Disruption of cell wall fatty acid biosynthesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis using a graph theoretic approach

  • Baths V
  • Roy U
  • Singh T
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Abstract

Fatty acid biosynthesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was analyzed using graph theory and influential (impacting) proteins were identified. The graphs (digraphs) representing this biological network provide information concerning the connectivity of each protein or metabolite in a given pathway, providing an insight into the importance of various components in the pathway, and this can be quantitatively analyzed. Using a graph theoretic algorithm, the most influential set of proteins (sets of {1, 2, 3}, etc.), which when eliminated could cause a significant impact on the biosynthetic pathway, were identified. This set of proteins could serve as drug targets. In the present study, the metabolic network of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was constructed and the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway was analyzed for potential drug targeting. The metabolic network was constructed using the KEGG LIGAND database and subjected to graph theoretical analysis. The nearness index of a protein was used to determine the influence of the said protein on other components in the network, allowing the proteins in a pathway to be ordered according to their nearness indices. A method for identifying the most strategic nodes to target for disrupting the metabolic networks is proposed, aiding the development of new drugs to combat this deadly disease. © 2011 Baths et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Authors

  • V. Baths

  • U. Roy

  • T. Singh

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