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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Modeling cell signaling pathways with spatially explicit mobile agents

Genie Hsieh
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Universit

Mary Ann Raymond-Stintz
Dept. of Pathology, University of New Mexico

Wennie Shu
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico

Stanly Steinberg
Depr. of Mathematics, University of New Mexico

Bridget Wilson
Dept. of Pathology, University of New Mexico

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: April 25, 2006

Many activities of cells are controlled by cell surface receptors, which respond to ligands by triggering intracellular signaling reactions. Improved understanding of receptor signaling has several applications, such as the rational design of drugs. The process of receptor signaling involves highly connected networks of interacting components. Understanding the behavior of these networks requires the development of mathematical and computational modeling.

Here, an agent-based simulator is implemented to study diverse molecular interactions in complex signaling pathways with spatial resolution and single molecule detail. It permits stochastic modeling of protein clustering, protein motion and biochemical reactions within an idealized cellular geometry. Components diffuse and react with nearby particles in accord with chemical rate reactions. Reactions occurring between two molecules depend on the specific types of the molecules and their physical states. The modularized design confers flexibility.

The model is presently being used to determine the impact of spatial proximity and microdomain organization upon EGFR/ErbB receptor signal transduction efficiency and outcome. Simulation results are compared with experimental data to provide insight into the details of cell membrane organization.

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