Cell functional enviromics: Unravelling the function of environmental factors
- Equal contributors
1 Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica - Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB-UNL), Av. República, Quinta do Marquês, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal
2 Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (IBET), Av. República, Quinta do Marquês, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal
3 REQUIMTE, Systems Biology & Engineering Group, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL), 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
BMC Systems Biology 2011, 5:92 doi:10.1186/1752-0509-5-92Published: 6 June 2011
While functional genomics, focused on gene functions and gene-gene interactions, has become a very active field of research in molecular biology, equivalent methodologies embracing the environment and gene-environment interactions are relatively less developed. Understanding the function of environmental factors is, however, of paramount importance given the complex, interactive nature of environmental and genetic factors across multiple time scales.
Here, we propose a systems biology framework, where the function of environmental factors is set at its core. We set forth a "reverse" functional analysis approach, whereby cellular functions are reconstructed from the analysis of dynamic envirome data. Our results show these data sets can be mapped to less than 20 core cellular functions in a typical mammalian cell culture, while explaining over 90% of flux data variance. A functional enviromics map can be created, which provides a template for manipulating the environmental factors to induce a desired phenotypic trait.
Our results support the feasibility of cellular function reconstruction guided by the analysis and manipulation of dynamic envirome data.