Mathematical modelling to tackle metabolic diseases

Mathematical modelling to tackle metabolic diseases
© Thinkstock

Predictive mathematical models of signalling pathways are powerful biological tools that could be used for drug development. Using a similar approach, European scientists developed a computational model for answering research questions regarding the AMP-activated protein kinase pathway.

AMP-activated protein kinase has a master regulatory role in monitoring the cellular energy status. The signalling pathway involving AMP-activated protein kinase controls energy production and consumption, thereby affecting most intracellular biological processes.

The EU ' of the AMP-activated protein kinase pathway' (Ampkin) project was designed to contribute to our understanding of how the AMP-activated protein kinase pathways operate. More specifically, project scientists planned to generate predictive kinetic mathematical descriptions of pathway activation/deactivation in order to identify potential to treat human metabolic diseases.

Using existing data of protein, mRNA expression and enabled scientists to capture the pathway's dynamics and design kinetics models. Comparison of the yeast and mammalian pathways indicated that AMP-activated protein kinase has similar targets and physiological roles in both systems.

Additionally, assay tools were generated for the majority of the steps of the AMP cascade, thereby maximising the use of real data in the mathematical model. Combined with quantitative dynamic datasets generated following activation and deactivation of the AMP-activated protein kinase pathway, it was possible to build mathematical models for the yeast homologue, Snf1.

Importantly, the Ampkin model was designed to assess system perturbations and potentially be used for drug screening. By integrating modelling with experimentation, project partners managed to continuously improve the AMP-activated protein kinase model. This allowed them to address research-related questions and hopefully provide answers for such as obesity and type II diabetes.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AMPK amplifies Huntington's disease

Jul 18, 2011

A new study describes how hyperactivation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) promotes neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease (HD). The article appears online on July 18, 2011, in The Journal of Cell Biology.

Real-time monitoring of cellular signalling events

May 02, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Phosphorylation is one of the most important and ubiquitous cell regulatory events. EU-funded researchers assessed the dynamic events of intracellular phosphorylation in two model systems with important ...

Recommended for you

Cause of ageing remains elusive

42 minutes ago

A report by Chinese researchers in the journal Nature a few months ago was a small sensation: they appeared to have found the cause for why organisms age. An international team of scientists, headed by the ...

Newly discovered bacterial defence mechanism in the lungs

2 hours ago

A new study from Karolinska Institutet presents a previously unknown immunological mechanism that protects us against bacterial infections in the lungs. The study is being published in the American Journal of Respiratory an ...

Neutralising antibodies for safer organ transplants

23 hours ago

Serious complications can arise following kidney transplants. If dialysis is required within the first seven days, then the transplanted organ is said to have a Delayed Graft Function (DGF), and essentially ...

User comments