Systems biology views and studies the biological systems in the context of complex interactions between their building blocks and processes. Given its multi-level complexity, metabolic syndrome (MetS) makes a strong case for adopting the systems biology approach. Despite many MetS traits being highly heritable, it is becoming evident that the genetic contribution to these traits is mediated via gene–gene and gene–environment interactions across several spatial and temporal scales, and that some of these traits such as lipotoxicity may even be a product of long-term dynamic changes of the underlying genetic and molecular networks. This presents several conceptual as well as methodological challenges and may demand a paradigm shift in how we study the undeniably strong genetic component of complex diseases such as MetS. The argument is made here that for adopting systems biology approaches to MetS an integrative framework is needed which glues the biological processes of MetS with specific physiological mechanisms and principles and that lipotoxicity is one such framework. The metabolic phenotypes, molecular and genetic networks can be modeled within the context of such integrative framework and the underlying physiology.
- Gene network
- Lipid metabolism
- Systems biology
Orešič, M. (2010). Systems biology strategy to study lipotoxicity and the metabolic syndrome. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: General Subjects, 1801(3), 235-239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.11.003