Endocrinol Metab (Seoul) 35 (3) 507-514 [2020-09-00; online 2020-09-22]
The complex and dynamic nature of human physiology, as exemplified by metabolism, has often been overlooked due to the lack of quantitative and systems approaches. Recently, systems biology approaches have pushed the boundaries of our current understanding of complex biochemical, physiological, and environmental interactions, enabling proactive medicine in the near future. From this perspective, we review how state-of-the-art computational modelling of human metabolism, i.e., genome-scale metabolic modelling, could be used to identify the metabolic footprints of diseases, to guide the design of personalized treatments, and to estimate the microbiome contributions to host metabolism. These state-of-the-art models can serve as a scaffold for integrating multi-omics data, thereby enabling the identification of signatures of dysregulated metabolism by systems approaches. For example, increased plasma mannose levels due to decreased uptake in the liver have been identified as a potential biomarker of early insulin resistance by multi-omics approaches. In addition, we also review the emerging axis of human physiology and the human microbiome, discussing its contribution to host metabolism and quantitative approaches to study its variations in individuals.