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Systems biology: new approaches to old environmental health problems.

Toscano WA, Oehlke KP - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2005)

Bottom Line: If substantive applications of environment-gene interactions are to be made, it is important to move to a systems level approach, to take advantage of epidemiology and molecular genomic advances.Systems biology is the integration of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics together with computer technology approaches to elucidate environmentally caused disease in humans.We discuss the applications of environmental systems biology as a route to solution of environmental health problems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Div. of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. tosca001@umn.edu

ABSTRACT
The environment plays a pivotal role as a human health determinant and presence of hazardous pollutants in the environment is often implicated in human disease. That pollutants cause human diseases however is often controversial because data connecting exposure to environmental hazards and human diseases are not well defined, except for some cancers and syndromes such as asthma. Understanding the complex nature of human-environment interactions and the role they play in determining the state of human health is one of the more compelling problems in public health. We are becoming more aware that the reductionist approach promulgated by current methods has not, and will not yield answers to the broad questions of population health risk analysis. If substantive applications of environment-gene interactions are to be made, it is important to move to a systems level approach, to take advantage of epidemiology and molecular genomic advances. Systems biology is the integration of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics together with computer technology approaches to elucidate environmentally caused disease in humans. We discuss the applications of environmental systems biology as a route to solution of environmental health problems.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Simple Interaction Gene Regulatory Network: In the simple model, three interacting genes form a network in a cell. Here Gene A activates Gene B. Gene B activates Gene A and Gene C, and Gene C inactivates Gene A. Thus several levels of regulation are possible with the three interacting genes.
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f3-ijerph-02-00004: Simple Interaction Gene Regulatory Network: In the simple model, three interacting genes form a network in a cell. Here Gene A activates Gene B. Gene B activates Gene A and Gene C, and Gene C inactivates Gene A. Thus several levels of regulation are possible with the three interacting genes.

Mentions: When considering environment-genome interactions as a factor in complex disease, we understand that the genome cannot be changed, at least for now. However, once identified, it is possible to reduce exposure or modify the lifestyle element that is the environmental factor in the disease [46, 47]. Gene-envirome interactions can occur by direct interactions with active metabolites at specific sites of the genome to yield mutations, which could result in a human disease [48]. Indirect interactions with the human genome can occur via intracellular receptors that act as ligand-actived transcription factors, which regulate gene expression maintaining cellular homeostasis, or with an environmental agent to cause harmful effects (Figure 3) [49]. This type of envirome-gene interaction may be more easily examined than direct interaction because markers of this type of interaction are numerous and easily measured before onset of disease. Some examples of this include expression of cytochrome P450 genes after exposure to environmental agents, such as the polyaromatic compound benzo[a]pyrene, that bind to the Ah receptor [50–52]. Epigenomic change brought about by exposure to environmental agents is another important example of indirect environment-gene interaction [53, 54]. These changes, which are not considered mutations, result in silencing or enhancing specific gene expression by hyper-or hypo-alkylation processes.


Systems biology: new approaches to old environmental health problems.

Toscano WA, Oehlke KP - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2005)

Simple Interaction Gene Regulatory Network: In the simple model, three interacting genes form a network in a cell. Here Gene A activates Gene B. Gene B activates Gene A and Gene C, and Gene C inactivates Gene A. Thus several levels of regulation are possible with the three interacting genes.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3814690&req=5

f3-ijerph-02-00004: Simple Interaction Gene Regulatory Network: In the simple model, three interacting genes form a network in a cell. Here Gene A activates Gene B. Gene B activates Gene A and Gene C, and Gene C inactivates Gene A. Thus several levels of regulation are possible with the three interacting genes.
Mentions: When considering environment-genome interactions as a factor in complex disease, we understand that the genome cannot be changed, at least for now. However, once identified, it is possible to reduce exposure or modify the lifestyle element that is the environmental factor in the disease [46, 47]. Gene-envirome interactions can occur by direct interactions with active metabolites at specific sites of the genome to yield mutations, which could result in a human disease [48]. Indirect interactions with the human genome can occur via intracellular receptors that act as ligand-actived transcription factors, which regulate gene expression maintaining cellular homeostasis, or with an environmental agent to cause harmful effects (Figure 3) [49]. This type of envirome-gene interaction may be more easily examined than direct interaction because markers of this type of interaction are numerous and easily measured before onset of disease. Some examples of this include expression of cytochrome P450 genes after exposure to environmental agents, such as the polyaromatic compound benzo[a]pyrene, that bind to the Ah receptor [50–52]. Epigenomic change brought about by exposure to environmental agents is another important example of indirect environment-gene interaction [53, 54]. These changes, which are not considered mutations, result in silencing or enhancing specific gene expression by hyper-or hypo-alkylation processes.

Bottom Line: If substantive applications of environment-gene interactions are to be made, it is important to move to a systems level approach, to take advantage of epidemiology and molecular genomic advances.Systems biology is the integration of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics together with computer technology approaches to elucidate environmentally caused disease in humans.We discuss the applications of environmental systems biology as a route to solution of environmental health problems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Div. of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. tosca001@umn.edu

ABSTRACT
The environment plays a pivotal role as a human health determinant and presence of hazardous pollutants in the environment is often implicated in human disease. That pollutants cause human diseases however is often controversial because data connecting exposure to environmental hazards and human diseases are not well defined, except for some cancers and syndromes such as asthma. Understanding the complex nature of human-environment interactions and the role they play in determining the state of human health is one of the more compelling problems in public health. We are becoming more aware that the reductionist approach promulgated by current methods has not, and will not yield answers to the broad questions of population health risk analysis. If substantive applications of environment-gene interactions are to be made, it is important to move to a systems level approach, to take advantage of epidemiology and molecular genomic advances. Systems biology is the integration of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics together with computer technology approaches to elucidate environmentally caused disease in humans. We discuss the applications of environmental systems biology as a route to solution of environmental health problems.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus