Systems Pharmacology and Rational Polypharmacy: Nitric Oxide−Cyclic GMP Signaling Pathway as an Illustrative Example and Derivation of the General Case
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CitationGarmaroudi, Farshid S., Diane E. Handy, Yang-Yu Liu, and Joseph Loscalzo. 2016. “Systems Pharmacology and Rational Polypharmacy: Nitric Oxide−Cyclic GMP Signaling Pathway as an Illustrative Example and Derivation of the General Case.” PLoS Computational Biology 12 (3): e1004822. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004822. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004822.
AbstractImpaired nitric oxide (NO˙)-cyclic guanosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cGMP) signaling has been observed in many cardiovascular disorders, including heart failure and pulmonary arterial hypertension. There are several enzymatic determinants of cGMP levels in this pathway, including soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) itself, the NO˙-activated form of sGC, and phosphodiesterase(s) (PDE). Therapies for some of these disorders with PDE inhibitors have been successful at increasing cGMP levels in both cardiac and vascular tissues. However, at the systems level, it is not clear whether perturbation of PDE alone, under oxidative stress, is the best approach for increasing cGMP levels as compared with perturbation of other potential pathway targets, either alone or in combination. Here, we develop a model-based approach to perturbing this pathway, focusing on single reactions, pairs of reactions, or trios of reactions as targets, then monitoring the theoretical effects of these interventions on cGMP levels. Single perturbations of all reaction steps within this pathway demonstrated that three reaction steps, including the oxidation of sGC, NO˙ dissociation from sGC, and cGMP degradation by PDE, exerted a dominant influence on cGMP accumulation relative to other reaction steps. Furthermore, among all possible single, paired, and triple perturbations of this pathway, the combined perturbations of these three reaction steps had the greatest impact on cGMP accumulation. These computational findings were confirmed in cell-based experiments. We conclude that a combined perturbation of the oxidatively-impaired NO˙-cGMP signaling pathway is a better approach to the restoration of cGMP levels as compared with corresponding individual perturbations. This approach may also yield improved therapeutic responses in other complex pharmacologically amenable pathways.
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