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Toward a systems biology map of iron metabolism
Date:4/28/2009

ble a more precise understanding of how iron is controlled and how it can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit."

Pedro Mendes, professor in the School of Computer Science and Manchester Centre for Integrative Systems Biology and associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, remarked: "To build the systems biology map of iron metabolism described in this paper we have used the program CellDesigner to map the metabolic network in multiple types of cells. The modeling effort was facilitated by the fact that CellDesigner stores the model using the Systems Biology Markup Language." SBML is a powerful, computer-readable format for describing qualitative and quantitative models of biochemical reaction networks. It can also be used to express gene regulatory networks and other phenomena of interest in systems biology. SBML is designed to enable the exchange of biochemical network models between different software packages. It therefore allows for the sharing and publishing of models in a form other researchers can use in various software environments. For example, SBML is also understood by biochemical modeling software such as COPASI and networks generated in CellDesigner can therefore be simulated or analyzed by this software package.

Dr. Valerie Hower, who was a postdoctoral researcher at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine at the time of the research, and who is currently working in the Department of Mathematics at Georgia Tech, remarked: "We were able to construct an iron metabolic network that comprised 151 different chemical species and 107 reactions and transport steps. We believe we are the first to use the CellDesigner program to map one metabolic network in multiple types of cells."

Vladimir Shulaev, associate professor at VBI and the Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, commented: "This collaboration is a good example of a project that benefits from a transdis
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Contact: Barry Whyte
whyte@vbi.vt.edu
540-231-1767
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

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