Computational Models of Cell Cycle Transitions
The cell cycle is one of the best understood cellular processes in biology. Many of the key interactions occurring throughout the cell cycle have already been identified. This feature makes the system ideally suited for modelers who can use all the available interaction knowledge to build a systems level model of the underlying molecular regulatory network. This model can serve to identify gaps in our knowledge and to test theoretical assumptions or constrain the space of possible solutions. The cell cycle is a repetitive chain of events that goes through several checkpoints. Thus, the cell cycle can be studied under the perspective of an oscillator with checkpoints built into it, or as a series of switch-like transitions that goes from one state to another, converging on a closed loop. We shall discuss that latter position and present a framework for building and analyzing differential equation models of switch-like behavior. We shall then apply and review diverse models for each of the cell cycle transitions and discuss how multiple switches are combined in the cell cycle to create fast and robust transitions.
Key wordsCell cycle Mathematical modeling Biological switches Bistability Systems biology
R.H.B is supported by Microsoft Research through its PhD Scholarship Programme and K.J. is supported by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Non-Equilibrium Systems (CANES, EP/L015854/1).
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