Network reconstruction and validation of the Snf1/AMPK pathway in baker's yeast based on a comprehensive literature review

NPJ Syst Biol Appl. 2015 Oct 22;1:15007. doi: 10.1038/npjsba.2015.7. eCollection 2015.


Background/objectives: The SNF1/AMPK protein kinase has a central role in energy homeostasis in eukaryotic cells. It is activated by energy depletion and stimulates processes leading to the production of ATP while it downregulates ATP-consuming processes. The yeast SNF1 complex is best known for its role in glucose derepression.

Methods: We performed a network reconstruction of the Snf1 pathway based on a comprehensive literature review. The network was formalised in the rxncon language, and we used the rxncon toolbox for model validation and gap filling.

Results: We present a machine-readable network definition that summarises the mechanistic knowledge of the Snf1 pathway. Furthermore, we used the known input/output relationships in the network to identify and fill gaps in the information transfer through the pathway, to produce a functional network model. Finally, we convert the functional network model into a rule-based model as a proof-of-principle.

Conclusions: The workflow presented here enables large scale reconstruction, validation and gap filling of signal transduction networks. It is analogous to but distinct from that established for metabolic networks. We demonstrate the workflow capabilities, and the direct link between the reconstruction and dynamic modelling, with the Snf1 network. This network is a distillation of the knowledge from all previous publications on the Snf1/AMPK pathway. The network is a knowledge resource for modellers and experimentalists alike, and a template for similar efforts in higher eukaryotes. Finally, we envisage the workflow as an instrumental tool for reconstruction of large signalling networks across Eukaryota.