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Bioinformatics and Biology Insights

Modeling of the Glycolysis Pathway in Plasmodium falciparum using Petri Nets

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Bioinformatics and Biology Insights 2016:10 49-57

Original Research

Published on 12 May 2016

DOI: 10.4137/BBI.S37296


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Abstract

Malaria is one of the deadly diseases, which affects a large number of the world's population. The Plasmodium falciparum parasite during erythrocyte stages produces its energy mainly through anaerobic glycolysis, with pyruvate being converted into lactate. The glycolysis metabolism in P. falciparum is one of the important metabolic pathways of the parasite because the parasite is entirely dependent on it for energy. Also, several glycolytic enzymes have been proposed as drug targets. Petri nets (PNs) have been recognized as one of the important models for representing biological pathways. In this work, we built a qualitative PN model for the glycolysis pathway in P. falciparum and analyzed the model for its structural and quantitative properties using PN theory. From PlasmoCyc files, a total of 11 reactions were extracted; 6 of these were reversible and 5 were irreversible. These reactions were catalyzed by a total number of 13 enzymes. We extracted some of the essential reactions in the pathway using PN model, which are the possible drug targets without which the pathway cannot function. This model also helps to improve the understanding of the biological processes within this pathway.



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