, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 185-195
Date: 04 Jul 2013

Signaling networks in Leishmania macrophages deciphered through integrated systems biology: a mathematical modeling approach

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Abstract

Network of signaling proteins and functional interaction between the infected cell and the leishmanial parasite, though are not well understood, may be deciphered computationally by reconstructing the immune signaling network. As we all know signaling pathways are well-known abstractions that explain the mechanisms whereby cells respond to signals, collections of pathways form networks, and interactions between pathways in a network, known as cross-talk, enables further complex signaling behaviours. In silico perturbations can help identify sensitive crosstalk points in the network which can be pharmacologically tested. In this study, we have developed a model for immune signaling cascade in leishmaniasis and based upon the interaction analysis obtained through simulation, we have developed a model network, between four signaling pathways i.e., CD14, epidermal growth factor (EGF), tumor necrotic factor (TNF) and PI3 K mediated signaling. Principal component analysis of the signaling network showed that EGF and TNF pathways can be potent pharmacological targets to curb leishmaniasis. The approach is illustrated with a proposed workable model of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that modulates the immune response. EGFR signaling represents a critical junction between inflammation related signal and potent cell regulation machinery that modulates the expression of cytokines.