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A defining characteristic of living cells is the ability to respond dynamically to external stimuli while maintaining homeostasis under resting conditions. Capturing both of these features in a single kinetic model is difficult because the model must be able to reproduce both behaviors using the same set of molecular components. Here, we show how combining small, well-defined steady-state networks provides an efficient means of constructing large-scale kinetic models that exhibit realistic resting and dynamic behaviors. By requiring each kinetic module to be homeostatic (at steady state under resting conditions), the method proceeds by (i) computing steady-state solutions to a system of ordinary differential equations for each module, (ii) applying principal component analysis to each set of solutions to capture the steady-state solution space of each module network, and (iii) combining optimal search directions from all modules to form a global steady-state space that is searched for accurate simulation of the time-dependent behavior of the whole system upon perturbation. Importantly, this stepwise approach retains the nonlinear rate expressions that govern each reaction in the system and enforces constraints on the range of allowable concentration states for the full-scale model. These constraints not only reduce the computational cost of fitting experimental time-series data but can also provide insight into limitations on system concentrations and architecture. To demonstrate application of the method, we show how small kinetic perturbations in a modular model of platelet P2Y(1) signaling can cause widespread compensatory effects on cellular resting states.
Date Posted: 01 June 2009
This document has been peer reviewed.