alexa Toward large-scale modeling of the microbial cell for computer simulation.
Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

Author(s): Ishii N, Robert M, Nakayama Y, Kanai A, Tomita M

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Abstract In the post-genomic era, the large-scale, systematic, and functional analysis of all cellular components using transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, together with bioinformatics for the analysis of the massive amount of data generated by these "omics" methods are the focus of intensive research activities. As a consequence of these developments, systems biology, whose goal is to comprehend the organism as a complex system arising from interactions between its multiple elements, becomes a more tangible objective. Mathematical modeling of microorganisms and subsequent computer simulations are effective tools for systems biology, which will lead to a better understanding of the microbial cell and will have immense ramifications for biological, medical, environmental sciences, and the pharmaceutical industry. In this review, we describe various types of mathematical models (structured, unstructured, static, dynamic, etc.), of microorganisms that have been in use for a while, and others that are emerging. Several biochemical/cellular simulation platforms to manipulate such models are summarized and the E-Cell system developed in our laboratory is introduced. Finally, our strategy for building a "whole cell metabolism model", including the experimental approach, is presented. This article was published in J Biotechnol and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

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  • Yosef Yarden
    Classically, the 3’untranslated region (3’UTR) is that region in eukaryotic protein-coding genes from the translation termination codon to the polyA signal. It is transcribed as an integral part of the mRNA encoded by the gene. However, there exists another kind of RNA, which consists of the 3’UTR alone, without all other elements in mRNA such as 5’UTR and coding region. The importance of independent 3’UTR RNA (referred as I3’UTR) was prompted by results of artificially introducing such RNA species into malignant mammalian cells. Since 1991, we found that the middle part of the 3’UTR of the human nuclear factor for interleukin-6 (NF-IL6) or C/EBP gene exerted tumor suppression effect in vivo. Our subsequent studies showed that transfection of C/EBP 3’UTR led to down-regulation of several genes favorable for malignancy and to up-regulation of some genes favorable for phenotypic reversion. Also, it was shown that the sequences near the termini of the C/EBP 3’UTR were important for its tumor suppression activity. Then, the C/EBP 3’UTR was found to directly inhibit the phosphorylation activity of protein kinase CPKC in SMMC-7721, a hepatocarcinoma cell line. Recently, an AU-rich region in the C/EBP 3’UTR was found also to be responsible for its tumor suppression. Recently we have also found evidence that the independent C/EBP 3’UTR RNA is actually exists in human tissues, such as fetal liver and heart, pregnant uterus, senescent fibroblasts etc. Through 1990’s to 2000’s, world scientists found several 3’UTR RNAs that functioned as artificial independent RNAs in cancer cells and resulted in tumor suppression. Interestingly, majority of genes for these RNAs have promoter-like structures in their 3’UTR regions, although the existence of their transcribed products as independent 3’UTR RNAs is still to be confirmed. Our studies indicate that the independent 3’UTR RNA is a novel non-coding RNA species whose function should be the regulation not of the expression of their original mRNA, but of some essential life activities of the cell as a whole.
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