Using Mathematical Models to Help Decode Cellular Regulatory Networks

In this talk, methods that we have designed to analyze and help to identify certain protein regulatory networks will be presented. Often, only incomplete abstracted hypotheses exist to explain observed complex patterning and functions in cellular regulatory networks. We present our results in developing a partial and ordinary differential equation model for Planar Cell Polarity signaling in fly wings. We explicitly demonstrate an algorithm for performing automatic parameter identification on differential equation-based models of biological systems. We show that the model can explain the complex behaviors of the system, and can be used to test developmental hypotheses, such as the function of certain protein alleles, and the relationship between cell geometry and polarity. The results are analyzed to show that novel, non-intuitive, and biologically interesting properties can be deduced from the mathematical models.

Claire J. Tomlin, University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University


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