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Journal Article

AI reveals insights into link between CD33 and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease


Altay,  Aybuge       
Transcriptional Regulation (Martin Vingron), Dept. of Computational Molecular Biology (Head: Martin Vingron), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Raschka, T., Sood, M., Schultz, B., Altay, A., Ebeling, C., & Fröhlich, H. (2023). AI reveals insights into link between CD33 and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease. PLOS Computational Biology, 19(2): e1009894. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009894.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000E-7013-E
Modeling biological mechanisms is a key for disease understanding and drug-target identification. However, formulating quantitative models in the field of Alzheimer's Disease is challenged by a lack of detailed knowledge of relevant biochemical processes. Additionally, fitting differential equation systems usually requires time resolved data and the possibility to perform intervention experiments, which is difficult in neurological disorders. This work addresses these challenges by employing the recently published Variational Autoencoder Modular Bayesian Networks (VAMBN) method, which we here trained on combined clinical and patient level gene expression data while incorporating a disease focused knowledge graph. Our approach, called iVAMBN, resulted in a quantitative model that allowed us to simulate a down-expression of the putative drug target CD33, including potential impact on cognitive impairment and brain pathophysiology. Experimental validation demonstrated a high overlap of molecular mechanism predicted to be altered by CD33 perturbation with cell line data. Altogether, our modeling approach may help to select promising drug targets.