyme is optimal for various fitness aspects...
January 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Michael C Getz, Jasmine A Nirody, Padmini Rangamani
Advances in high-resolution microscopy and other techniques have emphasized the spatio-temporal nature of information transfer through signal transduction pathways. The compartmentalization of signaling molecules and the existence of microdomains are now widely acknowledged as key features in biochemical signaling. To complement experimental observations of spatio-temporal dynamics, mathematical modeling has emerged as a powerful tool. Using modeling, one can not only recapitulate experimentally observed dynamics of signaling molecules, but also gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms in order to generate experimentally testable predictions...
January 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
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