Special Issue "Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Christopher Gerner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Interests: clinical proteomics; lipidomics; metabolomics; chronic inflammation; cancer research; mechanisms of drug action; drug resistance
Dr. Michelle Hill
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
Interests: membrane lipids; cell biology; subcellular omics; integrative biology; clinical proteomics; clinical lipidomics; liquid biopsy; extracellular vesicles; clinical diagnostics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Postgenomic methods, typically based on mass spectrometry, comprise the analysis of metabolites, lipids, and proteins and are an essential complement to genomics and transcriptomics. Multidimensional omics is becoming established to provide accurate and comprehensive state descriptions and to support the understanding of molecular mechanisms in complex systems. In this Special Issue, we invite you to share laboratory and computational method innovations that enable the concurrent and integrative analysis of multiple omics data sets. We would also like to showcase novel findings as a result of application of multi-omics to address questions in biology and pathology. Both original research and review papers are welcome.

We look forward to reading your contributions to this rapidly advancing interdisciplinary field.

Assoc. Prof. Michelle Hill
Prof. Christopher Gerner
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomolecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mass spectrometry
  • bioinformatics
  • integrative biology
  • systems biology
  • biomarker discovery

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Omics Technologies to Decipher Regulatory Networks in Granulocytic Cell Differentiation
Biomolecules 2021, 11(6), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11060907 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 238
Abstract
Induced granulocytic differentiation of human leukemic cells under all-trans-retinoid acid (ATRA) treatment underlies differentiation therapy of acute myeloid leukemia. Knowing the regulation of this process it is possible to identify potential targets for antileukemic drugs and develop novel approaches to differentiation [...] Read more.
Induced granulocytic differentiation of human leukemic cells under all-trans-retinoid acid (ATRA) treatment underlies differentiation therapy of acute myeloid leukemia. Knowing the regulation of this process it is possible to identify potential targets for antileukemic drugs and develop novel approaches to differentiation therapy. In this study, we have performed transcriptomic and proteomic profiling to reveal up- and down-regulated transcripts and proteins during time-course experiments. Using data on differentially expressed transcripts and proteins we have applied upstream regulator search and obtained transcriptome- and proteome-based regulatory networks of induced granulocytic differentiation that cover both up-regulated (HIC1, NFKBIA, and CASP9) and down-regulated (PARP1, VDR, and RXRA) elements. To verify the designed network we measured HIC1 and PARP1 protein abundance during granulocytic differentiation by selected reaction monitoring (SRM) using stable isotopically labeled peptide standards. We also revealed that transcription factor CEBPB and LYN kinase were involved in differentiation onset, and evaluated their protein levels by SRM technique. Obtained results indicate that the omics data reflect involvement of the DNA repair system and the MAPK kinase cascade as well as show the balance between the processes of the cell survival and apoptosis in a p53-independent manner. The differentially expressed transcripts and proteins, predicted transcriptional factors, and key molecules such as HIC1, CEBPB, LYN, and PARP1 may be considered as potential targets for differentiation therapy of acute myeloid leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Article
LPS Tolerance Inhibits Cellular Respiration and Induces Global Changes in the Macrophage Secretome
Biomolecules 2021, 11(2), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020164 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Inflammatory response plays an essential role in the resolution of infections. However, inflammation can be detrimental to an organism and cause irreparable damage. For example, during sepsis, a cytokine storm can lead to multiple organ failures and often results in death. One of [...] Read more.
Inflammatory response plays an essential role in the resolution of infections. However, inflammation can be detrimental to an organism and cause irreparable damage. For example, during sepsis, a cytokine storm can lead to multiple organ failures and often results in death. One of the strongest triggers of the inflammatory response is bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), acting mostly through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Paradoxically, while exposure to LPS triggers a robust inflammatory response, repeated or prolonged exposure to LPS can induce a state of endotoxin tolerance, a phenomenon where macrophages and monocytes do not respond to new endotoxin challenges, and it is often associated with secondary infections and negative outcomes. The cellular mechanisms regulating this phenomenon remain elusive. We used metabolic measurements to confirm differences in the cellular metabolism of naïve macrophages and that of macrophages responding to LPS stimulation or those in the LPS-tolerant state. In parallel, we performed an unbiased secretome survey using quantitative mass spectrometry during the induction of LPS tolerance, creating the first comprehensive secretome profile of endotoxin-tolerant cells. The secretome changes confirmed that LPS-tolerant macrophages have significantly decreased cellular metabolism and that the proteins secreted by LPS-tolerant macrophages have a strong association with cell survival, protein metabolism, and the metabolism of reactive oxygen species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Eicosanoid Content in Fetal Calf Serum Accounts for Reproducibility Challenges in Cell Culture
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010113 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 544
Abstract
Reproducibility issues regarding in vitro cell culture experiments are related to genetic fluctuations and batch-wise variations of biological materials such as fetal calf serum (FCS). Genome sequencing may control the former, while the latter may remain unrecognized. Using a U937 macrophage model for [...] Read more.
Reproducibility issues regarding in vitro cell culture experiments are related to genetic fluctuations and batch-wise variations of biological materials such as fetal calf serum (FCS). Genome sequencing may control the former, while the latter may remain unrecognized. Using a U937 macrophage model for cell differentiation and inflammation, we investigated whether the formation of effector molecules was dependent on the FCS batch used for cultivation. High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) was used to identify FCS constituents and to explore their effects on cultured cells evaluating secreted cytokines, eicosanoids, and other inflammatory mediators. Remarkably, the FCS eicosanoid composition showed more batch-dependent variations than the protein composition. Efficient uptake of fatty acids from the medium by U937 macrophages and inflammation-induced release thereof was evidenced using C13-labelled arachidonic acid, highlighting rapid lipid metabolism. For functional testing, FCS batch-dependent nanomolar concentration differences of two selected eicosanoids, 5-HETE and 15-HETE, were balanced out by spiking. Culturing U937 cells at these defined conditions indeed resulted in significant proteome alterations indicating HETE-induced PPARγ activation, independently corroborated by HETE-induced formation of peroxisomes observed by high-resolution microscopy. In conclusion, the present data demonstrate that FCS-contained eicosanoids, subject to substantial batch-wise variation, may modulate cellular effector functions in cell culture experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Article
From Prevention to Disease Perturbations: A Multi-Omic Assessment of Exercise and Myocardial Infarctions
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010040 - 30 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1117
Abstract
While a molecular assessment of the perturbations and injury arising from diseases is essential in their diagnosis and treatment, understanding changes due to preventative strategies is also imperative. Currently, complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death worldwide, suffer [...] Read more.
While a molecular assessment of the perturbations and injury arising from diseases is essential in their diagnosis and treatment, understanding changes due to preventative strategies is also imperative. Currently, complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death worldwide, suffer from a limited understanding of how the molecular mechanisms taking place following preventive measures (e.g., exercise) differ from changes occurring due to the injuries caused from the disease (e.g., myocardial infarction (MI)). Therefore, this manuscript assesses lipidomic changes before and one hour after exercise treadmill testing (ETT) and before and one hour after a planned myocardial infarction (PMI) in two separate patient cohorts. Strikingly, unique lipidomic perturbations were observed for these events, as could be expected from their vastly different stresses on the body. The lipidomic results were then combined with previously published metabolomic characterizations of the same patients. This integration provides complementary insights into the exercise and PMI events, thereby giving a more holistic understanding of the molecular changes associated with each. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Chronic High-Fat Diet Induces Early Barrett’s Esophagus in Mice through Lipidome Remodeling
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10050776 - 16 May 2020
Viewed by 1447
Abstract
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) incidence has been rapidly increasing, potentially associated with the prevalence of the risk factors gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obesity, high-fat diet (HFD), and the precursor condition Barrett’s esophagus (BE). EAC development occurs over several years, with stepwise changes of the [...] Read more.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) incidence has been rapidly increasing, potentially associated with the prevalence of the risk factors gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obesity, high-fat diet (HFD), and the precursor condition Barrett’s esophagus (BE). EAC development occurs over several years, with stepwise changes of the squamous esophageal epithelium, through cardiac metaplasia, to BE, and then EAC. To establish the roles of GERD and HFD in initiating BE, we developed a dietary intervention model in C57/BL6 mice using experimental HFD and GERD (0.2% deoxycholic acid, DCA, in drinking water), and then analyzed the gastroesophageal junction tissue lipidome and microbiome to reveal potential mechanisms. Chronic (9 months) HFD alone induced esophageal inflammation and metaplasia, the first steps in BE/EAC pathogenesis. While 0.2% deoxycholic acid (DCA) alone had no effect on esophageal morphology, it synergized with HFD to increase inflammation severity and metaplasia length, potentially via increased microbiome diversity. Furthermore, we identify a tissue lipid signature for inflammation and metaplasia, which is characterized by elevated very-long-chain ceramides and reduced lysophospholipids. In summary, we report a non-transgenic mouse model, and a tissue lipid signature for early BE. Validation of the lipid signature in human patient cohorts could pave the way for specific dietary strategies to reduce the risk of BE in high-risk individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Identification and Validation of VEGFR2 Kinase as a Target of Voacangine by a Systematic Combination of DARTS and MSI
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10040508 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
Although natural products are an important source of drugs and drug leads, identification and validation of their target proteins have proven difficult. Here, we report the development of a systematic strategy for target identification and validation employing drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) [...] Read more.
Although natural products are an important source of drugs and drug leads, identification and validation of their target proteins have proven difficult. Here, we report the development of a systematic strategy for target identification and validation employing drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) and mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) without modifying or labeling natural compounds. Through a validation step using curcumin, which targets aminopeptidase N (APN), we successfully standardized the systematic strategy. Using label-free voacangine, an antiangiogenic alkaloid molecule as the model natural compound, DARTS analysis revealed vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) as a target protein. Voacangine inhibits VEGFR2 kinase activity and its downstream signaling by binding to the kinase domain of VEGFR2, as was revealed by docking simulation. Through cell culture assays, voacangine was found to inhibit the growth of glioblastoma cells expressing high levels of VEGFR2. Specific localization of voacangine to tumor compartments in a glioblastoma xenograft mouse was revealed by MSI analysis. The overlap of histological images with the MSI signals for voacangine was intense in the tumor regions and showed colocalization of voacangine and VEGFR2 in the tumor tissues by immunofluorescence analysis of VEGFR2. The strategy employing DARTS and MSI to identify and validate the targets of a natural compound as demonstrated for voacangine in this study is expected to streamline the general approach of drug discovery and validation using other biomolecules including natural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Review

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Review
A Customizable Analysis Flow in Integrative Multi-Omics
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10121606 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
The number of researchers using multi-omics is growing. Though still expensive, every year it is cheaper to perform multi-omic studies, often exponentially so. In addition to its increasing accessibility, multi-omics reveals a view of systems biology to an unprecedented depth. Thus, multi-omics can [...] Read more.
The number of researchers using multi-omics is growing. Though still expensive, every year it is cheaper to perform multi-omic studies, often exponentially so. In addition to its increasing accessibility, multi-omics reveals a view of systems biology to an unprecedented depth. Thus, multi-omics can be used to answer a broad range of biological questions in finer resolution than previous methods. We used six omic measurements—four nucleic acid (i.e., genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomics, and metagenomic) and two mass spectrometry (proteomics and metabolomics) based—to highlight an analysis workflow on this type of data, which is often vast. This workflow is not exhaustive of all the omic measurements or analysis methods, but it will provide an experienced or even a novice multi-omic researcher with the tools necessary to analyze their data. This review begins with analyzing a single ome and study design, and then synthesizes best practices in data integration techniques that include machine learning. Furthermore, we delineate methods to validate findings from multi-omic integration. Ultimately, multi-omic integration offers a window into the complexity of molecular interactions and a comprehensive view of systems biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Review
Interrogating Host Antiviral Environments Driven by Nuclear DNA Sensing: A Multiomic Perspective
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10121591 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Nuclear DNA sensors are critical components of the mammalian innate immune system, recognizing the presence of pathogens and initiating immune signaling. These proteins act in the nuclei of infected cells by binding to foreign DNA, such as the viral genomes of nuclear-replicating DNA [...] Read more.
Nuclear DNA sensors are critical components of the mammalian innate immune system, recognizing the presence of pathogens and initiating immune signaling. These proteins act in the nuclei of infected cells by binding to foreign DNA, such as the viral genomes of nuclear-replicating DNA viruses herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Upon binding to pathogenic DNA, the nuclear DNA sensors were shown to initiate antiviral cytokines, as well as to suppress viral gene expression. These host defense responses involve complex signaling processes that, through protein–protein interactions (PPIs) and post-translational modifications (PTMs), drive extensive remodeling of the cellular transcriptome, proteome, and secretome to generate an antiviral environment. As such, a holistic understanding of these changes is required to understand the mechanisms through which nuclear DNA sensors act. The advent of omics techniques has revolutionized the speed and scale at which biological research is conducted and has been used to make great strides in uncovering the molecular underpinnings of DNA sensing. Here, we review the contribution of proteomics approaches to characterizing nuclear DNA sensors via the discovery of functional PPIs and PTMs, as well as proteome and secretome changes that define a host antiviral environment. We also highlight the value of and future need for integrative multiomic efforts to gain a systems-level understanding of DNA sensors and their influence on epigenetic and transcriptomic alterations during infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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