James Yurkovich, a Ph.D. student in the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology graduate program, is the lead author of a cover story in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Summary: In this study, we examined the temperature dependence of the human red blood cell metabolic network. The temperature dependence of biological functions had been previously studied at the levels of individual biochemical reactions and organism physiology (e.g., basal metabolic rates). Biology is inherently multi-scale, and there existed a gap between observing temperature dependence at the scale of an individual reaction and at the physiological level. We used a systems biology approach to define the temperature dependence of individual metabolite profiles, metabolic reaction fluxes, and the entire metabolic network. Our results provided an ex vivo characterization of temperature dependence, which is in contrast to previous studies of individual reactions that are determined through in vitro assays. Further, we provided a baseline characterization of a biochemical network given no transcriptional or translational regulation that can be used to explore the temperature dependence of metabolism. This paper was featured on the cover of the December 1, 2017 issue (Vol. 292, Num. 48); cover artwork by Rockford Penn, Technicity, LLC.