Evaluating computational models of cholesterol metabolism

Yared Paalvast*, Jan Albert Kuivenhoven, Albert K. Groen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Regulation of cholesterol homeostasis has been studied extensively during the last decades. Many of the metabolic pathways involved have been discovered. Yet important gaps in our knowledge remain. For example, knowledge on intracellular cholesterol traffic and its relation to the regulation of cholesterol synthesis and plasma cholesterol levels is incomplete. One way of addressing the remaining questions is by making use of computational models. Here, we critically evaluate existing computational models of cholesterol metabolism making use of ordinary differential equations and addressed whether they used assumptions and make predictions in line with current knowledge on cholesterol homeostasis. Having studied the results described by the authors, we have also tested their models. This was done primarily by testing the effect of statin treatment in each model. Ten out of eleven models tested have made assumptions in line with current knowledge of cholesterol metabolism. Three out of the ten remaining models made correct predictions, i.e. predicting a decrease in plasma total and LDL cholesterol or increased uptake of LDL upon treatment upon the use of statins.

In conclusion, few models on cholesterol metabolism are able to pass a functional test. Apparently most models have not undergone the critical iterative systems biology cycle of validation. We expect modeling of cholesterol metabolism to go through many more model topologies and iterative cycles and welcome the increased understanding of cholesterol metabolism these are likely to bring. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1376
Number of pages17
JournalBiochimica et biophysica acta-Molecular and cell biology of lipids
Volume1851
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2015

Keywords

  • Mathematical modeling
  • Apolipoprotein
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Reverse cholesterol transport
  • Systems biology
  • DENSITY-LIPOPROTEIN RECEPTOR
  • TRANSFER PROTEIN-DEFICIENCY
  • MATHEMATICAL-MODEL
  • HUMAN FIBROBLASTS
  • KINETIC-MODEL
  • LDL RECEPTOR
  • IN-VITRO
  • PLASMA
  • DEGRADATION
  • SIMVASTATIN

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