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Gauging the systemic effects of non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) is an important topic in the pursuit of personalized medicine. However, it is a non-trivial task to understand how a change at the protein structure level eventually affects a cell's behavior. This is because complex information at both the protein and pathway level has to be integrated. Given that the idea of integrating both protein and pathway dynamics to estimate the systemic impact of missense mutations in proteins remains predominantly unexplored, we investigate the practicality of such an approach by formulating mathematical models and comparing them with experimental data to study missense mutations. We present two case studies: (1) interpreting systemic perturbation for mutations within the cell cycle control mechanisms (G2 to mitosis transition) for yeast; (2) phenotypic classification of neuron-related human diseases associated with mutations within the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. We show that the application of simplified mathematical models is feasible for understanding the effects of small sequence changes on cellular behavior. Furthermore, we show that the systemic impact of missense mutations can be effectively quantified as a combination of protein stability change and pathway perturbation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002738

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS Comput Biol

Publication Date

2012

Volume

8

Keywords

Computer Simulation, G2 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Humans, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Models, Molecular, Mutation, Missense, Protein Stability, Proteins, Systems Biology