Modelling steroidogenesis: a framework model to support hypothesis generation and testing across endocrine studies

Laura O’hara, Peter J. O’shaughnessy, Tom C. Freeman, Lee B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Steroid hormones are responsible for the control of a wide range of physiological processes such as development, growth, reproduction, metabolism, and aging. Because of the variety of enzymes, substrates and products that take part in steroidogenesis and the compartmentalisation of its constituent reactions, it is a complex process to visualise and document. One of the goals of systems biology is to quantitatively describe the behaviour of complex biological systems that involve the interaction of many components. This can be done by representing these interactions visually in a pathway model and then optionally constructing a mathematical model of the interactions.

Results
We have used the modified Edinburgh Pathway Notation to construct a framework diagram describing human steroidogenic pathways, which will be of use to endocrinologists. To demonstrate further utility, we show how such models can be parameterised with empirical data within the software Graphia Professional, to recapitulate specific examples of steroid hormone production, and also to mimic gene knockout. These framework models support in silico hypothesis generation and testing with utility across endocrine endpoints, with significant potential to reduce costs, time and animal numbers, whilst informing the design of planned studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number252
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2018

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