Whole cell response to receptor stimulation involves many deep and distributed subcellular biochemical processes

Jens Hansen, Mustafa M. Siddiq, Arjun Singh Yadaw, Rosa E. Tolentino, Vera Rabinovich, Gomathi Jayaraman, Mohit Raja Jain, Tong Liu, Hong Li, Yuguang Xiong, Joseph Goldfarb, Ravi Iyengar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurite outgrowth is an integrated whole cell response triggered by the cannabinoid-1 receptor. We sought to identify the many different biochemical pathways that contribute to this whole cell response. To understand underlying mechanisms, we identified subcellular processes (SCPs) composed of one or more biochemical pathways and their interactions required for this response. Differentially expressed genes and proteins were obtained from bulk transcriptomics and proteomic analysis of extracts from cells stimulated with a cannabinoid-1 receptor agonist. We used these differentially expressed genes and proteins to build networks of interacting SCPs by combining the expression data with prior pathway knowledge. From these SCP networks, we identified additional genes that when ablated, experimentally validated the SCP involvement in neurite outgrowth. Our experiments and informatics modeling allowed us to identify diverse SCPs such as those involved in pyrimidine metabolism, lipid biosynthesis, and mRNA splicing and stability, along with more predictable SCPs such as membrane vesicle transport and microtubule dynamics. We find that SCPs required for neurite outgrowth are widely distributed among many biochemical pathways required for constitutive cellular functions, several of which are termed ‘deep’, since they are distal to signaling pathways and the key SCPs directly involved in extension of the neurite. In contrast, ‘proximal’ SCPs are involved in microtubule growth and membrane vesicle transport dynamics required for neurite outgrowth. From these bioinformatics and dynamical models based on experimental data, we conclude that receptor-mediated regulation of subcellular functions for neurite outgrowth is both distributed, that is, involves many different biochemical pathways, and deep.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102325
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • bioinformatics
  • dynamical modeling
  • neurite outgrowth
  • subcellular pathways
  • transcriptomics


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