Petri net-based prediction of therapeutic targets that recover abnormally phosphorylated proteins in muscle atrophy

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Background: Muscle atrophy, an involuntary loss of muscle mass, is involved in various diseases and sometimes leads to mortality. However, therapeutics for muscle atrophy thus far have had limited effects. Here, we present a new approach for therapeutic target prediction using Petri net simulation of the status of phosphorylation, with a reasonable assumption that the recovery of abnormally phosphorylated proteins can be a treatment for muscle atrophy. Results: The Petri net model was employed to simulate phosphorylation status in three states, i.e. reference, atrophic and each gene-inhibited state based on the myocyte-specific phosphorylation network. Here, we newly devised a phosphorylation specific Petri net that involves two types of transitions (phosphorylation or de-phosphorylation) and two types of places (activation with or without phosphorylation). Before predicting therapeutic targets, the simulation results in reference and atrophic states were validated by Western blotting experiments detecting five marker proteins, i.e. RELA, SMAD2, SMAD3, FOXO1 and FOXO3. Finally, we determined 37 potential therapeutic targets whose inhibition recovers the phosphorylation status from an atrophic state as indicated by the five validated marker proteins. In the evaluation, we confirmed that the 37 potential targets were enriched for muscle atrophy-related terms such as actin and muscle contraction processes, and they were also significantly overlapping with the genes associated with muscle atrophy reported in the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (p-value < 0.05). Furthermore, we noticed that they included several proteins that could not be characterized by the shortest path analysis. The three potential targets, i.e. BMPR1B, ROCK, and LEPR, were manually validated with the literature. Conclusions: In this study, we suggest a new approach to predict potential therapeutic targets of muscle atrophy with an analysis of phosphorylation status simulated by Petri net. We generated a list of the potential therapeutic targets whose inhibition recovers abnormally phosphorylated proteins in an atrophic state. They were evaluated by various approaches, such as Western blotting, GO terms, literature, known muscle atrophy-related genes and shortest path analysis. We expect the new proposed strategy to provide an understanding of phosphorylation status in muscle atrophy and to provide assistance towards identifying new therapies.
Publisher
BIOMED CENTRAL LTD
Issue Date
2018-03
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

SKELETAL-MUSCLE; SIGNAL-TRANSDUCTION; CACHEXIA; MYOSTATIN; DATABASE; PATHWAY; UPDATE

Citation

BMC SYSTEMS BIOLOGY, v.12

ISSN
1752-0509
DOI
10.1186/s12918-018-0555-0
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/241094
Appears in Collection
BiS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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