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Systems Biology Cycle

The CSBB research programme is carried out in three mutually dependent workpackages (WPs; Figure 1, click here).

Workpackages

WP1: Iterative modelling, prediction and data integration of energy metabolism in a single cell
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WP2: Measuring mitochondrial function at multiple levels of complexity
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WP3: Model validation, refinement and application
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Within respiring cells, mitochondria are the prime suppliers of energy in the form of ATP. Environmental conditions, genetic causes and/or normal aging are associated with disturbed cellular energy homeostasis leading to a wide variety of human disorders. These include certain forms of cancer, Parkinson disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, nutrient deficiencies and hypoxia-related injuries. During the last decade our understanding of the molecular machinery involved in cellular energy production and distribution has substantially increased. However, the relationship between aberrations in energy homeostasis and the ensuing clinical phenotype still remains poorly understood. The latter is illustrated by the adverse off-target effects of a series of medicines on energy homeostasis, like nucleoside analogues in HIV treatment, and by the essential lack of medicines that positively counteract the consequences of disturbed energy homeostasis. The goal of the Centre for Systems Biology and Bioenergetics (CSBB) is to create large-scale metabolic flux models as well as dynamic models of single cells. These will be used to predict the consequences of disease-related disturbances of energy homeostasis with the aim to highlight both on-target and off-target effects of pharmacological and nutritional interventions.