Publications by authors named "Finja Buchel"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

SBML qualitative models: a model representation format and infrastructure to foster interactions between qualitative modelling formalisms and tools.

BMC Syst Biol 2013 Dec 10;7:135. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande 6, 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal.

Background: Qualitative frameworks, especially those based on the logical discrete formalism, are increasingly used to model regulatory and signalling networks. A major advantage of these frameworks is that they do not require precise quantitative data, and that they are well-suited for studies of large networks. While numerous groups have developed specific computational tools that provide original methods to analyse qualitative models, a standard format to exchange qualitative models has been missing.

Results: We present the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) Qualitative Models Package ("qual"), an extension of the SBML Level 3 standard designed for computer representation of qualitative models of biological networks. We demonstrate the interoperability of models via SBML qual through the analysis of a specific signalling network by three independent software tools. Furthermore, the collective effort to define the SBML qual format paved the way for the development of LogicalModel, an open-source model library, which will facilitate the adoption of the format as well as the collaborative development of algorithms to analyse qualitative models.

Conclusions: SBML qual allows the exchange of qualitative models among a number of complementary software tools. SBML qual has the potential to promote collaborative work on the development of novel computational approaches, as well as on the specification and the analysis of comprehensive qualitative models of regulatory and signalling networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-0509-7-135DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892043PMC
December 2013

Integrative pathway-based approach for genome-wide association studies: identification of new pathways for rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.

PLoS One 2013 25;8(10):e78577. Epub 2013 Oct 25.

Center for Bioinformatics Tuebingen (ZBIT), University of Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) led to the identification of numerous novel loci for a number of complex diseases. Pathway-based approaches using genotypic data provide tangible leads which cannot be identified by single marker approaches as implemented in GWAS. The available pathway analysis approaches mainly differ in the employed databases and in the applied statistics for determining the significance of the associated disease markers. So far, pathway-based approaches using GWAS data failed to consider the overlapping of genes among different pathways or the influence of protein-interactions. We performed a multistage integrative pathway (MIP) analysis on three common diseases--Crohn's disease (CD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and type 1 diabetes (T1D)--incorporating genotypic, pathway, protein- and domain-interaction data to identify novel associations between these diseases and pathways. Additionally, we assessed the sensitivity of our method by studying the influence of the most significant SNPs on the pathway analysis by removing those and comparing the corresponding pathway analysis results. Apart from confirming many previously published associations between pathways and RA, CD and T1D, our MIP approach was able to identify three new associations between disease phenotypes and pathways. This includes a relation between the influenza-A pathway and RA, as well as a relation between T1D and the phagosome and toxoplasmosis pathways. These results provide new leads to understand the molecular underpinnings of these diseases. The developed software herein used is available at http://www.cogsys.cs.uni-tuebingen.de/software/GWASPathwayIdentifier/index.htm.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078577PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3808349PMC
August 2014

Parkinson's disease: dopaminergic nerve cell model is consistent with experimental finding of increased extracellular transport of α-synuclein.

BMC Neurosci 2013 Nov 6;14:136. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

Center for Bioinformatics Tuebingen (ZBIT), University of Tuebingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Background: Parkinson's disease is an age-related disease whose pathogenesis is not completely known. Animal models exist for investigating the disease but not all results can be easily transferred to humans. Therefore, mathematical or probabilistic models for the human disease are to be constructed in silico in order to predict specific processes within a cell, such as the dopamine metabolism and transport processes in a neuron.

Results: We present a Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) model of a whole dopaminergic nerve cell consisting of 139 reactions and 111 metabolites which includes, among others, the dopamine metabolism and transport, oxidative stress, aggregation of α-synuclein (αSYN), lysosomal and proteasomal degradation, and mitophagy. The predictive power of the model was investigated using flux balance analysis for the identification of steady model states. To this end, we performed six experiments: (i) investigation of the normal cell behavior, (ii) increase of O2, (iii) increase of ATP, (iv) influence of neurotoxins, (v) increase of αSYN in the cell, and (vi) increase of dopamine synthesis. The SBML model is available in the BioModels database with identifier MODEL1302200000.

Conclusion: It is possible to simulate the normal behavior of an in vivo nerve cell with the developed model. We show that the model is sensitive for neurotoxins and oxidative stress. Further, an increased level of αSYN induces apoptosis and an increased flux of αSYN to the extracellular space was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2202-14-136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3871002PMC
November 2013

Path2Models: large-scale generation of computational models from biochemical pathway maps.

BMC Syst Biol 2013 Nov 1;7:116. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.

Background: Systems biology projects and omics technologies have led to a growing number of biochemical pathway models and reconstructions. However, the majority of these models are still created de novo, based on literature mining and the manual processing of pathway data.

Results: To increase the efficiency of model creation, the Path2Models project has automatically generated mathematical models from pathway representations using a suite of freely available software. Data sources include KEGG, BioCarta, MetaCyc and SABIO-RK. Depending on the source data, three types of models are provided: kinetic, logical and constraint-based. Models from over 2 600 organisms are encoded consistently in SBML, and are made freely available through BioModels Database at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/biomodels-main/path2models. Each model contains the list of participants, their interactions, the relevant mathematical constructs, and initial parameter values. Most models are also available as easy-to-understand graphical SBGN maps.

Conclusions: To date, the project has resulted in more than 140 000 freely available models. Such a resource can tremendously accelerate the development of mathematical models by providing initial starting models for simulation and analysis, which can be subsequently curated and further parameterized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-0509-7-116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4228421PMC
November 2013

Loss of mitochondrial peptidase Clpp leads to infertility, hearing loss plus growth retardation via accumulation of CLPX, mtDNA and inflammatory factors.

Hum Mol Genet 2013 Dec 12;22(24):4871-87. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Experimental Neurology.

The caseinolytic peptidase P (CLPP) is conserved from bacteria to humans. In the mitochondrial matrix, it multimerizes and forms a macromolecular proteasome-like cylinder together with the chaperone CLPX. In spite of a known relevance for the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, its substrates and tissue-specific roles are unclear in mammals. Recessive CLPP mutations were recently observed in the human Perrault variant of ovarian failure and sensorineural hearing loss. Here, a first characterization of CLPP null mice demonstrated complete female and male infertility and auditory deficits. Disrupted spermatogenesis already at the spermatid stage and ovarian follicular differentiation failure were evident. Reduced pre-/post-natal survival and marked ubiquitous growth retardation contrasted with only light impairment of movement and respiratory activities. Interestingly, the mice showed resistance to ulcerative dermatitis. Systematic expression studies detected up-regulation of other mitochondrial chaperones, accumulation of CLPX and mtDNA as well as inflammatory factors throughout tissues. T-lymphocytes in the spleen were activated. Thus, murine Clpp deletion represents a faithful Perrault model. The disease mechanism probably involves deficient clearance of mitochondrial components and inflammatory tissue destruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddt338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108587PMC
December 2013

Precise generation of systems biology models from KEGG pathways.

BMC Syst Biol 2013 Feb 21;7:15. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Center for Bioinformatics Tuebingen (ZBIT), University of Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Background: The KEGG PATHWAY database provides a plethora of pathways for a diversity of organisms. All pathway components are directly linked to other KEGG databases, such as KEGG COMPOUND or KEGG REACTION. Therefore, the pathways can be extended with an enormous amount of information and provide a foundation for initial structural modeling approaches. As a drawback, KGML-formatted KEGG pathways are primarily designed for visualization purposes and often omit important details for the sake of a clear arrangement of its entries. Thus, a direct conversion into systems biology models would produce incomplete and erroneous models.

Results: Here, we present a precise method for processing and converting KEGG pathways into initial metabolic and signaling models encoded in the standardized community pathway formats SBML (Levels 2 and 3) and BioPAX (Levels 2 and 3). This method involves correcting invalid or incomplete KGML content, creating complete and valid stoichiometric reactions, translating relations to signaling models and augmenting the pathway content with various information, such as cross-references to Entrez Gene, OMIM, UniProt ChEBI, and many more.Finally, we compare several existing conversion tools for KEGG pathways and show that the conversion from KEGG to BioPAX does not involve a loss of information, whilst lossless translations to SBML can only be performed using SBML Level 3, including its recently proposed qualitative models and groups extension packages.

Conclusions: Building correct BioPAX and SBML signaling models from the KEGG database is a unique characteristic of the proposed method. Further, there is no other approach that is able to appropriately construct metabolic models from KEGG pathways, including correct reactions with stoichiometry. The resulting initial models, which contain valid and comprehensive SBML or BioPAX code and a multitude of cross-references, lay the foundation to facilitate further modeling steps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-0509-7-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3623889PMC
February 2013

InCroMAP: integrated analysis of cross-platform microarray and pathway data.

Bioinformatics 2013 Feb 20;29(4):506-8. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Center for Bioinformatics Tuebingen (ZBIT), University of Tuebingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Summary: Microarrays are commonly used to detect changes in gene expression between different biological samples. For this purpose, many analysis tools have been developed that offer visualization, statistical analysis and more sophisticated analysis methods. Most of these tools are designed specifically for messenger RNA microarrays. However, today, more and more different microarray platforms are available. Changes in DNA methylation, microRNA expression or even protein phosphorylation states can be detected with specialized arrays. For these microarray technologies, the number of available tools is small compared with mRNA analysis tools. Especially, a joint analysis of different microarray platforms that have been used on the same set of biological samples is hardly supported by most microarray analysis tools. Here, we present InCroMAP, a tool for the analysis and visualization of high-level microarray data from individual or multiple different platforms. Currently, InCroMAP supports mRNA, microRNA, DNA methylation and protein modification datasets. Several methods are offered that allow for an integrated analysis of data from those platforms. The available features of InCroMAP range from visualization of DNA methylation data over annotation of microRNA targets and integrated gene set enrichment analysis to a joint visualization of data from all platforms in the context of metabolic or signalling pathways.

Availability: InCroMAP is freely available as Java™ application at www.cogsys.cs.uni-tuebingen.de/software/InCroMAP, including a comprehensive user's guide and example files.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/bts709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570209PMC
February 2013

A pathway-based analysis provides additional support for an immune-related genetic susceptibility to Parkinson's disease.

Hum Mol Genet 2013 Mar 7;22(5):1039-49. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, MRC Centre in Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting 1-2% in people >60 and 3-4% in people >80. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have now implicated significant evidence for association in at least 18 genomic regions. We have studied a large PD-meta analysis and identified a significant excess of SNPs (P < 1 × 10(-16)) that are associated with PD but fall short of the genome-wide significance threshold. This result was independent of variants at the 18 previously implicated regions and implies the presence of additional polygenic risk alleles. To understand how these loci increase risk of PD, we applied a pathway-based analysis, testing for biological functions that were significantly enriched for genes containing variants associated with PD. Analysing two independent GWA studies, we identified that both had a significant excess in the number of functional categories enriched for PD-associated genes (minimum P = 0.014 and P = 0.006, respectively). Moreover, 58 categories were significantly enriched for associated genes in both GWA studies (P < 0.001), implicating genes involved in the 'regulation of leucocyte/lymphocyte activity' and also 'cytokine-mediated signalling' as conferring an increased susceptibility to PD. These results were unaltered by the exclusion of all 178 genes that were present at the 18 genomic regions previously reported to be strongly associated with PD (including the HLA locus). Our findings, therefore, provide independent support to the strong association signal at the HLA locus and imply that the immune-related genetic susceptibility to PD is likely to be more widespread in the genome than previously appreciated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/dds492DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561909PMC
March 2013

Qualitative translation of relations from BioPAX to SBML qual.

Bioinformatics 2012 Oct 24;28(20):2648-53. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Center for Bioinformatics Tuebingen (ZBIT), University of Tuebingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Motivation: The biological pathway exchange language (BioPAX) and the systems biology markup language (SBML) belong to the most popular modeling and data exchange languages in systems biology. The focus of SBML is quantitative modeling and dynamic simulation of models, whereas the BioPAX specification concentrates mainly on visualization and qualitative analysis of pathway maps. BioPAX describes reactions and relations. In contrast, SBML core exclusively describes quantitative processes such as reactions. With the SBML qualitative models extension (qual), it has recently also become possible to describe relations in SBML. Before the development of SBML qual, relations could not be properly translated into SBML. Until now, there exists no BioPAX to SBML converter that is fully capable of translating both reactions and relations.

Results: The entire nature pathway interaction database has been converted from BioPAX (Level 2 and Level 3) into SBML (Level 3 Version 1) including both reactions and relations by using the new qual extension package. Additionally, we present the new webtool BioPAX2SBML for further BioPAX to SBML conversions. Compared with previous conversion tools, BioPAX2SBML is more comprehensive, more robust and more exact.

Availability: BioPAX2SBML is freely available at http://webservices.cs.uni-tuebingen.de/ and the complete collection of the PID models is available at http://www.cogsys.cs.uni-tuebingen.de/downloads/Qualitative-Models/.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/bts508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3467751PMC
October 2012

Using genome-wide complex trait analysis to quantify 'missing heritability' in Parkinson's disease.

Hum Mol Genet 2012 Nov 13;21(22):4996-5009. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been successful at identifying single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) highly associated with common traits; however, a great deal of the heritable variation associated with common traits remains unaccounted for within the genome. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) is a statistical method that applies a linear mixed model to estimate phenotypic variance of complex traits explained by genome-wide SNPs, including those not associated with the trait in a GWAS. We applied GCTA to 8 cohorts containing 7096 case and 19 455 control individuals of European ancestry in order to examine the missing heritability present in Parkinson's disease (PD). We meta-analyzed our initial results to produce robust heritability estimates for PD types across cohorts. Our results identify 27% (95% CI 17-38, P = 8.08E - 08) phenotypic variance associated with all types of PD, 15% (95% CI -0.2 to 33, P = 0.09) phenotypic variance associated with early-onset PD and 31% (95% CI 17-44, P = 1.34E - 05) phenotypic variance associated with late-onset PD. This is a substantial increase from the genetic variance identified by top GWAS hits alone (between 3 and 5%) and indicates there are substantially more risk loci to be identified. Our results suggest that although GWASs are a useful tool in identifying the most common variants associated with complex disease, a great deal of common variants of small effect remain to be discovered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/dds335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576713PMC
November 2012

Use of support vector machines for disease risk prediction in genome-wide association studies: concerns and opportunities.

Hum Mutat 2012 Dec 3;33(12):1708-18. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Center for Bioinformatics Tuebingen (ZBIT), University of Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany.

The success of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in deciphering the genetic architecture of complex diseases has fueled the expectations whether the individual risk can also be quantified based on the genetic architecture. So far, disease risk prediction based on top-validated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed little predictive value. Here, we applied a support vector machine (SVM) to Parkinson disease (PD) and type 1 diabetes (T1D), to show that apart from magnitude of effect size of risk variants, heritability of the disease also plays an important role in disease risk prediction. Furthermore, we performed a simulation study to show the role of uncommon (frequency 1-5%) as well as rare variants (frequency <1%) in disease etiology of complex diseases. Using a cross-validation model, we were able to achieve predictions with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of ~0.88 for T1D, highlighting the strong heritable component (∼90%). This is in contrast to PD, where we were unable to achieve a satisfactory prediction (AUC ~0.56; heritability ~38%). Our simulations showed that simultaneous inclusion of uncommon and rare variants in GWAS would eventually lead to feasible disease risk prediction for complex diseases such as PD. The used software is available at http://www.ra.cs.uni-tuebingen.de/software/MACLEAPS/.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.22161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968822PMC
December 2012

Linking the epigenome to the genome: correlation of different features to DNA methylation of CpG islands.

PLoS One 2012 30;7(4):e35327. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Center for Bioinformatics Tübingen, ZBIT, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

DNA methylation of CpG islands plays a crucial role in the regulation of gene expression. More than half of all human promoters contain CpG islands with a tissue-specific methylation pattern in differentiated cells. Still today, the whole process of how DNA methyltransferases determine which region should be methylated is not completely revealed. There are many hypotheses of which genomic features are correlated to the epigenome that have not yet been evaluated. Furthermore, many explorative approaches of measuring DNA methylation are limited to a subset of the genome and thus, cannot be employed, e.g., for genome-wide biomarker prediction methods. In this study, we evaluated the correlation of genetic, epigenetic and hypothesis-driven features to DNA methylation of CpG islands. To this end, various binary classifiers were trained and evaluated by cross-validation on a dataset comprising DNA methylation data for 190 CpG islands in HEPG2, HEK293, fibroblasts and leukocytes. We achieved an accuracy of up to 91% with an MCC of 0.8 using ten-fold cross-validation and ten repetitions. With these models, we extended the existing dataset to the whole genome and thus, predicted the methylation landscape for the given cell types. The method used for these predictions is also validated on another external whole-genome dataset. Our results reveal features correlated to DNA methylation and confirm or disprove various hypotheses of DNA methylation related features. This study confirms correlations between DNA methylation and histone modifications, DNA structure, DNA sequence, genomic attributes and CpG island properties. Furthermore, the method has been validated on a genome-wide dataset from the ENCODE consortium. The developed software, as well as the predicted datasets and a web-service to compare methylation states of CpG islands are available at http://www.cogsys.cs.uni-tuebingen.de/software/dna-methylation/.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0035327PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3340366PMC
September 2012