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Integr Comp Biol. 2010 Nov;50(5):844-54. doi: 10.1093/icb/icq094. Epub 2010 Jul 12.

A network perspective on metabolism and aging.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. promislow@uga.edu

Abstract

Aging affects a myriad of genetic, biochemical, and metabolic processes, and efforts to understand the underlying molecular basis of aging are often thwarted by the complexity of the aging process. By taking a systems biology approach, network analysis is well-suited to study the decline in function with age. Network analysis has already been utilized in describing other complex processes such as development, evolution, and robustness. Networks of gene expression and protein-protein interaction have provided valuable insight into the loss of connectivity and network structure throughout lifespan. Here, we advocate the use of metabolic networks to expand the work from genomics and proteomics. As metabolism is the final fingerprint of functionality and has been implicated in multiple theories of aging, metabolomic methods combined with metabolite network analyses should pave the way to investigate how relationships of metabolites change with age and how these interactions affect phenotype and function of the aging individual. The metabolomic network approaches highlighted in this review are fundamental for an understanding of systematic declines and of failure to function with age.

PMID:
21031036
PMCID:
PMC2965189
DOI:
10.1093/icb/icq094
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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