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      Rethinking Cancer - in View of Network Biology

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      conference-abstract
      1
      REPO4EU
      RExPO23
      25-26 October 2023
      Biological networks, rethinking cancer, cancer biology, mutation, distributed decision making, evolution, drug discovery
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            Abstract

            Living things are built of networks upon networks upon networks. Living things make up parts of larger networks. This tells us that biology, life, emerges from relations mapped by these networks.

            The most fundamental biological network is that of a living cell. If we are lucky, it contains archeological remains of the earliest networks distinguishing living from dead that emerged more the 3,5 billion years old. Maybe we can trace them? Maybe there are even remains of the preceding prebiotic networks?

            Who makes the decisions in the cell? Networks constitute the immediate link between phenotype and the constituent biomolecules. “Genes do not program anything”, claims Denis Noble, Oxford1. No, they are parts of the intracellular network of all other biomolecules as well and operate in interaction with the network. Here “decision making” is a distributed process hard to envision for human brains who like to work by identifying more or less linear cause-and-effect or billiard-ball pathways.

            A mutation may change the relations of the mutated proteins in the network, and thus affect phenotype. DNA and its genes are storage of blueprints for “building blocks” of the network and as such also a storage of evolutionary memory, of historical perturbations of the cell, resulting in Darwinian adaptation as well as storing successes of natural selection. The core of the network are the proteins and their mechanical and functional interactions. I will discuss cancer biology in view of these fundamentals, as well as how they might be exploited for future unprecedented drug discovery.

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            Author and article information

            Conference
            REPO4EU
            5 October 2023
            Affiliations
            [1 ] Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), Biomedicum Q8C, FE 280, 17177 Stockholm (Sweden);
            Author information
            https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6518-1648
            Article
            10.58647/REXPO.23021
            91f1d58c-b636-4804-a350-c2b115786e4e
            Authors

            Published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International ( CC BY 4.0). Users are allowed to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially), as long as the authors and the publisher are explicitly identified and properly acknowledged as the original source.

            RExPO23
            2
            Stockholm, Sweden
            25-26 October 2023
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            REPO4EU

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            Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
            Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
            Biological networks,rethinking cancer,cancer biology,mutation,distributed decision making,evolution,drug discovery

            References

            1. Melham Tom, Bard Jonathan, Werner Eric, Noble Denis. Conceptual foundations of systems biology. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. Vol. 111(2-3):55–56. 2013. Elsevier BV. [Cross Ref]

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